You’ll agree with us when we say that fish-keeping is one of the most rewarding hobbies that you can pick up.
We’ve spent months compiling this list of tips to help make your fish-keeping experience more enjoyable.
By the end of today’s post, we hope to help you care for your fish in ways that you didn’t think were possible.
Here are some amazing tips to help you keep your little fish pets happy:
1. Keep an Eye out for Overcrowding
When buying your aquarium, make sure to get the size that will accommodate your fish once they have fully grown, not the size that is appropriate for them currently. If you get your aquarium according to your fish’s current size, you might regret it once they grow as your tank might become overcrowded.
Overcrowding can lead to low oxygen levels and a high amount of fish waste in the water. This will lead to breathing problems in your fish and make them more susceptible to disease and stress. You should always check and make sure that your fish have adequate room to swim around.
2. Pay Attention to the Sides of your Fish Tank
It’s good to have greens in your aquarium but not everything green is necessarily beneficial. Check the sides of your aquarium regularly for algae buildup and if you do happen to find it festering, be sure that it is removed.
Algae can cause a myriad of problems in both your fish as well as your aquarium plants. They cloud up the aquarium glass, give your water a murky/cloudy look and deplete oxygen in the water.
Check your local pet store for tools for removing algae such as scrubs, brushes, algae magnets, etc.
3. Stock up on Fish slowly
This is a good idea for two reasons:
The first reason is because you need to “cycle” your fish tank when you first get it. Cycling refers to producing beneficial bacteria in the aquarium that will ultimately help kill dangerous toxins present in your tank. This is first done by adding a few fish and letting them live in the tank for a few weeks or months. During this cycle, the nitrate cycle will balance itself out and you will be left with an environment that is free of dangerous toxins. In contrast, if you add too many fish at once, the beneficial bacteria will not be able to multiply in time and thus, your fish will be poisoned by the dangerous toxins.
4. The Bigger the Tank, the Better
This is very important and something that we want to stress very much. You should get the largest tank that you can. It doesn’t matter how many or what type of fish you’re getting. We recommend that you get the largest possible tank that your budget and the space in your home allows.
The reason for this is because even if your fish get a bigger tank than they need, they will thank you for all the extra space they have for swimming around. Their quality of life will be much higher and they will be happier. Also, if you have plans to expand and add more fish in the future, you won’t have to invest in a bigger tank as you’ll already have room.
5. If you’re a Beginner, start with easy-to-maintain Fish
If you are inexperienced in fish-keeping and this is your first rodeo, we highly recommend that you get hardy fish and avoid any kind of fish that are delicate or aggressive in nature.
You might want to start with Goldfish, Platies or Danios. They can withstand water temperatures that are too cold or too hot and they will also eat almost any kind of fish food that you give them without getting sick.
6. Invest in a Light Timer
A light timer is a simple piece of equipment that will save you from a lot of headaches. Fish and aquarium plants require a very specific amount of light each day.
If you rely on yourself to manually switch the lighting on and off each day, you might forget or in some circumstances, you might not be able to get to your aquarium for whatever reason on a given day. If this happens, it can result in a number of consequences such as an algae breakout, debilitating plants and stressed-out fish.
7. Test Your Aquarium Water Regularly
While most equipment you get will constantly maintain water conditions for you, you have to keep in mind that your fish are producing waste that will eventually cause your water conditions to deteriorate.
Thus, it’s important that you test your water regularly for any changes in pH, temperature, ammonia levels and oxygen levels and adjust/change your water accordingly.
8. Isolate Fish That May Be Ill
It’s not uncommon for fish in aquariums to fall ill. Normally they can be cured by a simple solution such as a change in their diet or water conditions.
However, some diseases such as white spots are contagious and it’s important that if you do spot a fish that’s sick, you put it in a separate rehabilitation tank where you can treat it with special conditions and nurse it back to health. This will ensure it doesn’t infect or harm the rest of your fish in your main aquarium.
9. Cycle your Tank before Adding your Fish
We discussed above how you should add only a few fish to “cycle” your aquarium first. What we didn’t mention was that even before you add this first batch of fish, it’s advisable that you perform a cycle in your fish tank without any fish at all. This normally takes about 1-2 weeks and can be very beneficial for the health of your fish.
10. Research Your Fish Before Buying Them
It’s important to research the fish you’re getting before buying them in order to make sure that you have all the equipment and resources available for their care.
We have heard too many times about fish-keepers who buy tropical fish without investing in a fish tank heater.
We strongly recommend that you look up the needs of the fish you’re getting and have all the equipment in order before you finally go out and get the fish.
11. Acclimatize Your Fish
It’s very important that when you bring a new fish home, you acclimatize it. This means that you should never just pour the fish straight into your aquarium. This will shock the fish and can result in stress that might make it refuse to eat and starve itself.
You can acclimatize the fish by floating the bag it came in in your aquarium. Then slowly start adding the water from your aquarium little by little into the bag. This will help the fish get acquainted with the water in your aquarium in a peaceful and calming way.
Finally, open the bag up completely into your aquarium and let your fish swim into its new home.
12. Join a Fish Club
Learning from people who are more experienced than you is something that can be very beneficial in any hobby or craft. We recommend you look up fish clubs in your area and join as many as you can. These can be very beneficial if you’re having troubles in fish-keeping or you could even impart any knowledge you have to others. You’ll definitely find it to be a very rewarding experience.
13. Choose Function over Aesthetic
There are tons of aquariums out there that come in different shapes and sizes. Aquariums in the shapes of bowls, cones, spirals and God-knows-what. We strongly recommend that you stay away from these novelties. A good, solid rectangular fish tank is perfect for your fish’s needs.
Stay away from novel items. They may look pleasing to the eye but they might hinder the growth and happiness of your fish.
Fish-keeping is rising in popularity as a hobby at an exponential rate. This makes us happy but at the same time, it’s important that new fish-keepers strive to stay informed as to what they can do in order to keep their fish healthy and happy.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and you will apply them in your daily lives.
Let us know in the comments any great tips you have when it comes to taking care of fish.