Hot Tips: Fish Selection Tips
A selection of useful tidbits of information and tricks for the marine aquarist submitted by Advanced Aquarist's readership. Readers are encouraged to post them to our Hot Tips sticky in the Reefs.org General Reefkeeping Discussion forum or send their tips to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible publication. Next month's Hot Tip theme will be "Clam Selection Tips".
Fish Selection Tips:
Look for an actively swimming fish that has no torn fins. If a fish is listless or hiding, there may be problems. Ask how long it has been in the store. Ask if it is eating. Ask to see it eat. Don't trust the guy at the LFS that tells you what you want to hear about the fish. Do your own research before buying.
Submitted by 'Righty'
Most marine fish turn colors when stressed out. Good examples are tangs, triggers, and even the bullet proof damsel will darken or pale its colors. Buy a fish that has it's native colors.
Before you add any fish to your system, research about the fish extensively and as well the current fish or inverts/corals in your system. Some fish do better in two or more, others like to be kept by themselves. Some fish should not be even kept in aquaria...unless you are a pro. Find out specifically what they need to prosper in your tank.
Lots of money is wasted due to not researching. You would not buy a car not knowing anything about it, right?
If they are on there side in the tank, move one tank over and look for new fish.
Submitted by 'pwj1286'
Play the deposit game. After you have decided that the fish has good color, is aware and you see it being fed, ask the store to hold it for a week and pay a deposit. Say you need time to set up a quarantine tank. This will give extra time for the animal to recover from the effects of capture and transport, and avoid the "sudden death" syndrome. Stop in once or twice during the week you are waiting and observe the animal for ill effects or illness.
Submitted by 'Omni2226'
Research is critical. You should also know if the sick fish in tank A is on a central system with the fish you like in tank B. Good LFS wont sell sick fish, find one. It may be 50 miles from home, but a good LFS is worth it. Also NEVER add the LFS water to your tank, NEVER!!!
Submitted by 'Rob Top'