First time fish owner(4 Posts)
Went to pets at home today so the baby could have a look at the rodents, and ended up thinking it would be nice to get a fish tank. It's something we've often thought about but never really researched. DH wants a wall-sized tropical tank ultimately and I've wanted some blue tetras since I was tiny, but I guess we would start small with a couple of simple fish. Are goldfish the easiest?
What do I need to know? Do they tend to get sick a lot? I remember me and my mum taking some of our goldfish to the vet when I was little which felt ridiculous but I guess it's normal? Should we get a tank cleany fish? Real plants? Any good websites so I can read up? Thanks!
Right, first of all you need to take whatever the pet shop tells you with a massive pinch of salt. They're mostly ignorant crooks who want to sell you more fish.
Read up on "the fishless cycle" and "the nitrogen cycle". Fish waste is ammonia. To prevent your fish from being poisoned by their own waste you need to culture a colony of bacteria in the filter to process the waste. Ammonia is converted to nitrite. Nitrite is converted to nitrate. Nitrate is less harmful to fish and can be removed from the tank by doing large, regular water changes. Cycling a tank before adding fish is important. It can take two to three weeks to properly cycle a tropical tank. You'll need liquid test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and a bottle of pure ammonia (ask for Ammoclean from a chemist).
Goldfish are hugely messy and need huge tanks. A healthy common goldfish can grow larger than 12". They're best off in ponds.
Cleaner fish - no. Cleaning is YOUR job, not the fish. There's no such thing.
What are you interested in? What do you like the look of? Rocks? Sand? Plants? What size tank can you afford? The bigger the tank the easier it tends to be to look after as you don't get huge swings in water quality with large tanks. Bigger tanks will also give you more options on fish type.
Don't start with goldfish, goldfish need make care and bigger tanks than most people realise.
Tetras are a decent start fish although they can be a week species.
I would advise a fish less cycle, there are debates on it but if you want my opinion I do think it's cruel .. However each to their own.
A wall mount tank are fine for tetra, couldn't fit much else in, you will see a lot of tanks are way over populated and this causes issues.
Generally a larger tank is easier to mentain because small fluctuations in water quality have less impact overall.
I've had our current tank/set up 5 years although had fish in the past when I was younger too. Tetra are a really good starter.
Also find a local fish shop or a local Maidenhead, pets at home is known as death at home in the fish community as their fish are often diseased and it only takes one poorly fish to wipe out the lot of your not careful.
If you look for local tropical fish groups in Facebook you will often find people selling smaller tanks and often they are cycled which is a bonus.
Ooh ok, this is all good advice, thanks. I did see a tank at Pets at Home with a notice saying the fish in it were temporarily not for sale as they were being treated, which struck me as not a good sign!
Yay that tetras sound like a good place to start!
Will definitely research all you've both advised, thanks.
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