An aquarium can be a very relaxing addition to your house and looking after fish is an interesting and absorbing hobby. But be warned: just because fish are not clamouring for your attention all the time like a dog or cat might be, it doesn’t therefore follow that they are very low-maintenance pets. Whether you’re going for a standard goldfish or something a bit more exotic, all fish require a lot of care in order to remain healthy. If you’re thinking about getting some fish for your house, then it makes sense to learn what this care involves beforehand. This includes aspects such as their housing, food, health checks and cleaning.
The first thing to do, of course, is to decide what kind of fish you are going to go for. This will help to determine things like what size tank you need, what kind of food you need to buy and which kinds of species will be compatible with them. Then comes the most expensive part: buying all the accessories you will require to take proper care of your fish. In addition to the tank itself, you will need a filter, lighting, a heater and something to test the water regularly.
Nowadays you are spoilt for choice when it comes to nifty gadgets to help you keep your fish healthy. You have probably heard that you will need an aquarium heater for many common types of fish that can’t live in very cold waters. But what about the more exotic fish that do need cooler temperatures? There are plenty of solutions for this too. For example, the leading company Teco offers a range of hi-tech aquarium chillers that are designed for more exotic species of fish that thrive better in cooler climes. You will certainly need one of these if your ambient room temperatures are higher than the required water temperature.
To make life easier for yourself (and your fish!) it is also a very good idea to invest in some kind of water monitoring tool. But make sure you choose a reputable brand as not all of them are as accurate as others. Seneye, for example, produce monitoring devices that allow fish keepers to monitor harmful parameters that simply aren’t visible to the human eye. Things like ammonia levels of slightly variations in temperature can act as ‘silent killers’ for your fish if the problems isn’t identified and dealt with in time.
Such devices are not only more accurate, they are also far more convenient. Once they are installed in your tank they can be linked to your mobile device to provide you with regular alerts or updates so you don’t have to be constantly physically checking your aquarium. It’s definitely worth the investment!
There are other accessories you might want to consider, such as magnetic glass cleaners which will help to keep your tank looking its best. You will also need to purchase a filter and some kind of lighting system (remember that fish need to sleep too). Once you have everything you need you can begin to think about setting the tank up. Put it in its chosen place and fill it up with water, adding gravel to the bottom and a water conditioner to remove chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine. A good place to start looking for all your fish tank supplies is a company called Reef Perfect who will also be happy to give you advice plus you can buy online. You can then turn on all the equipment you have bought to ensure it works.
Before adding the fish you should create a pleasant environment for them by introducing a few freshwater plants. These have many benefits for your fish: they will offer shelter, filter the water and can also in some cases serve as food. A word of warning though: make sure the plants are suitable for types of fish you have chosen. Also, as you would with your own garden you should keep an eye on the plant life: cull it if it becomes overgrown and remove any dead or diseased plants.
And now, at last, you can slowly begin to add the fish. It’s best to do this one or two at a time and make sure you have researched the proper acclimatisation methods. Once they’re in, you should aim to change the water in the tank once or twice a week. Ensure you know exactly what to feed them and how much they should be given. Be aware that overfeeding can be dangerous