Newbie needs help


New member
Hello here! I am a total newbie so I need your expert advice here. What the best fish to have for a new one? I heard that Guppies are suitable for this. Also how many gallob tank do I need? For example, I'd choose a 10-gallon tank - how much fish can live there? It is necessary to have a tank heater like this one? It sounds weird for me because in the nature there are no predictable water temperature. Sorry for these silly questions :) Thank you in advance!
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Andy W.

New member
The more water you can fit in your tank, the more stable the conditions can be maintained, due to dilution/evaporation/etc. Stocking levels are very subjective, there is biological capacity, which is basically the capacity of the environment to support the inhabitants, and sociological capacity; some species get very territorial or unfriendly with cohabitants. The water temperature parameters are dependent on the species requirements. Some can be kept at room temperature (depending on what that is), while others do require supplementation with a heater.

There are many examples in nature of very predictable water temperature; ocean temperatures in many regions are quite stable. There are freshwater examples where conditions can be predicted outside daily temperatures (spring fed streams/etc). The main takeaway is that while freshwater fish are very adaptable to fluctuating water temperatures, these temp swings are quite gradual, due to the volumes of water involved. (We've come full cycle to more water is better)


I'd just start with a few Zebra Danios. Very hearty fish. Not as prone to disease like goldfish.

Any competent person at a pet store can get you some substrate but I have a ton extra if you need it. And a 10 gal if you want it.

A heater is necessary to prevent hi/lo s that tank raised fish don't like. Most fish that you will keep will have never have seen the wild.

Filtration is necessary and overfilter if you can. Whatever the box says the filter will handle, try to double it for a small tank to prevent ammonia spikes.

Lighting is not necessary at first, but eventually you will want it. Go with an LED system, not the fluorescent that are still on the market. Much better color accuracy and less power draw.

Go for it!


New member
I think guppies would be an excellent choice for a beginner. You can start out with the cheap ones and maybe move on to show guppies as time goes on.

As for the size of tank, the more water there is the easier it is to maintain water chemistry. For a beginner, I'd recommend a 10 or 20 gallon. :)


Staff member
Yes guppies or danios would be great for a first fish. My first fish I had was zebra danios and getting the tiny fry down in the gravel really hooked me on the hobby. Breeding guppies is even easier. A ten gallon tank would be perfect for either, but in the aquarium hobby bigger is better! Fish are much more satisfying when they have lots of area to swim in. As far as substrate, I tend to think less is better unless you are growing plants. Even growing plants you can get by doing them in pots or without inches of substrate. Large amounts of substrate just creates more areas for detritus to accumulate. There are good reasons for doing deeper substrates but it may require more care on your part to keep your tank stable. Most fish don't care how deep the substrate is but understanding how the fish work with the substrate will make your fish happier if you plan that out. Like sand for sand sifting fish is way better than gravel. Some fish like to bury themselves in the sand.
Most importantly, be patient in building up the stock of your tank and do water changes. You don't necessarily need to change water weekly but as often and consistently as you can will really help you be successful! And use a good quality dechlorinater for those water changes. Research fish that you want to add and feel free to ask us anything on our website or at one of our meetings. Good luck!