Information for the New Pet Fish Owner

Information for the New Pet Fish Owner

By Larry Swanson

Fish Ownership

Most of us are familiar with the joy and excitement a pet can bring to our lives. Be it a dog or a spider, a parrot or a rodent, a pet is a friend that is always a pleasure to have. Like many others, fish ownership is also a matchless experience. It is a joy to watch a beautiful aquarium with fish swimming around, and getting a glimpse of the life of these beautiful creatures.

Owning and caring for the fish can be a challenging experience, especially at the start. As much pleasure as an aquarium with live fish can bring you, it needs a lot of vigilance and attention to get to that point where you as well as your pet are happy and well settled.

Before getting the fish home, there are a few things that you should keep in mind as they will be crucial in the success of your venture

The first and foremost is to buy the fish a nice home. The style of the aquarium depends on your personal preference; just make sure that the aquarium has a good solid and stable stand. Place the aquarium so that you will have easy access while cleaning the tank. Avoid direct sunlight and the proximity of the air conditioning vents. Next you will need proper filtration and aeration mechanisms setup. Match the capacity of the filters with the estimated number of fish you will have in your aquarium.

Before the inhabitants arrive the conditions should be as close to optimum as possible. Make sure you de-chlorinate the water, if it is chlorinated for human use. That can be achieved by aeration of the water, passing it through active carbon or by adding some Sodium thiosulfate to the water. It’s important to have a fully functioning tank set up at least 24 hours before the inhabitants arrive to let conditions settle a bit.

The next and probably the most important question regarding fish ownership, without a doubt, is which fish do you go for??

There are two main categories, fresh water and salt water fish. Generally the idea is that owning a salt water fish is trickier than going for a fresh water fish; reason being that the survival of the fish in an aquarium depends a great deal on the kind of conditions that they are kept in and it’s a bit more difficult to imitate the ocean than the river. Secondly, they are more expensive than the fresh water variety which increases the degree of risk for your initial investment. Once you get the hang of it then you might want to venture in to saltier waters.

Unless the whole exercise is about getting specific specie of marine life, going for a fresh water fish would probably be a better idea for starters. When you go to the pet shop to find yourself your perfect little ‘nemo’ keep a few things in mind:

– Buying a lot of fish in one go, especially when you are introducing the fish to your aquarium, should be avoided. The more the fish the harder it will be to keep the conditions optimum. Keeping all the different levels, like pH and ammonia, under control might become a challenge. This, in turn, might add to the risk to getting early floaters in your tank.

– Make sure that the fish you choose has been in the shop for at least a few days. Buying a fish that is already under stress after being transported to the shop will give you a much stressed fish on your hands.

– It very important to try and keep the stress level low when you take the fish home from the shop. Ask for a bigger bag for transportation and make sure that the whole ordeal is over for your new little buddy as soon as possible. A stressed fish normally stays close to the surface, doesn’t eat well or keeps hidden under some cover. Stress can also be due to some injury or aggression from other fish, lack of oxygen in the tank or less than optimum conditions or some sickness.

– Select the type of fish very carefully. Even though gold fish is considered to be the easiest fresh water fish to work with, there are a lot of other options open. It’s worth noting that not all fish get along. Some fish like to hang around with their own kind, while others are happier with the other species and tend to get aggressive towards their own. Asking a few questions before buying about who gets along with whom can save you a lot of trouble latter.

For more valuable tips on keeping fish, visit Fish Ownership

Larry Swanson is webmaster of several sites including

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