Hi taking the plunge and getting dd some fish, we are completly new to this but wanting a successful hobby. We have read the books and wont be rushing out today, but cant decide between tropical or just a couple of bubble eye goldish, what kind of fish would be easiest for a beginner. We have been to the pet shop and it all seems a bit of a minefield tbh......
TheFallenNinja, that's illegal- fish are protected by the animal welfare act. Bit of a pointless post, really.
I would definitely not recommend goldfish as a first fish unless you are willing to provide them with the space they need. They grow enormous and need super-size tank and filters and they can live for 20 years so not a short-term commitment.
There are coldwater fish that stay small, and also lots of small tropical fish that are easy to care for in the right conditions.
The first steps would be: -Figure out how big of a tank you can fit in. Don't bother with anything less than about 60 litres or any of those fancy-pantsy 'lifestyle' gimmicking tanks. They aren't very good and are massively overpriced. -Find out what your tap water is like. If it's neutral-ish then you've got lots of options but if it's very alkaline or very acid then that will limit choices a bit. -It will take about 6 weeks to set up the tank and get it ready for fish. Don't rush it because introducing fish too early can kill them. -Don't listen to the people in the pet shop without backing it up with your own research. Some shops are really good, some are utter shit and it's hard to tell which is which when you're just starting out.
It's not entirely true that tropical need a lot of maintenance.
We have a nice selection of hardy tropical ones.
Get your tank set up and cycled before you even consider getting your fish. A good filter is essential. Quite a few plants will help as a lot of species like the cover. We have silk ones as plastic don't look too great but I didn't want to muck around with co2 and sand/substrate for them.
Good starter fish are Danios and Barbs.
I have Zebra Danios, Cherry Barbs, 5 banded Barbs, Purple Harlequin Tetras and 2 Tiger Hillstream Loaches. They are all hardy, peaceful shoaling fish apart from the loaches which are bottom feeders.
The main issue?? Get the biggest tank you can afford. You don't want to scrimp on the size.
Seconding tropical esp if space is limited, as one or two goldfish in a tank get a bit boring to look at, but a couple shoals of platies/swordtails and rasboras and a few bottom-dwellers will be happy in that space and way more interesting to watch, I find.