How to Choose the Best Fish for Your Aquarium in Malaysia - Fish Myths

Fish are one of the most popular pets in Malaysia, with an estimated 2.5 million of them living in households across the country. However, not all fish are suitable for every aquarium, and choosing the wrong fish can lead to problems such as overcrowding, aggression, disease, or death. In this article, we will share some tips on how to choose the best fish for your aquarium in Malaysia, and how to make them happy and healthy.

Tip 1: Know your aquarium size and type - Fish in Aquarium

The first thing you need to consider before buying fish is the size and type of your aquarium. The size of your aquarium determines how many fish you can keep, and the type of your aquarium determines what kind of fish you can keep. For example, a small aquarium (less than 50 liters) can only accommodate a few small fish, such as guppies, tetras, or rasboras, while a large aquarium (more than 200 liters) can house a variety of fish, such as cichlids, angelfish, or discus. Similarly, a freshwater aquarium can only host freshwater fish, such as goldfish, betta, or koi, while a saltwater aquarium can only host saltwater fish, such as clownfish, tangs, or corals.

Before you buy fish, you should measure your aquarium size and volume, and research the water parameters and requirements of your aquarium type. You should also cycle your aquarium, which means establishing a biological filter that can break down the waste and toxins produced by the fish. Cycling your aquarium can take several weeks, and you should test the water quality regularly to ensure it is safe and stable for your fish.

Tip 2: Choose compatible and appropriate fish for your aquarium - Fish in a Tank

The next thing you need to consider before buying fish is the compatibility and suitability of the fish for your aquarium. Not all fish can get along well with each other, and some fish may have special needs or preferences that your aquarium cannot provide. For example, some fish are territorial and aggressive, and may fight or bully other fish, such as betta, cichlids, or piranha. Some fish are schooling and social, and need to be kept in groups of the same species, such as tetras, barbs, or danios. Some fish are sensitive and delicate, and need specific water conditions, such as pH, temperature, or hardness, such as discus, neon tetra, or crystal shrimp.

Before you buy fish, you should research the behavior, temperament, and needs of the fish, and compare them with your aquarium size, type, and water parameters. You should also avoid mixing fish that are too different in size, shape, or speed, as they may compete for food, space, or oxygen, or even prey on each other. You should also follow the rule of thumb that one inch of fish needs one gallon of water, and avoid overstocking your aquarium with too many fish.

Tip 3: Buy healthy and quality fish from reputable sources - Fish in a Bowl

The last thing you need to consider before buying fish is the health and quality of the fish and the source where you buy them from. Buying unhealthy or poor quality fish can introduce diseases or parasites to your aquarium, and affect the health and well-being of your existing fish. Buying fish from unreliable or unethical sources can also contribute to the illegal or unsustainable trade of fish, and harm the natural environment and biodiversity. For example, some fish are caught from the wild using cyanide or dynamite, which damage the coral reefs and marine ecosystems. Some fish are bred in poor conditions using hormones or chemicals, which affect their growth and development.

Before you buy fish, you should inspect the fish carefully and look for signs of health and quality, such as clear eyes, bright colors, intact fins, and active movements. You should also avoid buying fish that are too small, too large, or too cheap, as they may be unhealthy, stunted, or genetically modified. You should also buy fish from reputable and responsible sources, such as licensed pet shops, certified breeders, or trusted online sellers. You should also ask for the origin, history, and warranty of the fish, and check for any certificates or labels that indicate the fish are ethically and sustainably sourced.


Fish are wonderful pets, and they deserve the best care and attention from their owners. By following these tips, you can choose the best fish for your aquarium in Malaysia, and enjoy a long and rewarding relationship with them. 🐟

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