It’s an amazing fact that fishkeeping can be good for you. Scientists say it can slow down your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure. Needless to say, this will only apply if you are successful with your fishkeeping and know what you are doing.
Without sufficient research, you could end up with lonely or poor fish, or a host of other issues. If you are newly stepping out into this hobby or are keen to learn more, this article will provide you with some helpful hints and tips.
Purchase The Right Equipment
It’s important to buy gravel (substrate) if you want to have live plants rather than plastic ones. Also, buy some lights, and a filter that will be able to cope with the waste your fish will generate. If the tank will be in excess of 60cm you should obtain an external filter to do the job.
Besides speaking to specialists and pet shop owners, it can be beneficial going online. If you’re thinking about RODI units, for example, there are review sites that can give you the pros and cons of the different products. They can help you buy and install one, and advise on getting the water pressure right.
Don’t Overfeed Your Fish
It will be harmful if you feed your fish too much. The uneaten matter will break down and create toxic pollutants that poison the water. This can encourage the growth of algae and disease, and make the tank look horrible.
Don’t feed your fish simply because they seem to be looking for food. Some will eat at the bottom of the tank and others will consume algae. The rest will eat all they need within sixty seconds. You can introduce a pinch of food into a new tank once a day, making it a ‘little and often’ event later on. Longer-term it’s good to have a day each week where nothing is provided.
Have A ‘Little And Often’ Maintenance Policy
If you get this right, your fishes’ health will benefit. Doing a complete clean is a major task that can inadvertently dispose of good bacteria and reduce the water quality.
The best course of action is to focus on weekly tasks such as partial water replacement or sorting the filter. You should also wipe away the algae and remove any debris. It’s good to clean the front of the glass so you can enjoy the view, and to top up the water that has evaporated.
Buy A Quality Water Filter
This will keep the aquarium cleaner for longer. Don’t place your media or filter under the tap because the water will contain harmful chemicals (for the fish) such as chlorine.
The correct procedure is to use some of the aquarium water for cleaning purposes and then throw it away.
Stock The Tank Slowly
This is because it takes time for the right environment to be created. Let the good bacteria develop and don’t overload the water with waste by adding too many fish.
You should introduce a small number at a time, waiting for them to be established before buying more. This way their health will be protected rather than poisoned, and you won’t have any untimely deaths.
Don’t Keep Too Many Fish
Many people keep Bettas if they have a limited budget and tank size. If you buy a large tank, remember that the more fish you have, the more waste you’ll get. You should aim for a healthy ratio between water volume and fish numbers, for instance approximately 40 liters per adult.
Having said that, fishes vary in size and powerful filters are more able to remove waste than the cheaper ones. If you get the balance right, the fishes will have sufficient oxygen and they’ll be less prone to disease.
Consider Their Temperaments
You may be aware that some dogs make better family pets than others. Some don’t need as much exercise, and others may experience separation anxiety. If you are buying fish you need to think about their temperaments, too.
Some species aren’t very sociable, so they will need their own space or level in the tank. Others may prefer to live in shoals or to have somewhere to hide. It’s important that your fish don’t become lonely or get bullied by a more aggressive species.
Regularly Test The Water
As we’ve already seen, water quality is paramount for the fishes’ health. Whilst you need to test it regularly it’s not a complicated task, and you only need to completely replace the water if advised to.
The money you spend on this should be seen as an investment in the future of your fish. You’ll need to do some research, because different species require different water compositions, from soft and acidic to mineral-rich and hard. Many of the fish you get in local pet stores require the same pH levels (7-7.5) but you should always check.
Connect To A Good Local Shop
Whilst you can learn lots online there is nothing better than talking to a specialist. The pet shop owner will be able to advise you how they have been looking after your potential purchase. In return for their free advice, you may be giving them valuable custom both now and in the future.
Let the specialist tell you the best food and equipment to buy, and make sure the fish are healthy so any existing stock doesn’t catch anything.
Join A Fish Keepers’ Club
Why not join a Facebook group with people who share your interests? It can be a great free way to connect with people and to share hints and tips. If there’s a club in your area, you’ll have the chance to make new friends and speak with those who have more experience. Visit Aquariadise for some fun facts about fishes and learn more about the ocean.
We have now discovered there’s a lot involved in buying and keeping fish. Having said that, it can be a lasting joy to watch your stock and to progressively increase the numbers. You can learn new things and make friends in the process.