A lot of people assume that fish are much easier to look after than dogs and cats, but they have unique requirements that you should fulfil as a responsible pet owner to prevent them from dying. They are fragile and can easily get affected by temperature changes and the condition of the water. Freshwater fish and saltwater fish also have different needs, but if you’re a beginner, it’s much easier to look after the former.
The tank size should be relative to the size and number of fish. Fill a tank with 20 to 50 gallons of freshwater and place gravel with a depth of 2.5 cm. The tank should come with a canopy and other equipment which are usually sold as sets in pet shops. This should include water filter and filter media, water heater and thermometer, water conditioning fluid, cycling fluid, and rocks and other tank ornaments. Lastly, make sure that the fish are not overcrowded, because that will affect the quality of the water.
Fish can die easily from frequent water changes or from failure to maintain the right water condition. To determine if the water is safe for your fish, you should check its temperature, pH level, and other properties needed to support life. Tap water alone is insufficient, that is why you need to use a biological supplement and a dechlorinating supplement to make it an ideal home for the fish.
Ask the pet shop about the needed requirements for pH level, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are for each species. There are test kits for water conditions that you can use at home. Freshwater fish should live in water with a pH level between 6.6 to 7.8, while the temperature should be between 72° to 82° F.
Food and Exercise
Ask the pet shop about the type of food you should feed your fish and how often it needs to be fed. Feed them only the amount of food they can consume within 5 minutes, because any excess will just leave the aquarium dirty. Omnivores will eat both meat and plants as well as flake food. Carnivores on the other hand should be given worms and brine shrimp. Herbivores can be fed flake food, algae wafers, spinach, lettuce, green peas, and zucchini.
Cleaning Before cleaning the tank, the fish should be netted and placed in a bucket made for fish and with conditioned water. Aquarium water needs to be replaced at least once a month, but you only need to change 25% each time. This will allow the water to maintain ideal conditions for the fish and prevent build-up of debris and algae. If the water seems dirty, you might need to clean 10% of the water weekly. Occasionally, you must clean the sides of the tank to prevent algae from taking over, because it can lessen the quality of the water and deplete the oxygen supply.