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Fish Socialization

Creating the right aquarium environment should be important to every fish enthusiast, as should proper fish socialization. Fish behave as they do because it is natural to them. Although the fish we place in our tanks are somewhat domesticated, they still exhibit the characteristics their relatives do in the wild. You can expect your fish to behave the way their species always has. Fish that are natural predators of other fish always will be. Fish that are happy to school up and hang out with their friends will always do so. Putting them in your tank will not change that. Knowing about fish socialization will provide you with hours of enjoyment from your aquarium. In the wild, as in aquariums, there are certain species of fish which will always be a little pushy. These fish are: tiger barbs, black ruby barbs, clown barbs, blind cave fish, red minor tetras, bumble bee gobys, and most cichlids, to name a few. The barbs are schoolers and will nip at one another and any other breed or species in the tank, given they have the chance. This is not because barbs want to eat any other fish, they just like to play that way. Cichlids are notorious for their aggression as well. After all, they are predators. Finding the right balance of fish for your tank is the key to squelching negative behaviors in your aquarium. When setting up, ensure that you do not overcrowd your tank to provide the right balance for good fish socialization. Stick to the rule of one inch of fish length to every gallon of water your tank holds. If you have too many fish, the competition will be eliminated. Know which types of fish like to be schooled and group them accordingly. If the schoolers are larger fish, try to only have three or four to prevent them from overpowering fish that may not be as large or aggressive. Fish that are meeker should be schooled in larger groupings to guarantee their safety in numbers. Fish that do not require a school to thrive may be placed in a tank and do quite well even if they are the only of their kind. If you are careful when loading your tank, you can place a variety of fish in a habitat together with healthy socialization to help you enjoy your aquarium.

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