Some basic information includes: scientific name, water parameter requirements, compatibility or temperament, dietary needs, and maximum adult size. The Internet is an invaluable research tool but be sure to rely on information from reputable sources such as educational websites or LiveAquaria.com, an excellent source for research information.
KNOW YOUR AQUARIUM
Every hobbyist should be familiar with the details of their aquarium. Information such as aquarium size (in gallons and dimensions), aquarium age, equipment or component list, inhabitant list (number and type of fish), water parameters, and medication use should be written down. Think of this list as a "profile" or "personal history" of your aquarium.
Keep a master list near your aquarium and make a copy to take with you whenever you go shopping for fish. This information provides valuable insight into your aquarium and helps simplify purchase decisions. Your aquarium setup will dictate what kind and how many fish you will be able to properly house. Be sure to update your list whenever you add new fish, upgrade equipment, or test water parameters.
Whenever possible, all new arrivals should be acclimated and introduced to a separate quarantine tank, even if they appear healthy. New fish are often stressed from transport and relocation. As a result, they are susceptible to any disease or parasite when introduced to a new aquarium. To protect new arrivals, as well as existing fish, isolate new fish for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
During this period, monitor the health of your fish and pay particular attention to signs of illness. Also, make sure they are eating well. Quarantine tanks are auxiliary aquarium setups that allow new arrivals to regain their strength and acclimate to new conditions in a stress-free environment. Quarantine tanks are the best, long-term investment you'll make in the aquarium hobby. Read Manage Fish Health with Quarantine Tanks to learn more.
Keep these aquarium pointers in mind the next time you're at your local pet store. Be a knowledgeable hobbyist who makes wise purchasing decisions. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much time and money you save by dramatically reducing unnecessary fish loss.