Tropical fish are great pets, especially for busy people. They’re not very demanding, yet they can be fun and relaxing to watch – just ask a dentist why he keeps fish. The right mix of fish means your wet pets will thrive instead of battling to the death over their turf.
Live bearers are fish that give birth to live babies instead of laying eggs. Guppies, live bearers themselves, and zebra danios get along well with many of the common types of live-bearing fish. These includes mollies, platies and swordtails. Be careful when adding sailfin mollies or other fish that have long fins or tails and are relatively slow swimmers, because the guppies and danios may nip at the fins. All of the fish will try to eat any babies that are born in the community tank. Adding a lot of plants can help by giving the babies places to hide.
Aquarium catfish are generally peaceful and suitable tank mates for both guppies and zebra danios. Many species of catfish, such as corydoras, will live peacefully in a community tank, living on the bottom and scavenging for bits of food that make it past the other fish. Catfish often do well in small schools of five or six fish, but it is not uncommon for small aquarium owners to keep just one or two of these fish. They are unlikely to ever bother any of the other fish, and in turn fish such as guppies and danios normally leave catfish alone.
Some of the various types of small schooling fish often make good companions for guppies and zebra danios. Tetras, rasboras and other types of danios will all get along well with other fish, won’t bother guppies or zebra danios, and are generally not bothered by them. The main consideration with such fish is the hardness of the water. Guppies prefer hard water, while many of the schooling fish do best in soft water, but if your tank falls somewhere in the middle of that range, you can safely mix the different types.
Plecos are a type of algae eating catfish, but instead of staying on the bottom, these fish roam the sides of the tank, the plants and decorations in a constant search for algae. Many different types of plecos, such as the candy striped pleco, will fit nicely into an aquarium along with guppies and zebra danios, but in time some of these fish may outgrow the tank, become territorial and need to be moved. Until they outgrow the tank, plecos make excellent and peaceful members of the community.
- cory image by Holtea Silviu from Fotolia.com