Keeping tropical fish has grown in popularity in recent years and as pets, tropical fish are rewarding to own, but it is also a big responsibility. Tropical fish are not simple creatures to look after, in fact they have specific needs and they require attentive and routine care if they are to remain fabulous fish.
Tropical fish are not as easy to care for as goldfish, so much so there are a number of things you need to consider so that you have the right conditions to give your new perfect pet a healthy and happy home.
Do Your Homework First
From clownfish and blue tangs like Nemo of the much-loved family movie, to colourful mollies and fancy guppies, there are so many tropical fish to choose from. Do your homework and make sure that your fishy friend is the right pet for you and your family – visit a seller and ask questions.
Setting Up A Fish Tank
Once you have decided on your new family member you will need to buy equipment and set it up correctly. Follow timings you are given by professionals, tanks need time to be set up so that your fish stays healthy and happy – be sure to wash your tank to make sure there are no nasty chemicals lurking.
You will need to add substrate which is the material used on the bottom of the tank and it can affect the water’s chemistry, filtration and ultimately your fish’s health and wellbeing. You can also add some plants and rocks to make the tank homelier, but, be sure you follow the required in-depth guidelines.
Keeping The Water Fit & Well
The following steps are a general rule, but, always check with a professional, fill your tank halfway with water and add your heater and filter before filling your tank. Let the tank rest for at least ten minutes before adding a conditioner, leave to settle for 15 minutes before adding a special bacteria supplement.
Depending on your fish, you may need to cycle your tank and add ammonia, fish food or ammonia solution to replicate fish waste and encourage bacteria to grow, meaning colonies will then be present for your fish. This can take a good few weeks, but, it will be worth it to create a good home for your fish.
Adding your fish
Once your water is right it is time to buy your chosen fish and add them to the tank which will become their new home. Do not just release them straight in, let them adjust, keep them in their bag and place the bag in the tank for half an hour, using a net remove your fish from the bag and set them free to explore their new home.
Once your fishy friend is settled in and you gain experience, getting the ammonia, PH and nitrate levels just right can be a really tricky business. It is important to keep a close eye on those levels, along with your fish’s behaviour to make sure that you are keeping them as healthy and happy as you possibly can.
By Jacob White