When it comes to deciding which pet to keep, most of the starters opt for a pet fish under the assumption, it is easier to maintain than the rest. The animal practically lives in water how hard can it be? The good news is, maintaining a pet fish is very manageable and rewarding!
For those looking to keep a fish here are pointers on how to keep your fish comfortable and healthy.
1. Making Sure Your Fish Is Adapting
Fish like most animals have their adaptability to certain environments. The first step will involve a lot of research on the type of fish you are about to purchase. The information should be from a reliable internet source, or the expert at the pet fish store. Some of the vital information needed include the level of water pH suitable for the fish, temperature and the type of food they feed on.
Understanding the type of fish enables a pet owner to know whether the kind of fish can coexist with others or is comfortable alone. More aggressive fish should be kept in their own tanks to prevent fish fights.
2. Do It For More Than Decor
It is a common practice to get fish in an aquarium for decorative purposes rather than just as a pet. A bigger aquarium as an eye-catching piece, or a smaller one to fit in the living the room, is usually a major consideration. Whichever the reasons are, the importance of a spacious room for the fish cannot be emphasized enough. Fish need sufficient space to move around, and enough water for their oxygen needs.
When choosing the container size, consider the fish number and their size at maturation. Don’t estimate the size of your tank when your fish are young, because many can grow and need more room. It is recommended to have several gallons of water for a single fish. This amount of water will cater for the oxygen needs, but do your research to ensure this is adequate.
3. Re-create A Natural Environment
Recreating the natural habitat of the fish is one way of making it happy. Fish can be from salt or fresh water. For a freshwater fish, pebbles are added to the aquarium and some water movement introduced to create the feeling of a river. On the other hand, add sand to saltwater aquariums to mimic the environment of an ocean.
Substrates can be bought or obtained naturally from the environment. Other features such as blocks for hiding will also be necessary. Fish are typically shy and will want some cover when someone is too close to the aquarium. Fish need “me” time too!
4. Keep The Water Conditioned
Knowledge of the fish environment will come in handy when it comes to conditioning the water. Different fish exist at various pH levels. A pH kit is a wise investment for a fish pet owner. It will have tools to measure pH levels, temperature and concentrate levels such as those of chlorine.
Keeping the right pH levels is one way for the fish to fight diseases naturally. TA fish expert will recommend ways of adjusting alkalinity and acidity levels in water. Always take measures to reduce chlorine when tap water is in use. One way is it to leave out the water under the sun for 24hrs. There are also dechlorinating aquariums sold at an extra fee.
5. Keep The Aquarium Clean!
Replace aquarium water at least once a month to keep it clean and clear. It is also a way of controlling the concentrates in the water. Use a gravel vacuum to siphon the water and other unwanted material. If it is not available, transfer the fish to a temporary container and change the aquarium water. Rinse out the substrates to avoid transferring back the salts and other substances. Ensure the water is conditioned once again after the change.
6. Keep The Tank The Right Temperature
Fish are cold-blooded animals, but still require constant temperature to exist. One way of maintaining the temperature in an aquarium is the use of an aqua heater. Adjust the water temperature according to the type of fish. Saltwater fish can withstand higher temperatures compared to freshwater fish.
The point of an aqua heater is to keep the temperature constant which means avoid exposing the aquarium to extreme weather conditions by placing it close to a window or an AC vent. Observe fish movement to know whether the temperature is spread evenly in the water. The fish will tend to crowd on the side with the right temperature.
7. Remove Excess Algae
Keep the fish environment clean by washing the sides of the tank and removing excess algae. Not all fish feed on algae, contrary to popular belief. Such accumulation will deplete oxygen for the fish and create a dirty look on the aquarium. Removing the unwanted aquatic plants will also control the fluctuating pH levels. You can buy a long brush and an algae magnet for proper aquarium cleaning.
8. Introducing New Fish To The Aquarium
It is important to keep the fish healthy from the onset. Once you introduce the fish to the conditioned aquarium water, they should be floated for 30 minutes while still in the delivery bag to adapt to the new temperature. After, release them into the aquarium. Immediate immersion into the aquarium may cause temperature shock especially when the two environments are completely different.
9. Change Water In Sections
A month may seem too long a wait to change the water if it keeps getting murky. To avoid such a situation, change about 25% of the water every week. Begin by removing the water up to the required mark. Adding the entire amount at once will significantly affect the temperature. Use a container to add little amounts gradually as you give it time to go back to the optimum temperature. Always dechlorinate the new water before adding it to avoid poisoning the fish and altering the pH levels.
10. Always Check The Water Filter
Keep checking the water filter to ensure it is still working, and that no filtrate is blocking the filter. It should be big enough or proportionate to the number of fish. Once you buy a filter for the first fish, keep the number constant to maintain the system efficiency.