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Community Means Compatibility

Think about these six categories of fish care and behavior before deciding whether to buy a fish.

By Miller Morgan |

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Each aquarium begins as a positive act of hope. Although some setups are planned with more detail and care than others, all aquarists expect the end result to be an underwater scene of peace and harmony as healthy fish go about their lives. The goal is a true community living together in a captivating aquatic world.

Community aquariums are among the most difficult to do well, which is ironic, given that almost all beginners start out with a community setup. It actually takes considerable knowledge and experience to have a successful community long-term. The reason for this comes down to just one important thing: compatibility.

Yes, we all know what that word means. We understand that compa-tibility is about getting along, be it personalities, temperaments, goals and so on. With fish, it’s much more complicated because compatibility means not just getting along but also water chemistry, food and a variety of environmental factors. This is why experience with fishkeeping becomes so valuable when setting up and stocking a community of fish. An analogy is houseplants. You can fill a room with them, and some will do better than others due to differences in light, watering, temperature and humidity. And some plants may not even survive.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the March 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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