Keeping Tropical Fish
Keeping Tropical Fish
One of the most common questions we get asked is “so, what does it take to keep tropical fish?” When the most important question that should be asked is “How can I keep tropical fish in a way that lets them thrive happily and healthily.” There is lot’s of advice online about Tropical fishkeeping, from information sites, to online stores, to forums. We wanted to put together a guide that would help the absolute beginner create a tropical aquarium that will keep the happiest fish!
First of all, it’s essential to know what types of fish you’d like to keep, if they’re compatible with each other, what size they’ll grow to, the diets they’ll need to be on and any other special requirements they might have.
Once you have an idea of the Freshwater Tropical Fish you’d like to keep, you’ll know what size tank you’ll need to accommodate them. Remember it is far better to under stock an aquarium than to overstock it. Also keep in mind that the bigger the aquarium, and the more water it holds, the less likely water fluctuations are to cause serious implications for it’s inhabitants.
Once you’ve picked your aquarium you’ll also need to think of the equipment you’ll need and to ensure it can handle the size of the tank. Tropical fish need a consistent warm temperature of around 18c – 23c (depending on the tropical fish species) so a quality heater is a must. You’ll also need a filter, internal or external, to remove harmful bacteria and waste matter from the aquarium. Some aquariums come with lights, if not there are a range of set ups to choose from. Again the strength and coloring of the lights will depend on what you have in your tank. Plants for example will require stronger lighting. Also, it is highly beneficial to your fish to have an aeration device such as an air pump, to improve oxygen levels in the water.
Finally before acquiring your fish, you’ll need to fill your aquarium with conditioned water and let it cycle. (More information about the Nitrogen cycle) This cycle is a natural occurrence that takes place in all aquariums and can be monitored using freshwater test kits. Once the levels have stabilized and nitrate and ammonia levels are at the minimum, it is safe to start introducing your fish to the aquarium. Do this slowly, too much too soon will cause the water to spike and can seriously harm, if not worse, all inhabitants. Introducing fish gradually allows your equipment to adjust to the higher waste levels and keeps fluctuations at a minimum.
Make sure you don’t over feed your fish, give them enough that they can completely consume in 2-3 minutes. To Maintain your aquarium make sure to do a water change of around 20% every 1-2 weeks, this will stop waste build ups and also keep the entire aquarium cleaner. A huge amount of people believe you have to completely empty the aquarium to clean it, this isn’t the case at all! If you keep on top of your water changes and have a scraper to run along the glass your aquarium will stay clean and clear.
And that’s it! This is a basic guide that we hope answers a lot of peoples questions as they start to think about keeping tropical fish. It’s an incredibly enjoyable hobby and if you follow the above advice you’ll ensure that your aquatic housemates will thrive for many years. Happy fishkeeping!