Pick your tank before your fish?

A trend I have noticed amongst hobbyist fishkeepers, encompassing both those new to the interest and some more experienced, is that you will often see a question posed on forums in this type of format: “New 55 gallon tank with brand X skinner, ozone and 25 gallon sump, what fish can I have?”. It seems odd to me to build a set-up (unless a complete one happened to become available) without first considering the type of fish you want to keep and their specific needs. It makes you think at times that perhaps these people do not really like fish all that much, which is fair enough because there are other motivations for wanting to obtain a fish tank without an inherent interest, honest – as a status simple for example, or perhaps it is something they like the idea of but have never actually got into before. Anyway I digress. I already have a working knowledge of the generic requirements of aquarium life support systems (both tropical and marine), if this is not the case it is recommended that before getting excited over species to research if having a fish tank is right for you, are you willing to invest the time and money into your new hobby? It’s not like keeping a goldfish, although that is mainly down to them being abused by the provision of inadequate housing, the more advanced systems do require a lot more consideration. The next step and the one I get most excited about is ‘my favourite fish!’ with some people look more into establishing an ecosystem such as a mini Great Barrier Reef. Sorted! You’ve found your favourite fish (species) and you’ve fallen in love, you just have to have it so now it’s time to look at the technical side of your set up, its specialist requirements and compatibility with other fish that you quite like the look of.

I sometimes just seem to feel that it is a little bit ‘backwards’ to build an entire new tank from scratch then ask other what fish they like. You’re the one who wants a fish tank in your house, what fish do you want to be looking at for the next 5 years or so?

Personally, for my next tank I want a very simple and relatively easy to look after species called a Flame Angel.

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