How to Take Care of Indoor Fish
Many individuals started the hobby of taking care of fish when their parents brought home a goldfish in a goldfish bowl. From that experience, many of these hobbyists bought an aquarium, and began caring for fish that would survive not just for days or weeks, but years at a time.
Many species of aquarium fish have a lifespan of up to five years or longer. With proper care, some varieties of goldfish have 20-year survival rates. Many varieties of fish tend to live healthier, longer lives in an aquarium, as compared to living in the wild, where they rarely die of old age. This is because in nature, their food supply is often disrupted by harsh weather conditions and changing of the season. Below are the best solutions for taking care of your indoor fish.
Proper maintenance of an aquarium is relatively easy. Even so, fish keepers who routinely deal with fish that are dying or diseased are likely doing one or more of the three things listed below. They include:
This is because the tank filter system will likely not be able to maintain optimal water quality due to the high amounts of accumulated waste products and growing algae. Basic tank maintenance never needs to be a time-consuming problem, if you correctly set up the tank and develop a routine of closely watching the fish each day or two, while monitoring water temperature.
Proper Tank Maintenance
The size of the tank and the number of fish it contains will determine the amount of time and effort required to keep it properly maintained. Smaller aquariums require much less work than larger tanks and are easier to maintain a healthy, stable aquatic environment.
The front glass (and side glass if desired) on the interior side of the aquarium needs to be cleaned one time every week. In addition, approximately 10 to 15 percent of the tank water should be changed. Changing the aquarium water will reduce the potential buildup of harmful toxins inside the tank, and put less stress on the filter. Consider using a hydro-vacuum that works as a siphoning hose to extract water from the tank while providing a safeguard against hurting the fish during the process.
Keep the aquarium lightly stocked and avoid overfeeding. A lower fish population will also help avoid constantly changing the filter and cleaning the interior. Note that larger aquarium fish will obviously eat larger portions of fish food and create larger amounts of waste products. If the tank houses a number of larger fish, it may be necessary to change up to 50 percent of the aquarium water each week.
Overfeeding is the number one reason the water turns bad and fish die or become sick. Unconsumed food will float in the tank and pollute the water quickly. In addition, overfeeding can easily kill the fish in time. Therefore, it is best to provide only an adequate amount of food at each feeding. As a guide, sprinkle only enough food in the water at every meal that can be consumed by your fish in five minutes.
Nearly every variety of fish does extremely well on a maintained diet of dry flake food. Purchase only high-quality brand-name fish feeding products. Consider mixing up different varieties of food flakes to ensure that every fish is consuming a balanced diet. Keeping catfish and large fish healthy often involves feeding them bulky pellet foods. In addition, the larger fish tend to enjoy freeze-dried foods rich in protein. Occasionally, you can provide live or fresh-frozen foods to ensure that every aquarium tank occupant is eating a complete nutritional diet.
Choose the Best Foods
It is important to remember that all commercial fish food products expire after a specific time, as stamped on the label. Never purchase dusty fish flake containers, to ensure your fish are getting the healthiest food possible. Consider making purchases in small containers. While not as economical as a larger size, the food in small containers will maintain its nutritional value much longer before it starts to deteriorate. After just a few months, well over 50 percent of the product's original nutrient value is gone.
Many fish are vegetarians, and flake foods provide essential vegetable material with reduced protein. Consider adding small catfish to the tank when possible, because they consume excess food products that have fallen to the bottom of the aquarium. Note that bottom feeders must receive adequate quality and quantity of food like every other resident in the tank.
When going on vacation for a week or two, it is important to know that many healthy fish can survive perfectly well up to 14 days without eating. In fact, the high majority of fish die from exposure to severely polluted water and much less from starvation.
Choosing the Best Breeds
If your tank is going to hold more than one fish, it is important to understand enough about the breeds you are purchasing to know how well they will behave together in the same environment. Some fish are predators, harassers, are not compatible or have mortal enemies in nature. Pair your fish well when buying new breeds or you may find one of your prize tank occupants has eaten or killed another one.
In addition, some fish can only thrive in a specific habitat. If the conditions of your aquarium are not well suited to their breed, and it is not like their natural environment, they can become ill and/or die. There are a large array of species available at the pet store that are easily adapted to varying conditions of all different types of aquarium waters.
Nature provides more than 30,000 different species of fish and your local pet store will likely have hundreds of species available for your aquarium. Keeping your fish healthy can be a simple process or a complicated one if you choose not to maintain the tank properly. Remember that the aquarium is the only environment your fish will experience from here on out, so provide them a home that can be enjoyed by them and you.