How To Choosing Individual Fish

Visit a local pet store. Many species of freshwater fish are sold at pet stores. If you can find a pet store that specializes in fish (e.g. not just your local WalMart), you’ll be able to speak with the knowledgeable sales staff. Ask for their recommendation if you have any lingering questions about which fish to fill your tank with.
Local pet stores will likely not carry rare, expensive, or exotic fish. If a specific fish you’ve wanted is hard to find, consider getting a more common fish.
If you do not have a reputable pet store in your vicinity, consider purchasing fish online. Use an established pet site, like PetSolutions, PetCo, or LiveAquaria.

Avoid buying a male and female of the same species. If you end up with a sexually compatible male and female in the same tank, they are likely to breed with one another. For example, guppies breed often and produce large numbers of offspring. Keeping male and female guppies separate can solve this potential problem.
If you do buy a male and female of the same species, ask a knowledgeable staff member at a pet store the breeding pair are likely to be aggressive with other fish.

Purchase only healthy fish. Never purchase sick fish, as they are likely to die shortly after you buy them. Healthy fish will display normal behavior and bright colors typical of their species. If you notice any fish with ulcers or boils, bulging eyes, or discolored scales, it’s probably in a poor state of health.
If a sick fish has a communicable illness, and you add it to a tank of healthy fish, you’re putting all of the other fish in your tank at risk of illness and possible death.

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