Fish Care

Some fish are not really difficult to care for but unless you know a few basic facts, you can end up with short lived critters before they ever really had a chance.  So a little research into the kind of fish you want to keep (ie: fresh water, tropical etc) is the best thing you can do before you start.

Husbandry

Ideally, your tank should be set up and allowed to stand for a week before you put any little fish into their new home.  This gives the water a chance to de-chlorinate and gives you time to see that all the equipment is working properly.

The minimum tank size is ten gallons.

When introducing fish to their new home, float the bag in the tank for a while to allow the temperature of the water in the bag and the water in the tank to equalize gradually.  Then slowly begin adding small amounts of tank water to the bag.  Continue this for about an hour before you transfer the fishes into their new home.  Avoid mixing the old bag water into the new tank – you can never be sure what kinds of parasites you have brought home in the bag.

Remember: do not overcrowd.  Try not to have more than one inch of fish per gallon of water, and be sure to research the fish you are placing together so that they don’t eat each other!

Fish are grouped by their preference for water temperature, water type (ie: hard or soft), and acidity (or alkalinity) etc.

Equipment you will need for your tank:
• Filters
• Air pumps
• Gravel
• Lights
• Heaters

This all depends on the kind of fish you want to keep.  So remember – do your research.

Cleaning

Fish become used to the water condition they are living in, so do not change all the water at once, as this can cause shock.  A sudden ”extra clean” environment may be too much for fish to cope with, and they may die.

Over zealous cleaning will not only remove dirt, but will also remove most of the “good” bacteria that fish need to live.  Good bacteria breaks down waste and toxins such as ammonia into relatively harmless nitrates, and it needs time to grow so that it can effectively clean the toxins in the tank.

However, water does still need to be changed regularly (weekly or fortnightly).  When it is time to change the water, remove only one third of the water to ensure that you are not suddenly and drastically altering the water chemistry.

Remember never use chemicals or soap of any kind.  Your fish really will go belly up!  You can purchase a gravel vacuum cleaner at your local pet store to help remove food and other debris from the bottom of the tank.

Diet

Feed your fish only as much as they can eat in about three to five minutes, and then feed them that amount once or twice a day.  Fish will eat all day if you let them, but this leads to problems with the water and the health of the fish.

A commercial fish flake diet is ideal for their main diet, but you can also add variety:
• live worms.
• frozen and freeze-dried food (shrimps)
• Veggies

Stressors

Conditions that put fish under stress:
• Unsuitable water (improper temperature, acidity, or salt content)
• Lack of physical space
• Unsuitable mixing of species
• Oxygen deficiency
• Poor nutrition
• Sudden changes
• Netting the fish

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