Getting a pet is a big deal for a family and it can be the first real way to teach your children responsibility. Owning a pet is not simple and it requires a lot of work to make sure that it is healthy and cared for. One of the most important parts of owning any pet is making sure they have a clean and comfortable environment to live in.
Fish as pets aren’t as demanding on the care as pets like dogs or cats, but you still need plenty of responsibility to keep them alive and well. Teaching kids how to care for them can help act as a bridge for when they need to start looking after a bigger pet or just help them learn the duty of being a good owner. Here are some things to teach your kids about caring for fish and their aquarium.
Lead By Example
The first step is to always be the type of person they can look to for guidance or advice. You wouldn’t expect them to know how to change out a filter, clean a heater, or how to clean the inside of the glass right away and on their own, so it’s best to lead by example. As a parent, this is one of your greatest skills and showing them how to do things properly first-hand is a good way to make sure that they are seeing how to care for the fish and take care of the aquarium. Doing is teaching, so be a good example for them of what a pet owner should look like.
Provide Them Learning Resources
Another addition to that is to help them figure out what their fish need from expert sources. You might know some basics about the aquarium and fish care, but you don’t need to pretend you’re a professional on the matter, so it’s time you find good sources of information that you can rely on to teach them. If you look at the expert info at Aquaticly, you can see how much there is to learn about fish. Anything from feeding needs, to regulating their environment, there is plenty of stuff you can brush up on before you get a fish so that you know what will help your kid. This is important if you have a variety of fish all with different needs.
Understanding the Fish’s Needs
Each fish is going to be different in its care needs. A goldfish is a pretty basic example of a fish that doesn’t need much but you have to learn what kinds of food it needs. They like pellets, algae, aquarium plants, and bloodworms, among other food sources, so it’s good to know how each fish can change in terms of their needs. Your child needs to know that they can’t just take a one size fits all approach with fish as they vary a lot. Similarly, some fish need mates so they don’t get lonely as well. It’s also valuable information to remember that many fish will start to grow to fit their environment, so showing your kids how to account for this will make them better pet owners.
Keeping a Routine Care Schedule
You want to compound in them a sense of responsibility for pet care. Even though a fish is a solitary animal that can’t leave its aquarium, it doesn’t mean it is self-sufficient. To combat this problem with kids shirking their duties is to create a routine schedule. Write it on a board or create some kind of journal or agenda that has alternating tasks and make sure that they document their progress. This is a good way to instill a system that tracks what needs to be done so they don’t forget.
Mentioned previously is the need for a good environment for the fish. This means cleaning it regularly, but you also want to make sure that the fish aren’t floating around in a barren tank. The best way to make the tank look better and be better for the fish is by helping your kids pick out aquarium decorations. These decorations help create a better environment and it simulates a more natural feeling for them so they have a better quality of life.
Even though fish aren’t exactly the hardest pet to care for, you still want your kids to understand that owning a living creature as a pet, no matter how small, means they need to be responsible. With a little help, you can show them how to take care of fish and be good pet owners.