Important things to note when keeping fish as pets!

Previously, I wrote about the things you should note if you’d like to get a pet (i.e., dogs, cats), and what it’s like to work in a pet environment. To summarise my previous article; you should definitely consider getting a pet if you’re able to look after it (cleaning up its poop, pee, feeding it etc). If you’re unable to, then my recommendation is working in a pet-friendly environment, as it gives you the ability to see what it’s like to own a pet, without actually owning it.

I also mentioned that I don’t own any pets. Unfortunately, I might have unintentionally misled you. After writing and publishing my article, I remembered that my father actually owns fishes. Due to the fact that they reside in my house, it gives me partial ownership over them as well.

Therefore, I thought it’d be worthwhile to share my experience when owning pet fish, and what are some do’s and don’ts when ensuring their well-being.

DO’s
Purchase Anti-Chlorine for the Tank
This is a CRUCIAL point to note when keeping fish at home. The chlorine in the water will make your fish sick, and will eventually end up killing it if you don’t add it in. You can purchase one from the aqua-shop that you buy your fish & tank from, and it’s not every expensive!

Usually what I do is add just a few drops right after I finish cleaning the tank. DO NOT add more than that because too much can make your fish sick!

Have Enough Space for your Fish
One of the most common misconceptions is that you can pack quite a few fish in one tank. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. For example, goldfish can grow up to 14 inches in the wild, and their size depends very much on the space around them. As such, it’s important to note the type of fish you

Fish can also get claustrophobic if they don’t have enough space, so it’s important to note that you need to give them enough room to move.

Provide Companionship
When kept in captivity, it’s good to provide your fish with some company, because they can actually get stressed from being alone (which could eventually lead to death).

For those of you who DO have standalone fish, some common signs if your fish is stressed include:
1. Fishes coming up to the surface to gasp for air (could also be due to poor oxygen quality)
2. Fishes not eating their food

Keep some of the Previous Water when Cleaning the Tank
If there is a large change in water quality/quantity, fishes can get stressed/sick and die. It’s important to reuse some of the previous tank water when cleaning the tank, to prevent too radical a change in the tank.

DON’TS
Overfeed your Fish
Similar to land-based pets, if you overfeed your aquatic buddy, they’ll of course create more poop. As a result, the amount of ammonia and nitrate in the tank will significantly increase, polluting the tank and affecting the fishes health.

Of course, a solution to this is increasing the frequency of cleaning the tank, but not everyone may have the ability to do this. My recommendation is feeding them once in the morning, and once at night. However, some breeds of fish require more food than others, so do a quick check online to ensure you’re feeding them enough, too.

FORGET TO CLEAN YOUR TANK
The more you forget, the dirtier the tanks going to be and your fish are going to S U F F E R. Please don’t forget!

CONCLUSION
Contrary to what many people believe, fish need quite a bit of care in order to be at their best. While they don’t require as much love and affection as dogs or cats, they do need attention at least once a day, and shouldn’t be neglected for long periods of time.

Additionally, if you’re already the owner of some wonderful fish, you may consider taking it a step further and try aquascaping! I’ll be discussing this in further detail in the coming weeks as well.

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Feel free to comment below about other topics you’d like me to discuss!

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