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    What you need to prepare for new fish

    Articlepet advice guidesFriday 22 March 2013
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    First of all you must decide what sort of fish you are searching for. Do you want tropical fish or cold water fish? Cold water fish are by far easier to look after and perfect for any beginners as early mistakes will be less harmful. Coldwater fish include types such as goldfish and minnow.
     
    It may be best to start off with cheaper fish regardless of your budget. They are cheap because they breed naturally and there is abundance. They are also less likely to die and will be much easier to look after. Expensive fish are pricey due to then being rare and hard to get ahold of. 
     
    Make sure you are prepared. This includes a relevant sized tank for the sort of fish you would like to look after. You will also need the funds and time to feed and care for your fish and also the correct equipment such as heaters, water conditioners, and filters depending on the fish you wish to look after. Certain fish require tanks with certain features so you are able to replicate the environment of their oceanic habitat.
     
    It is also probably not a good idea to start off with salt water fish. Using salt water poses many challenges and potential disasters. You may need a special non-corrosive tank and any leaks would be disastrous due to the properties of the water. Where possible stick to fresh water fish especially if you are a beginner.
    Try to decide how many fish you want and what sort of fish. A fish on it’s own may be lonely and may want to engage in some sort of activity with others. You also don’t want to get a fish that is a predator to another fish down the food chain. 
     
    Make sure you have the time and financial stability to look after your fish. Remember that they will need feeding regularly and also tanks will need cleaning to provide a stable environment. Different types of fish often require different food. Some fish on the other hand can survive on flakes from an automatic feeder and may not require so much time and maintenance. Take a note of your own financial budget and how much free time you have when investing in new fish.
     
    You should also look to find an appropriate sized tank for your fish you intend to keep. WikiHow gives a good guide on the size of fish, the type of fish and the amount of space required. It also matters if your fish is an active and fast swimmer compared to those who do not swim often. The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water for a fish that is one inch in size. Here is also a rather good video talking more in detail about this: 
     
    Next will come the maintenance. Fish will not be able to survive on their own. It is advised that you take things slowly by adding one fish at a time and not starting off with, for example, ten fish in the tank at once. With too many fish added at the same time this can overload the filtration system. Have patience, take care and go slowly. See how many fish you can realistically handle. You will also need to regularly feed your fish. Some fish will require different diets to others. Some will need feeding daily and others can be fed on an automatic feeder that will need changingYou will also need to change the water regularly. This can be done all at once however it is recommended to change it partially taking particular care of the waste that has been built up. Removing around 20-30% is a recommended amount. Replace the waste water with conditioned water.
     
    Also it may be of note to carefully monitor your fish like you would any other pet. Monitor their colours, their fins and tail and keep watch. If something is wrong then it is likely to be the environment of the tank. Also try your best not to interfere with your fish such as touching them or putting your hands in the tank.
     
    Photo: Hans

     

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