I was never much of a fish fan as a child because as the common saying goes, “fish don’t do anything.” Still, I’ve always enjoyed fish-watching because it’s so relaxing.
Often times people allow their children to get fish because they are seen as low maintenance pets. But just because they seem like simple animals, it doesn’t mean that you should do your research. Here are some tips for first-time fish owners:
1. Don’t over feed your fish. Feed them in small quantities and make sure they eat all of it before you add more food.
2. Buy a tank that is at least 20 gallons. Larger tanks are more stable in terms of temperature and water chemistry. This is idea for beginners.
3. Test the water weekly for pH and ammonia levels. Also, change about 1\4 of your water once or twice a month by siphoning from the bottom.
4. Put your tank in a quiet area of the house. Too much noise can frighten your fish.
5. Replace the UV bulbs every six months because they are less effective after this time
6. Add aquarium salt to your tank as this helps promote a healthy tank and prevents ich. (Ich is a disease that develops if the temperature drops too low)
7. Quarantine new fish before you add them to your tank. Doing this for at least 2 weeks will allow you to see if the fish has any diseases that may spread.
8. Before you buy any fish, research what fish go well together. Don’t trust the people at the pet store because they may not know.
9.Buy a good thermometer. When changing water the closer the temperature of the new water matches the existing aquarium water the less stress the fish are subjected to.
10.Realize that fish don’t take care of themselves. If you chose to have fish in your home then accept that you will be responsible for properly caring for them.
Supplies you will need:
• An aquarium of at least 20 gallons
• An air pump
• A hood
• Plants, Gravel and Decorations
• Chemical additive that removes chlorine from water
• Fish food