Choosing fish as a pet for your home may appear to be an easy choice, but choosing what type of fish is right for your lifestyle may need a little more knowledge and investigation.
After deciding that pet fish would make the best choice to suit your lifestyle, you need to begin researching how much time and effort you have to put into this endeavor.
Variety – Varieties of aquariums can fall under the categories of freshwater, marine, reef, and even pond.
Size – Starting with gallon sizes, you must realize that fish tanks come in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from the standard size goldfish bowl up to tanks that hold 100 gallons or more. Aquariums vary in shape ranging from oval and tall, to wide. Remember, the larger the tank, the more maintenance of equipment or expense may be involved, and the smaller the tank, the more difficult to keep clean. Once you have decided on the size and shape of your tank, be sure to find the appropriate base or stand for your tank as larger tanks can weigh upwards of 200 pounds.
Type of fish – Once you have decided on what size tank you wish to care for, you need to gain knowledge regarding what type of fish can thrive it that size tank. Some fish require larger spaces if they are a dominating species of fish. Others may be too small for a larger tank, and be preyed upon by larger fish. Compatibility is a factor as some species of fish can be aggressive, nipping at fins of other fish.
Home Environment – Water temperature, PH balance, hardness, plant species, heating and filtration systems are only a few components you will need to explore as you dive into the proper care of your particular species of fish. Whether or not they eat live plants, other feeder fish or insect larvae as well as vitamins and supplements are factors for which you will need to obtain and be educated.
Style – The style of the fish tank or aquarium depends upon your reasoning for owning one. If you were considering fish as a family pet, then a small to medium size (perhaps 10 gallon) tank would suit your needs. On the other hand, if you are dressing to impress, there are choices from custom made, wall-to-wall, and even floor-to-ceiling aquariums.
Whatever choice you make, be sure it is a choice that you are comfortable in making. Obtaining knowledge as to what is involved regarding cost, upkeep and maintenance, but mostly the care for your fish will assist you in deciding swimmingly on what type of fish is right for your lifestyle.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to fish and their aquarium homes. Here are some tips to help you to find the right fit for your little underwater dwellers.
Finding a home for your fish is like the chicken and the egg. Which comes first? Do you fit the aquarium to the fish or the fish to the aquarium?
The best plan of attack is to choose your fish first. This will dictate a lot of the decisions you need to make later and make them a bit easier. Here’s why.
Let’s say that you have a flair for the exotic and want a baby shark. First of all you will need a saltwater tank and that requires a much larger investment and set up than a first-time fish owner may want. Your baby shark wouldn’t be happy in a traditional rectangular fish tank.
So, begin with your fish. Here are a few questions you might want to keep in mind.
Where do I live? – For an apartment, you might not want to invest in a large 50 gallon aquarium full of fish that requires lots of maintenance. If for some reason it cracks, not only your apartment, but several other people’s will be affected.
How much space do I have? – If you only have a small living room or limited space in the bedroom for a tank, choosing a smaller fish that can survive in a limited habitat might be better for you.
How much money do I want to invest? – The more exotic the fish, the more you will spend keeping them alive. Fish are pets and they do need constant care. It might not be as much as a dog, but they do need a clean place to live and stimulation to keep them happy. Your fish can become a chore if you are constantly shelling out money.
Do I have other pets? – Your dog may not care about a few fish but your cat or bird will. They may view it as a moving smorgasbord. Adding fish may not be the best idea.
What’s my schedule? – If you are busy, fish may be a great pet. But, don’t get too fancy. Exotic fish will require more regular care. Can you provide it?
Once you have decided which fish would work for you, then you can investigate the recommended aquariums for that species. Here’s what to look for.
Size of Tank – The general rule for starting is one gallon of water per one inch of fish length
Filtered tank – Less cleaning for you and better overall environment for the fish
Cover – Prevents fish from jumping out and hiding behind the couch
Fluorescent lights – Inhibit algae growth and provide light without too much heat
Tank heater – Great for tropical fish who like and need it warm
Now you know where to start. Find your fish and then choose the tank.