Our pets can bring a little bit of pleasure to our rather complicated lives, but unfortunately, you may not have the time to take care of a dog or cat, so you need to look for something more exotic, and one option for you may be to purchase freshwater or saltwater fishes. But why should you have a pet fish?
Because fish require only minimal maintenance and can be the focal point of any room in which they are displayed. But to have fish as pets, you need to know some basics about the fish food you need to buy, what kind of accessories are indispensable for your fish tank, and last, but not least, you have to decide if keeping a fish as a pet is a responsibility you are prepared to take on. In the following article, we will try to analyze your fish ownership questions and hopefully provide the answers you are looking for.
What to Inspect Before Buying Your Fish Tank
Fish are the third most popular type of pet kept in our homes, after dogs and cats, but there are a few things you need to know before looking for your next fishy friend. The aquarium you wish to purchase must be large enough for the fish you want to acquire. In general, especially if you are a beginner, it is best to buy a slightly larger aquarium because changes in pH or water oxygenation in a smaller aquarium can quickly go unnoticed, which can be problematic. You also need to decide on the type of fish you want to keep as pets, which can be freshwater or saltwater fish.
Freshwater fish are generally considered easier to maintain than saltwater fish, but the latter are more colorful and eye-catching. Ultimately, it is up to you which option you want and how comfortable you feel caring for fish that are not necessarily considered suitable for beginners. But remember that you can never mix the two types of fish.
It is essential to do your homework before buying your next pet because two species may need opposite conditions, even though they are both freshwater or saltwater fish. Tropical fish, for example, cannot adapt to the lower water temperatures required by some Goldfish species. In addition, the same Goldfish, perhaps the most famous species of fish that can be kept in an aquarium, is considered a rather dirty pet that can increase the ammonia level of the water quite a lot if you do not use a filter. And an increased ammonia level can be fatal to the other fish tank inhabitants.
What Else Should I Know Before I Buy a Fish Tank?
First, you need to know the size of the fish when reaching maturity. There are over 35,000 different species of fish, and the differences between them can be truly enormous. Goldfish, for example, look small when you see them in the windows of your local pet shop but fed properly and allowed to mature can grow to a size where they need a much larger aquarium than you would initially expect. You will also need to acclimatize your fish to the water temperature. The problem is that sudden temperature changes can prove fatal for your fishy friends, so it would be a good idea to immerse them and the bag from the pet shop directly into the aquarium for a few minutes so that the temperature equalizes and they don’t experience a heat shock.
The aquarium size is also essential, and in general, you should aim for one that can hold more than ten gallons of water or even more if you want to keep fish that tend to grow significantly, such as goldfish. Plus, as far as accessories are concerned, any aquarium must have a filter, which can come in many types and sizes.
The Importance of Filters and Tank Accessories
The most popular filters are the undergravel type which do not affect the aesthetic image of the aquarium. However, if we are talking about efficiency, the best types of filters are the HOB ones. Why do you need a filter? Because the water in which you keep your fish is prone to changes in pH and composition, and over time this can lead to algae growth and the death of your pets. With a good filter and carefully selected chemicals, the water you keep them in can be held at optimum quality.
You can also invest in an air pump to oxygenate the water if you feel this is necessary, a light source if you want to add aquatic plants to the aquarium, and a heater if you’re going to have tropical fish that need a higher water temperature. Remember the de-chlorinator if you want to use tap water to fill your aquarium, and the obligatory nitrogen cycle in which beneficial bacteria are created, which is mandatory for the health of your fish. You should only add your fish to the aquarium after this process is complete.
The Importance of Proper Fish Food
Like all living creatures, fish need a balanced diet to be healthy, but not all fish food is created equal. First, you should read the ingredient list and avoid foods with too many carbohydrates. Fish need protein first and foremost, and proper fish food should have at least 40% of it. Also, try to avoid fish foods that contain too many phosphates, as these can lead to algae growth, and instead opt for those that list probiotics and vitamins, which are essential for the proper development of young fish.
Also, not all fish species eat the same thing. Like other vertebrates, fish can be omnivores, carnivores, or herbivores. Most species of fish in pet shops are omnivorous, but some well-known species do not fall into this category and need special attention. For example, fish of the genus Plecostomus are herbivores, while Bettas, among the most popular fish kept in aquariums, are carnivores. Like when choosing a fish tank, the selection of available fish food is vast, and you must do your homework to ensure that your fish get the food and space they need.