The key to most aquariums is the fish in them so it is always important to get the right fish for you and your requirements. We have all seen pictures online of the most amazing and beautiful looking fish however where on earth do you start in finding the perfect fish to suit you.
We wont go in to the right types of set up for the fish as these are covered in the individual tropical fish profiles however I wanted to touch on what the options are of buying tropical fish and our experiences with each.
Here are what we consider the main options for buying fish are and what to look out for in each area:
LFS or Local Fish Store/Local Fish Shop (depending on your location in the world!)
Buying from a shop is by far the safest and easiest way to physically purchase the ideal fish for you. This is because you can physically see the fish you are buying, what its colouration is and you know it has most likely come from a reputable source and the shop will have a licence to trade and sell fish so it would be regularly inspected.
As you can see from our LFS review section, we have visited many a local fish shop up and down the UK and although prices generally vary a bit depending on the store you are sure to bring home healthy fish. Personally I have only got home once and found one bag of fish to all be dead, this was a freak occurrence and all other fish in that trip survived and are still in my tank today. I called the store in question and they offered a full store credit which I went and spent the next day.
Private Seller Adverts
As fish will often breed within the home aquarium it is not uncommon for people to privately sell their fry or maybe they just want a change and want to sell on their fish. So many people I speak to in this hobby have itchy feet and after having a fish for anything from a month to a few years will fancy a change around and so will want to sell their current fish stock.
Some of the best fish can be bought from private sellers however this does open the door to being deceived and spun a few white lies. It is quite common for people to advertise a group of fish as a breeding group – have they actually bred though, does the seller have proof of this and pictures of the fry the group has produced?
I do not want to paint a bad picture of private sellers as I am one myself as I am sure many people who read this will be too. You just need to have your wits about you and be sure to ask the right questions when considering buying from a private seller, we have put together a guide to buying tropical fish online to help you with this process.
Also covered in this guide to buying tropical fish online we mentioned above is buying from an online fish store, we have reviewed a few of the better known UK online fish stores to help you make a decision about them.
This is a traditional way of buying tropical fish which has been around for many years, it is as it sounds and fish groups and associations will get together regularly and have auctions where you can bring along fish and sell to the highest bidder. As with any form of auction, you could end up with getting yourself an absolute bargain and it’s always nice to be able to meet the seller in person and discuss the fish with them