If you're setting up an aquarium, the biggest decisions that you'll have to make involve choosing the types of fish that you'll keep in the tank. There are so many tropical fish that are colorful and elegant and can help your aquarium environment thrive, but there are also some key things that you should understand before you make your first purchase. Here's a look at some of the things that you need to know.

Test Your Water

Before you shop for any kind of tropical fish, test your water. You'll want to know your tank's pH and water hardness ratings so that you can choose fish that will do well in that environment. Some tropical fish do better in very specific environments, so it's important that you go into the process with an understanding of what you should be looking for.

Make A List Of Your Current Fish

You should always have an updated list of every type of fish that you have in your tank, including any plecos, snails, or other unique additions. This list will be beneficial as you shop for additional fish because some types of fish don't mix well. You should always let the technician know what types you currently have so that he or she can help you choose additional options that will fit into your tank community well.

Know What You're Getting Into

In most cases, the fish you get from your local retailer will be very young fish, so they will still have a lot of growing to do and they may also have unique needs that you'll have to keep up with. Make sure you do your research on any type of tropical fish before you buy so that you can be sure that they won't get too large for the tank or become too demanding for your schedule. Even if it means taking time in the store to do some research, find reliable, trustworthy sources to learn about each type before you commit.

Be Patient

Remember that any fish you buy will need to be acclimated to your tank before you put them in with the rest of the fish. Leave the new fish in the container from the store for a few hours after you bring it home to allow the fish to adapt before you open the bag. Then, you can add the new fish once everyone in the tank has adjusted to the presence and the new fish has settled some. 

These are just a few of the most important things to remember if you're in the market for fish for your new aquarium. Check out a local aquarium tropical fish supplier today for more information.