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They are The Easiest Pets to Care For. Six Steps to Start an Aquarium

by Lou-Ann Jordan Apr 17, 2023

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So, you want to join the ranks of being a pet owner, but you’re fearful of the commitment. Have no fear. We’ve got the perfect option that’s relatively easy to care for. You won’t have to do early or late evening walks, scoop refuse or change litter boxes. We imagine we’ve piqued your interest, so here it is. How about having a fish as a pet or starting an aquarium? 

An aquarium instils life and vitality into your living space. It also adds a beautiful decorative touch to your interior design. More importantly, it’s an excellent way to grow towards having a pet that requires more effort if that’s your goal. You’ll enjoy a fish as a pet. Watching the brightly coloured creatures can be incredibly relaxing. Some have found their movement through the water therapeutic.

We want to equip you with the steps you’ll need to start your fish tank. As a beginner, there are several vital things you need to consider before getting started, and we’ve outlined them below.

Six tips to help you start your new aquarium

Choose between a saltwater or freshwater school. Before heading off to the pet shop, decide which type of aquarium you would like to start, as the requirements will differ. Goldfishes, guppies, and tetras are freshwater fish added to home aquariums. You may find Red Blue Tangs, Clownfish and Angelfish among the choices for saltwater or marine fish.

Consider the tank size. Your aquarium’s size will depend on the type and number of fish you wish to acquire. Freshwater and marine fish differ in space requirements. Once you’ve decided, choose one that will be suitable in size, ensuring it’s not too small. Ideally, you want a tank that can hold your fish suitably and fits well with your allocated space.

Purchase aquarium equipment. Once you’ve purchased your tank, you’ll need a filter, lights, air pump and heater, the latter for your marine fish. Next, it’s the substrate and plants. However, you should note that some people opt for a bare bottom tank, while others add coloured gravel, small rocks, sand, plants, and other ornaments for aesthetic value. If you cannot decide, check with your local pet shop for the best option. 

Don’t add the fish too soon. After installing your filter, air pump, and, if necessary, heater, you can add your substrate, plants (plastic or live) and water. However, be sure to allow a few days before adding your fish. Whether starting a marine or freshwater fish tank, this delay is necessary. The former will need the water’s temperature and salinity to stabilise, while it’s best to have the water ‘settle’ for freshwater.

Add fish moderately. Don’t begin with too many fish. Give yourself and your new pet time to acclimatise. Begin with a manageable number. Also, gradually adding to your collection will avoid having an overcrowded aquarium.

Don’t overfeed. It’s easy in your excitement to overfeed your new pets. A good practice is to pay attention to whether your fish consume all the food within the first five minutes. If not, then scoop out the leftovers and decrease the next feeding.

You want your fish to be healthy and happy; these tips may prove essential to get you going. You can also contact your local pet shop for more information on caring for your new aquatic pets.

Sources: Aquatic Veterinary Services, PetMD, Pet Helpful, The Spruce Pets and Wayfair.