So, you have decided that you want a pet but you don’t want a cat or a dog. Fish are a good option for anyone who can’t have or do not want a conventional pet. Although there are some disadvantages (you can’t cuddle with your fish) there are some major advantages too. But you know it isn’t as simple as filling up a water container and dropping your fish inside. Here are some essential fish tank tips that will help you become a caretaker for some beautiful and healthy fish.

Buy Healthy Fish, to Begin With

First, buy healthy fish, to begin with. This means not purchasing fish off of Craig’s List or another advertising service. You want to buy fish from a reputable pet store that has experts on hand that know how to take care of fish and tell you what you need to know about the species that you choose. You can usually tell that fish are healthy because they are active and seem to be happy.

Heaters & Filters

Two very important things that you are going to need for your fish are a heater and a filter. Different fish have different requirements as far as temperature goes, and you need to learn what that is and set your heater accordingly. You not only want to temperature to be correct, but you also want it to be constant because the fluctuating temperature can cause illness. You should also be aware of temperature requirements before you buy fish so that you don’t pair the wrong fish together.

As far as filters go, you should definitely spend more money on a higher quality filter. Filtering your water is absolutely essential to the health of your new fish and keeping their tank clean should be a top priority. Make sure that you do the research and find out what type of filtration system your fish need and make sure that it is a good quality filter with a great track record with customers.

Filtering your water is absolutely essential to the health of your new fish and keeping their tank clean should be a top priority

Get The Right Tank

You not only want to choose a tank material that is appropriate for your fish, but you want to make sure that you choose the right size. Your fish need a minimum amount of space depending upon the breed and more is even better. Also, the larger your aquarium the less chance that pollutants have to get your fish sick.

Clean Your Tank Regularly

You want to make sure that your tank is as clean as possible and that means taking on the task of cleaning it regularly. Change out a certain percentage of the water every week and make sure that you use a dechlorination and cycling solution because chlorinating water can be harmful to your fish. Make sure you wipe away algae and grime from the tank and rinse off any plants inside the tank as well.

Provide Light & Oxygen

Your fish will require light at least part of the day. A good rule of thumb is to give them 3 watts of electricity per gallon of water (you can choose bulbs based on this) and keep your tank away from direct sunlight. Also, your fish live on oxygen that they get out of the water so make sure that you use an air pump and keep the hose hidden. Alternatively, you can change out the water more often (or more of the water) and provide them with live plants that create oxygen.

Feed Regularly

Finally, set up a feeding schedule and feed them regularly, taking care not to overfeed. Uneaten food can decay and require more cleaning.