Like thinking about including any pet in your family, getting a fish requires a certain degree of preparation and awareness; having a living creature rely on you to continue living is no small thing—even if the fish itself is tiny, caring for him or her is a serious responsibility. There are things you need to have in place before you bring your fish home, as well as tasks you’ll be required to perform once the fish is settled in.
Today we’ll look at the basic foundation you need to be aware of before getting a fish as a pet. Of course, every fish species is different and has different requirements for long and healthy life. Be sure to read up on the particular species of fish you’ve bought to learn about any special needs that species has. You can also speak to the party you’re buying the fish from.
Think About Your Time
Yes, as far as pets go, fish are pretty low maintenance. This being said, they’re not “no maintenance.” You will need to provide regular feeding as well as regular cleaning of the fishbowl or tank. You will need to monitor water temperature and pH levels. This can take somewhere around half an hour per day at the minimum.
If you’re expecting someone else in your household to help out with these tasks, be sure to speak to them well in advance of getting the fish. Everyone should be on the same page regarding what is required of them. If there are any disagreements about who will be doing what tasks, iron that out before continuing on.
Do Your Research on Fish Species
There are endless different types of fish in the world, and many of them can be found for purchase as pets. This being said, some fish species require a lot more care than others do. As well, some fish are collected in highly unsustainable ways that damage the ocean. Saltwater fish—tropical fish, in particular, are hard to find from ethical buyers.
Massive damage is done to the ocean as these fish are caught (90% of tropical fish are caught using cyanide, which poisons the ocean and animals within it). Don’t support industries that are ravaging our planet; instead, look for sellers and species that can be purchased with a clean conscience.
Err on the Side of a Larger Tank
Yes, many species of fish can survive in smaller tanks—this doesn’t mean that they thrive there. Fish can get stressed just like any other living creature, and being in a smaller space can be a big part of that. Be sure to read about minimum requirements and do your best to surpass them in order to ensure that you’re giving your future fish all that it needs for a lively environment.
Learn about what elements the fish species you’ve chosen prefers (like types of plants, gravel, and whether or not the fish would like a place to hide like a cave or a hollow ornament). Furthermore, https://www.fishlore.com/ has guides for different kinds of freshwater aquariums, including aquarium setup advice. Once you have all these elements in place, set them up well before purchasing the fish. This way, the water has the time it needs to get the perfect temperature and pH level.
Be Aware of Mixing Species
Of course, in the wild, fish live all mixed together in rivers, lakes, and oceans. This being said, not all species of fish get along with their own kind or with others. If you’re getting more than one fish, do ample research on whether the species will get along with each other. Likewise, check to see whether the type of fish you’re getting is territorial or likes to live in groups. You can find guides online that point out which types of fish get along with each other if you’re having trouble finding some friendly species.
Learn About Signs of Disease
Just like people and other animals, fish can catch diseases that result in pain, suffering, and even death. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of common diseases so you can spot them quickly and intervene before it’s too late.
The above tips should help you get yourself and your tank ready for a pet fish. Again, be sure to read up on the specifics of the fish you’ve chosen before making purchases and setting things up. Some fish need different pH levels, temperatures, or forms of sustenance than others, and you want to be sure you’re giving your new pet everything it needs to thrive.