Fish may not be cuddly like cats and dogs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make great pets! They’re easy to care for, don’t need much physical space (which is perfect if you live in a small apartment), and make wonderfully clean and quiet roommates. Watching them swim elegantly through the water can also have a calming and de-stressing effect on your state of mind.
Just because fish are low-maintenance, however, doesn’t mean you don’t need to do your research before getting one. Here are some things you should know about taking care of your new aquatic friends to ensure that you can give them the best possible life in your home.
First things first: do not get a fish bowl! These are too small for fish, and also don’t let enough oxygen into the water. An outdoor pond is ideal, but if not, you’ll need a large fish tank so they have plenty of room to swim around (especially if you have lots of fish). You’ll want to put the tank in a location where the temperature remains constant, in other words out of direct sunlight and cold spots. It’s also best to keep it away from TVs, sound systems, and other things that can cause vibrations. Of course you should also keep it out of reach of small children and other pets!
Good water quality is vital for the health of your fish. Using a filter enables waste products to be removed, whilst adding a pump helps to oxygenate the water and keep it moving. These are both very important for preventing illness in your new pets. You can also use a float switch to keep the tank topped up with the right amount of water. Be sure to clean the tank and change the water regularly, too. The temperature and salinity you need to keep the water at will depend on the type of fish you have, so build your aquarium around their specific needs.
No one wants to live in a plain room, and it’s exactly the same for your fish. Spice up their tank with some gravel along the bottom, plus plants and other objects for them to explore. Little caves and tunnels can also give them shelter and privacy when they want it. Then you can enjoy watching them play! Just be careful not to overfill the tank, as your fish will still need plenty of space for swimming.
Make sure you feed your fish a good quality food that’s designed for their specific species, and provides them with all the nutrients that they need. Generally, fish should be fed twice a day, but you should follow the guidelines for your type of fish and the food you’re using.
You can also get automatic feeders to dispense food while you’re out or away on holiday. After feeding time, remove any uneaten food with a net to ensure that the tank stays clean. This could be a sign that you’re overfeeding your aquatic friends!