Fishkeeping is a thousands-year-old hobby that remains popular to this day. We love seeing beautiful fish swimming happily in an aquarium, and we often want to keep some in our very own aquarium. However, many people have the perception that fishkeeping is difficult. That said, here are 5 simple tips for those of you who want to start an aquarium hobby.
photo source: seathequality.com
1. Choose the right fish for you
If you’re new to fishkeeping, you might want to start with fish species that are easy to care for. Neon tetras are extremely popular among beginners as they are very beautiful and hardy. Zebra danios are just as beautiful and also resilient. If you love fancy looking fish, go for guppies. They breed very easily and fast and the males have incredibly beautiful and colourful tails. Small barbs are easy to keep and can have very beautiful patterns, like the snakeskin barb. Bettas are just so majestic, especially the males. They’re also quite easy to keep. However, the problem with bettas is that the males will fight each other, hence the nickname fighting fish.
2. Set up a community tank
Some people like to keep only one specific species of fish per tank. But if you prefer to have more than one species of fish, a community fish tank is your answer. Most of the species mentioned above are suitable for a community tank, as even though they tend to swim in schools, they’re also okay to mix with other fish that are non-territorial and aggressive.
3. Plant an aquatic garden in your tank
“Aquascape” is the right term for this. It is the art of arranging aquatic plants, stones and driftwood to create beautiful works of underwater art. Aquascaping can be tricky and expensive due to specific additives that need to go into the aquarium before adding special substrates, aquatic plants, rocks and driftwood. Fortunately, low tech aquascaping using only aqua soil and hardy plants like java ferns and moss work just as well while costing less than the former. Planted tanks are often self-sustaining, and they keep the tank well oxygenated for your fish, shrimps or other aquatic life. You’ll notice that you rarely need a change of water in planted tanks, sometimes needing only to add new water to the existing one when the level gets lower than usual.
4. Give them space
Don’t overcrowd your fish tank by buying too many fish and mixing them all in one tank. 20 neon tetras, 20 danios, 6 discus and 5 congo tetras in a 3-ft planted tank is a bit much. Make sure they have ample space to swim freely and grow happily.
5. Remember to do some maintenance
Regular maintenance is important, especially if you don’t have a planted tank. Harmful materials will accumulate over time, affecting your fish’s overall health. Get rid of at least half the water in the tank and add in new water every week. Wash the water filter and clean the glass of your fish tank as well. If you have a planted tank, it’s a good practice to trim the plants every once in a while to keep them from growing too wildly, leaving little space for your fish to swim.
There you go. 5 simple tips for those of you who want to get into fishkeeping. All the best!