Keeping Fish as Pets
Fish are one of the most diverse groups in the entire animal kingdom, so it's no wonder that so many people keep aquariums in their homes. Watching fish go about their day eating, swimming and interacting with each other can be very entertaining and incredibly relaxing at the same time. There's a certain amount of serenity to be found as you gaze into their underwater world - a world that you help create and maintain.
Whether you're interested in freshwater fish (which include cold water fish as well as many tropicals) or saltwater species, the choices available to you are practically endless. Many aquarium enthusiasts start out with easy-keepers like goldfish or guppies and then move up to more challenging species. Others are content to keep a solitary betta in a large bowl or small tank. Still others may begin breeding and showing their own lines of fish.
Most people fall in love with fish they see at the aquarium shop and want to buy them on the spot, but that's not the best way to get started with this hobby. It's important that you take the time to research any fish that interests you so you'll understand its needs, including:
- The type of water the fish needs (fresh or salt)
- The proper pH range and temperature at which to maintain the tank
- How large the tank needs to be
- Which kind of food the fish requires
- Which other species make good tank mates
These are just some of the basics you'll need to know so you can set up the aquarium and allow it to run and cycle for at least two weeks before you add the first fish to the tank. When it comes to keeping fish, providing the proper environment is absolutely key to their survival.
Consider the Cost
Although many popular aquarium fish are reasonably priced, the price grows higher depending on how difficult a particular species is to procure and keep. That said, your real investment will go into your tank set up. Expect to spend $100.00 or more to purchase a 10 to 15 gallon tank, as well as:
- A filtration system
- Gravel or aquarium sand
- A heater (if necessary)
- Water conditioner
- A pH test kit to help you track toxin levels in the water
The cost is even greater if you need a larger tank, and it's usually better to invest in high quality equipment that will last longer than bargain brands. This is all before you even purchase your first fish or its food.
Are Fish the Right Pets for You?
Unless you absolutely need a pet you can caress and cuddle, fish make very satisfying pets that provide endless hours of natural entertainment. The articles in this category will help you learn about specific speciess, their needs and many of the diseases they are prone to contracting. New articles will be added on a regular basis as the site grows, so check back often to see what's new!