Fish can be an excellent choice of pet for a time poor household or a family wanting to give their child the responsibility of looking after their own pet, but aren’t quite ready for the much bigger commitment that owning a dog or other furry friend requires.

Fish are one of the easiest pets to take care of. Not only are they great for kids, they are also a great living decoration to have in your home.

However, regardless of what type of fish you decide to get, it is worth remembering that fish are totally dependent on their carers to provide everything they need to survive so you do need to do your homework first to ensure you have everything you need when you bring them home.

There are also many different species of fish and some that have very specific needs so whilst there are some basic tips to consider here, definitely research the individual specific you are after.

Choose the right tank

 One of the first considerations you should make when deciding to introduce some fish into your home, is what is the best size tank to start off with.

In general, try starting children off with a small 15 to 20L tank as they often like to keep it in their bedroom and a smaller one is a bit easier to help them to keep clean and maintain.

Adults can start with something bigger like a 50 to 100L tank and it really does depend on the type of fish you have your heart set on. Certain types of fish may need a larger tank so again research is vital beforehand.

You should also consider the size of your living space to ensure the placement of the tank works for both you and the fish!

Make sure you talk to a PETstock fish specialist to ensure you understand what to do with the water, filtration and if a heater or other accessories are required for your specifies of fish as this will differ greatly depending on whether they are cold water or tropical fish for example.

You can find out more about choosing a tank here.

Where should I place a fish tank?

It is really important for the health and safety of your fish to keep them out of direct sunlight, away from windows, and any direct heating.

Most tanks require access to multiple powerpoints or powerboard to keep the water and tank clean, at the right temperature and oxygenated. Did you know fish can die in water if they suffer from a lack of Oxygen in the water?

Also ensure you have easy access for maintenance and cleaning and whether your tank comes with a stand or needs another place for you to put it on.

How many fish can you put in a tank?

The answer to this really does depend on the sized of your tank, the size of the fish species that you want, whether the fish like to be in schools and therefore need to be in groups of six and more, or whether they like to be left alone.  The Siamese Fighting Fish is one breed of fish that do not mix well with others.

PETstock recommends only purchase minimal numbers (about two) as a start, as adding too many at once may cause unnecessary stress on the fish. When purchasing further down the track, it is still recommended to purchase minimal numbers at a time and try giving the newbies somewhere safe they can hide out in the early days such as a plant, shells or other hidey holes.

It is really important to do your research on compatibility of tank mates, so everyone is happy…and safe! Find out more about choosing your fish here.

Cleaning your tank

Fish tanks require regular water changes and pH testing in order to ensure fish are living in the proper conditions. This will depend on the size of your tank and the effectiveness of your filtration system but could include a weekly partial water replacement and tank clean, to a regular full change of water.

You also need to consider the chemicals that go into tap water and how this might impact on your fish and cleaning, whilst you should also clean the outside of the tank regularly with water or aquarium safe products.

Find out more about cleaning your tank here.

How Often Do Fish Need to be Fed?

Did you know that fish don’t have stomachs, so they never know when to stop eating? For this reason, it is generally recommended to only feed fish as much as they can eat in a couple of minutes and only once or twice a day.

There are some fish, like goldfish that don’t need as much so should only be fed as much as they can eat in one minute.

Again, it is important to know the specific needs of each breed of fish as overfeeding is one of the most common mistakes people make.

 To find out more about caring for your fish and what you need to consider when buying one visit your local PETstock store and ask to speak to the fish specialist to find out more fishy facts.