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Aquaria - Cold Water Aquarium Fish Keeping - Fish Tanks and Species

Choosing Fish for Coldwater Aquaria

You may be thinking about setting up your first cold water aquarium. Cold water fish species that can be kept in an unheated tank are highly recommended for beginners. While these fish are probably less expensive and easier to care for than many tropical fish species, they are nonetheless interesting and attractive.

When selecting fish for your first coldwater aquarium, remember it is far better to under stock your aquarium. There was an old rule of thumb of one inch of fish per gallon, but with modern aeration pumps and good water management 1cm per 2 litres is achievable.

It is also important that the fish you select are compatible. Some species do best with others of their own kind, be sure to ask at your fish stockist and determine the chosen fish's requirements before you buy!

Green tenchYou do not need to include a water heater in a coldwater tank, but you will need to ensure water quality is good with a reasonable filtration system, as coldwater fish require more oxygen than tropical and marine species. As previously mentioned you must also allow a fairly high water volume to fish ratio say 1cm fish per 1.5litre to 2 litres depending on the water surface area. The deeper the tank the less fish per litre. You will need a larger tank than the same number of similar sized tropical or marine fish would require.

Goldfish are by far the most popular cold water fish species. You're probably familiar with the common goldfish, a member of the carp family, a robust reddish to orange fish that may grow up to 20cm and live between 10 and 20 years. There are more than a hundred other varieties of carp that have been bred for the aquarist trade.

ShubunkinShubunkins and Comets are smaller and slimmer-looking fish. Shubunkins boast colourful blotches in various shades and hues from white through blue and brown to black and orange. Shubunkins and Comets species have just one tail fin, as opposed to twin tailed types such as Fantails, Veil tails and Moors. We think the most interesting of this group are the bubble-eyes, with their bulging sacs under each eye and the, rare in the UK, Celestials, whose eyes are upturned.

White goldfishThe Goldfish species are not your only option for a coldwater aquarium. Consider adding the hardy Weather Loach. Readily available, this brown or bronze bottom feeder is about 7cm to 10cm long and will tolerate water quite low temperatures. When you first introduce Loaches into the aquarium these shy fish may spend most of the day hiding, coming out at night but will come out round the clock once they have settled in.

Water plantThe Pearl Danio, that grows up to 6cm, and Giant Danio, that attains 10cm will also do well in a mixed species cold water aquarium. These Danios are active fish are fast swimmers, so be sure to only include them in a large tank with plenty of open water. The bigger the aquariums size the better. The silver and blue striped Zebra Danio is also a good beginners choice.

Buenos Aires and Bloodfin Tetras are fairly easy to find and can thrive in the coldwater aquarium. Bitterlings are other species of fish which also thrive in cold water. The Buenos Aires Tetras will readily eat your real aquarium plants though.

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Water Condition - Water is the life element for your fish and plants. Brands such as, Easy-life, Sera, Tetra, or Easy-Life can be found here.That's why it's important to choose the right water care products. Here you'll find a wide selection of products to help you create the right water conditions. You'll also find great products for your aquatic plants.

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Brands such as, Easy-life, Sera, Tetra, or Easy-Life can be found here.


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