Fish Keeping Basics: 4 Common Mistakes When Caring for Aquarium Fish
Aquarium fish may seem low maintenance but that's often far from the truth! Learn about common fish keeping mistakes so you won't make them with this guide.
15.6 million households own a pet fish in the United States alone. While commonly thought of as the perfect first pet for kids, many adults enjoy the company of their scaly friends too.
But owning aquarium fish isn’t as easy as you’d think. They still require a good bit of care and a nice chunk of change to get everything they need.
If you’re thinking about adding a fish to your family, keep reading. We’re going to go over 4 common mistakes new fish parents often make. Let’s dive in!
1. Your Tank Is Too Small
If you got some sticker shock when looking at the prices of aquariums, you may be tempted to go with the smallest (and cheapest) one you can find, or even opt for a fish bowl instead.
However, your fish will likely get sick or stressed when living in a tank that’s too small.
Your tank will develop good bacteria that break down waste in the water.
But when there are too many fish and not enough space, your tank won’t have enough of that good bacteria to break down all the waste they’re creating.
This can lead to your water becoming toxic, and your poor fish dying.
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2. You’re Not Buying the Right Supplies
Like any other pet, there’s a whole list of small pet supplies you’ll need to invest in to properly care for your fish.
In addition to that roomy aquarium, they’ll also need a quality filter that can help keep the water clean, and a dechlorinator to remove harmful chlorine from the water.
Of course, you’ll also need food, aquarium decorations, and test strips that will let you make sure the water remains safe for your fish.
3. You’re Picking Fish That Are Incompatible
Don’t go to the pet store and pick out a bunch of fish without doing prior research. Some fish, like bettas, need to be isolated or they’ll attack each other.
Others, like goldfish, are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups with other goldfish.
But don’t assume all schooling fish get along. If you know you want a certain fish, research what other types of fish they can be housed with to avoid any disasters in your tank.
4. You’re Skipping Steps
So you set your tank up. Time to add your fish and call it a day, right? Not quite.
First, you need to make sure the water is stabilized. You need to treat the water going in your aquarium to ensure it’s safe and wait about a day or two before adding your fish.
Skipping this step may mean your water sprite water is too harmful and could result in your fish dying quickly.
Another step you shouldn’t skip is regular maintenance of your aquarium.
Even if you set it up correctly and invest in a high-quality filter, you’ll still need to regularly change out part of the water.
You can buy aquarium vacuums that will allow you to remove built-up waste not caught by the filter along with some of the water to make this process easier.
Caring for Aquarium Fish
Like any other pet, aquarium fish need care and the right home in order to thrive.
Before you head over to your local pet store, make sure you understand how you can avoid the top mistakes listed above.
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