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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking lately about the finer points of selecting fish to match an aquascape. The basics (odd numbers, appropriate size for the tank) are fine and dandy, but there's something more I can't quite put my finger on.

To me, certain fish just look better in certain types of scapes. For example I've always preferred cardinal tetras in tanks with darker tone (black background, vivid greens), while green neon tetras seem to look better in tanks with a 'lighter' tone (blue/white background, maybe a lighter substrate). It's a two way street - certain fish complement certain aquascape aesthetics, and in turn these broader aesthetics show the fish to their full potential (for example I think cardinals look a bit washed out in 'lighter' scapes).

However I have trouble qualifying this - oftentimes with fish I've never kept myself it's hard to think of what kind of scape aesthetic they would match best. Anyone out there have any more concrete aesthetic principles or thoughts underlying these finer points of aquascape fish selection?
 

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Not sure if I know what you mean, but perhaps it has to do with contrast. Cardinal tetras have large streaks of red, which brighten in dark settings, allowing for higher contrast in "dark" tanks. Green tetras, on the other hand, don't have any red, and are simple silver and blue-which stand out in lighter tanks.

Perhaps bright colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, work well in dark color tanks?
Maybe dark colors, like green, blue, and purple, might do well in lighter tanks?

Fish have a way to regulate coloration, so putting fish in very bright tanks causes them to lighten their colors, while darker tanks allow them to increase pigmentation. Almost chameleonic but not to the extent of octopodes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually that captures my thoughts quite well. I think a lot of it does have to do with contrast. That being said within general color categories there can be a lot of variation. I guess this is one of those things where experience with how fish present in various tanks gives you a sort of intuition.
 
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