When starting a community aquarium, it’s important to make sure there is harmony amongst the fish that you select. There are some species that are just not right for the community aquarium.
Pet stores won’t warn you about these, so you could inadvertently pick a fish that will cause you some trouble and not even know until it’s too late.
Here are 10 such species to avoid for the community tank. They’re not necessarily a bad fish to get, but just not if you’re going to try and mix them in with other peaceful community fish.
Very beautiful fish. Probably the most beautiful of the African Cichlids, but is strongly territorial especially when spawning. If you do want to keep this fish with others, they need to be bigger, faster, stronger fish in a large aquarium with lots of hiding places. It’s best to keep them in a tank of their own where you can admire their beauty.
Skunk Loaches can be very aggressive towards other fish. Harassing and nipping at the fins of others. The aggressive behavior is less so when kept in larger numbers, but if there is only one or two, they will hide half the time and be a terror the other half.
A fascinating, attractive fish yet they are fussy, picky, and belligerent. They come from brackish water which wouldn’t be in most freshwater community type aquariums. They also require small, live foods. Not your normal pelleted or flake fish food. Yes, they will eat smaller community fish as well.
You don’t normally think of Tetra as a thug, but the Bucktooth Tetra will go after anything shiny and strip the scales off of their shiny tank mates. They’re not intimidated by larger fish and will go after them as well. They’re best kept in a tank with 20 or more of the same since Tetra are a schooling fish.
The Bala Shark isn’t a bad fish. They are rather slender and sleek with a nice silver and black coloration. They are normally peaceful fish too. The problem with Bala sharks is that they grow too big. What the store doesn’t mention is that they can grow over a foot long. Too big for most community aquariums. They need to be kept in groups of 5 or more and will snack on smaller fish.
Pictus catfish, unlike other catfish, are very active predators and not scavengers. They will quickly gobble up other smaller community fish that can fit in their mouths.
Three Spot Gourami
Very gorgeous fish, but get increasingly aggressive as they grow older. If you do keep them in a community tank, bottom dwellers like pleco could work.
These are cute little fish from India. When I say little, I mean really little. Only about an inch long. They lose the race to get food from the faster, larger fish so it’s hard to keep them fed in a community tank. They much prefer live, or frozen food to normal pellet or flake food.
The Convict Cichlid is named because of their strips that resemble convicts back in the early days. These guys are the most territorial fish on this list and most violent towards others when spawning. They’re great for beginners if kept by themselves.
Chinese Algae Eater
Chinese Algae Eaters are not even from China. They mostly come from throughout Southeast Asia. They don’t live up to their billing as algae eaters too. They will eat some algae when they are young, but that’s about it. They become increasingly aggressive as they grow older too. Sucking the slime coat off of the other fish causing damage and disease to the others.
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