1. Start with regional fish that live in the same type of water that you have access to. By this I mean water of the same ph and hardness making for easy water changes and acclimation.
2. Keeping species that are easier to feed and dont exclusively require live or frozen foods. I know everyone likes to keep pretty fish like darters and colorful sunfish but darters will not eat pellets or flakes and with sunfish its hit-or-miss; some will eat them and some wont. As you become more experienced then learn to raise your own live foods for these kinds of fish.
3. Keeping predatory fish like bass, pickerels, bowfins etc. may be kool to keep for a while but they need a steady diet of live foods to keep them healthy. They get really big.
4. Catfish, pirate perch, sculpins are nite feeders that will eat anything that fits in their mouth. Creek chubs will do the same any time of the day.
5. Avoid mixing species from different habitats i.e. still waters vs flowing streams. Note the habitat you collected your fish from or research the fish you want to buy b4 you put it in a tank.
6. Trying to get every species of, lets say, darters or maybe sunfish for your tank collection. Many Darters or sunfish come from different habitats and water types and may not thrive in the same tank conditions. Ive been guilty of this myself.
7. Mixing aggressive fish with timid species or fast species with slow species. Certain species will bully other fish in the tank if theres a size difference, or if one species swiftly eats all the food during feedings b4 the others can get to it.
8. Keeping too many fish in the tank or too large of a species that will eventually outgrow your tank and your feed budget, not to mention having to change water more often because of the excess bio-load.
9. Change out no more than 1/4 of the water with clean water every other week to remove ammonia and nitrates. Water plants will absorb some of this, but still change out the water. Do more often if you have large fish or just a lot of fish in the tank. Dont forget to vac the bottom.
10. Quarantine fish caught wild to prevent parasites or diseases spreading to your healthy fish. I learned this the hard way.
11. Avoid the too many fish and the too many tanks syndrome. Who is going to care for your fish while youre on vacation?
Edited by PBK, 27 May 2021 - 07:48 PM.