No prizes for guessing, dogs and cats are arguably the most popular pets across the world. But you know what? Fish take a solid third place on the list of animals people keep at home. Aquatic life is incredibly diverse and beautiful, letting everyone find their favorite species in accordance with personal taste and preferences. An aquarium is a wondrous addition to any home, but only under one condition – the owner should have a good understanding of the specific needs and wants of its colorful dwellers.
Thinking of joining the army of enthusiasts that keep fish as pets? Read on this detailed beginner’s guide on how to become successful fish “parents” and make sure your “babies” are happy and healthy.
Select Fish To Keep
As already mentioned, the world of fish is extremely diverse, tempting newbies with hundreds of vibrant and beautiful species. However, it’s always a good idea to start small and choose the species which is easy to keep and take care of. If you start with too demanding fish, chances are you’ll fail to be a good “parent” due to the lack of knowledge and experience.
So avoid unnecessary disappointments and opt for guppies or another popular freshwater species. You need fish that are unpretentious in terms of food and water conditions and guppies, for example, accept virtually all fish food including vitamin enriched flakes, frozen, freeze-dried, and live foods. More information on their behavior and care is available at FishLore.com, which is a treasure trove of quality advice for both freshwater and saltwater hobbyists. Depending on whether or not you are planning to breed them, make sure you get both males and females or just one sex.
Pick The Right Size Of The Aquarium
It’s safe to say that when it comes to the selection of the aquarium, “the larger, the better” is the only right approach. Wittiness aside, nobody talks about buying a huge wall-mounted wonder for a couple of small fish but nothing can be worse than an overcrowded desktop tank where dwellers simply do not have enough space to live and enough oxygen to breathe. So, when you decide on the type of fish you want to keep, as well as on the number of your colorful pets, pay a visit to a local pet shop or get in touch with them online to figure out the ideal size of your future aquarium. Remember, the larger the tank, the easier the maintenance, therefore stay away from too small options.
Find The Appropriate Location
Despite what you may think, the place where you will keep your aquarium is very important. Needless to say, in the case of a desktop tank, that “desk” has to be strong enough to support a hefty tank filled with water. If you want a wall-mounted aquarium, then let professionals do their job and fix it on the wall. Anyway, make sure that a dedicated electrical outlet is near and easily accessible. There are some no-nos when it comes to the location of any aquarium. First of all, it never should be placed in direct sunlight for a plethora of reasons, one of them is excessive algae growth triggered by the sun. Secondly, never place the aquarium near the source of heat or air conditioner because you then will struggle with keeping the water temperature at a necessary level.
How Much Gravel To Add?
Newly-minted fish parents are often not sure how much gravel they should add. Generally, between 1.5 and 2 pounds of gravel are added for every gallon of water you have in your aquarium. Do not forget to rinse the gravel thoroughly (even if you have bought a pre-washed product) until the water drains absolutely clear. Use a special gravel washer for both cleaning and water changes, it’s easy to find at a dedicated pet shop. Another significant detail – the gravel bed should be arranged in the way it slopes gradually to the front of the aquarium.
Introduce More Fish Gradually
Excited by your first successful experience, you will soon want to add more fish to your vibrant crowd. Be careful with choosing new species because not all fish are compatible with one another. Never add fish that don’t look healthy and active, and keep in mind that the size of your aquarium is designed to accommodate a certain number of inhabitants. If you plan to expand your collection, buy a larger tank.
Taking good care of your pet fish is pretty easy and not time-consuming. You won’t have to spend more than 30 minutes a week to keep the water crystal clear and your fish healthy and happy.