When buying tropical fish it is not quite the same as buying a tin of baked beans from the supermarket. There’s a lot more to consider here such as the size the fish will get when it is an adult and the size and type of fish you already have in the tank. We can cover this in a future post however for now I want to discuss whether it is best to go for fry or adult fish if you are starting a new tank or project where size of the tank is irrelevant and you have no other fish in the tank already.
Although fish are often considered quite simple creatures, they are far from it. They become familiar with their surroundings, environment, food and feeding routine as well as water type and quality.
lf you are buying an adult fish which is say 5 years old and has been kept by the previous owner in a certain environment and water conditions for these 5 years, is it going to be able to adapt quickly enough to your tank and environment before becoming stressed and weak, thereby contracting a disease? This all comes down to the individual fish and how close your habitat is to the previous owners one. This is quite a risky way to buy tropical fish and would recommend buying fry.
Buying fry is beneficial as you do face these issues, you also get to witness and have the pleasure of growing something from young to adult plus fry are generally a lot cheaper to buy. I’d advise on buying fry to be careful they are not too small, especially if you’ll be travelling some distance with them. When some people state a fish is 2 inches it can often end up being 2 cm so ask for enough pictures of the fish before you travel to be sure you are happy with them being big enough to travel.