Taking care of fish in an aquarium is not as easy as giving them food every day. There are more things to do and consider in order for your fish to have a healthy and comfortable life. So, if you are a newbie at having fish as a pet, you would need to carefully follow these tips.
Step 1: Before buying the fish or fishes that you want, you need to have an appropriate place for them to stay in. You would need an appropriate-sized fish tank or aquarium. The bigger the tank the more variety of fishes you can put it. As a beginner, you might want to choose from some of the best 20 gallon fish tanks here. Then, you would need to have all the other accessories and equipment such as live and artificial plants, substrate, lighting, and heating systems, filters, water conditioner, test kit and more. The heating system would be important if you are taking care of tropical fish. You can add some other decorations too if you want.
Step 2: Cycle the tank after you have set everything up and before you purchase your fish. Cycling means to condition the water in the tank first. You have to make sure that the water is perfect for a healthy and comfortable habitat for the fish to grow in. You would need to put in some biological wastes and a sprinkle of fish flakes in the water and wait for it to decompose. Allow time for micro-organisms to grow. The elements that you can add could come with the aquarium when you purchase it. If not, you can buy them from the pet store separately. This process would take a minimum of 2 weeks to a maximum of 8, depending on the condition of the water.
Step 3: Test the parameters of the water and make sure that it is safe to put in the fish. Your test kit should include tools to measure the levels of ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and the pH. They have to be at their lowest so they won’t harm the fish. If the condition of the water is not ideal, you would need to make regular water changes. When changing the water, you only need to take off about a third of the water in the tank and replace it with clean water.
Step 4: You can now purchase your fish and put them in the tank. Make sure that you have done all your research on the fish and on what water conditions they would best thrive in. Observe the behavior of your fish for the first few weeks and only give them food sparingly. Fish do not starve easily as they digest their food slowly. Do not overfeed them by giving too much fish flakes. The excess food could lead to diseases and would make the water dirty.
Step 5: Clean the tank regularly. You would need to vacuum over the substrate to remove unwanted materials that could harm your fish. Monitor the parameters every now and then to make sure that the water is always in good condition. In case there are molds or algae, you could make regular water changes and put some additives to hinder their growth.