Around the world, people are embracing the joy of owning fish as pets. So much so, that the ornamental fish market is currently worth $6800 million and still growing.
Fish are ideal for apartment living. You don’t need to take them for walks, they’re quiet, and they don’t need a lot of space. They still need care though.
If you’re considering welcoming one or more of these creatures into your home, here’s what you need to know about caring for fish.
Whether you’re caring for glass bloodfin tetra, dwarf gourami, or any other type of fish you want to keep as a pet, it’s important to provide them with as natural a home as possible. With an aquarium, you can do this by introducing elements that mimic their aquatic environment.
Choosing an Aquarium
The bigger tank you can afford, the better. Fish need room to grow and swim around. It’s also easier to keep the pH and temperature at an optimum with a bigger aquarium.
If you’re working on a budget, figure out which is the biggest size you can afford to buy and maintain. Then choose a species of fish that thrives in that size tank.
Know Your Fish
Each fish species has its own optimum conditions for survival, so make sure you know everything about them before you bring them home.
Buy the correct food and figure out how much to feed them, buy a water heater to keep their environment comfortable, and know about the optimum pH for your species.
Anything you add or take away from the tank affects the water’s pH levels, so check it regularly and add chemicals as needed. Water that’s too alkaline or too acidic will kill your fish.
You must ensure your tank’s nitrite levels stay at zero or your fish will die. Filters containing Nitrosomonas bacteria remove nitrites from the water. These bacteria transform nitrites into nitrates which aren’t harmful in small quantities.
Keep your aquarium’s nitrate levels at 20 ppm, or lower, by changing one-fourth of your tank’s water every week.
Caring for Fish Naturally
No matter what type of creature you keep as a pet, it’s important to provide them with as natural a home as possible. With an aquarium, you can do this by introducing elements that mimic their aquatic environment.
These include things like rocks, plants, and phytoplankton, which doubles as a food source.
Plant help balance the nitrates in the water and are a good hiding place for fish.
Cleaning Your Tank
Clean water’s more than an aesthetic consideration, it’s imperative for your fishes’ survival. Make sure you’re familiar with the correct cleaning methods for your tank.
Filters, automated cleaners, and snails help keep your tank clean, but you must change the water and the filters regularly. Clean any decorations and the tanks substrate at the same time.
Never use anything in your tank that isn’t approved for use with the type of fish that live in it. Fish extract oxygen from the water around them, so everyday commercial cleaners could kill them. Always buy your fish care products from a reputable pet store.
Fish Add Color and Interest to Your Home
Fish are easy-going, undemanding pets and add a decorative touch to your home too. They may not communicate much, play games, or cuddle up on the couch with you, but caring for fish helps keep you busy and engaged.
In this way, all pets are a great way to banish loneliness and stress. If you’d like to find out more about the ways pets can enhance our lives, browse some more of our articles.