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Fish

A Goldfish

Keeping fish is a great hobby. A well maintained aquarium not only looks attractive, but watching your fish in their environment can be a good stress reliever too.

 

Keeping Fish

 

Choosing

a transparent fishFirst of all you need to decide what type of fish you want to keep. If you’re considering keeping fish and you’ve never done so before, you might want to think about coldwater fish as a start. Goldfish are one of the easiest fish to keep and there are many different varieties to choose from, from comets, fantails and orandas to lionheads and shubunkins.
Alternatively, you might like to consider keeping tropical fish, which require water to be maintained at a constant temperature between 20 and 27 degrees C. There is a wide variety of tropical fish to choose from, however while many can be mixed together in the same aquarium, you need to be careful about considering compatibility between varieties of fish. Here at PAWS we will be happy to advise you on a suitable selection of fish for your tank.

Some fishHow Many?

The temptation is to fill an aquarium with numerous fish of all sorts of different varieties and colour in order to make it look as attractive and interesting as possible. In reality, there are certain rules that need to be followed to ensure that you don’t overcrowd your aquarium. As tanks come in different shapes and sizes, there is no hard and fast rule, but considering size versus volume is a good guide. For coldwater fish, allow 0.5cm of fish per litre of water. For tropical fish, allow 1cm of fish per water. Remember stocking level guidelines work on the basis of fully grown adult fish, so you should keep fish growth in mind.

 

You will need to introduce fish into the aquarium slowly over a number of weeks so that your filter system can adjust to the increase of waste products and ammonia levels in the water.

 

Housing

an aquariumYour aquarium is a complete mini ecosystem housing fish that will be totally dependent on you for their welfare. As such, choosing the right tank or aquarium is vital, and there are a great deal available to choose from. Size is also important as this will determine the size and number of fish you will be able to keep, as is the positioning of your tank. Once your tank is full, it will be extremely heavy, so try to decide on where to position your tank before filling it up! As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to go for a slightly larger aquarium, as there is a greater margin for error in comparison to a smaller one. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind what will suit your home as well as what you can afford.

It is also very important to remember that when setting up a tank for the first time, it needs to be well established before you begin to stock it with fish. Once it is ready, the tank will need to be stocked gradually and slowly. We recommend that you come and visit us in store or contact us for further advice about stocking and the most suitable type of aquarium for your fish.

 

Position your tank away from windows as direct daylight encourages algae growth.

 

Equipment

Keeping fish is not as simple as buying a tank, filling it with water and adding fish to it. There are a few things you will need to purchase to ensure that your tank is able to effectively house your fish and maintain a stable environment for them. If you are keeping tropical fish, both a thermostat and water heater are essential in setting and maintaining consistent water temperature. For coldwater fish, you won’t need these, but you will need to purchase gravel, a filtration system and a pump, as well as a water conditioner to make your tap water safe to use in the tank. Plants and ornaments will help you create an interesting and attractive environment. The equipment you will need for your aquarium will depend very much on the type of fish you plan to keep. Come and speak to us about your specific needs and we will be happy to guide you.

 

Buying an off the shelf aquarium kit is often the easiest way to help you set up your tank as they generally include all the necessary basic equipment that you’ll need.

 

a goldfishFeeding

Fish food comes in flake, pellet or frozen form. These foods provide a perfectly balanced diet containing all the nutrients necessary to keep your fish healthy. Some fish feed from the surface, while others feed from the middle or from the bottom of the tank and you should keep this in mind when purchasing food for them. Surface feeders like flakes and floating pellets while mid-water feeders prefer granular or slow sinking food. Bottom feeders should be offered quick sinking foods or tablets.
Feed your fish once a day and start with a small amount which you can adjust accordingly.

 

Over-feeding your fish will pollute the water so remember to offer just enough food so that it is eaten within 2 minutes.

 

aquarium maintenanceMaintenance

Water quality is the most important factor in keeping fish healthy. As such, regular water changes are vital. You should siphon off 25% of water from the tank and replace it with fresh, conditioned water every two weeks. However, as all tanks are different and house different fish, it is a good idea to invest in a water quality testing kit which will enable you to keep an eye on the levels of nitrite and ammonia in the water so you’ll know when to carry out a water change.

 

 

a goldfish in a tank

Your Essential Fishy Shopping List

 

  • Filter
  • Heater (Tropical and Marine Tanks)
  • Thermometer (Tropical and Marine Tanks)
  • Air pump
  • Lighting
  • Gravel
  • Plants
  • Ornaments
  • Water Conditioner
  • Water Test Kit
  • Fish Net
  • Cleaning Pad
  • Siphon
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