Caring for pet fish is one of the most calming and enjoyable things that you can do while you’re at home. Not only is it an educational way to teach kids about nature, but studies have shown that observing live fish can improve one’s mood, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. And since we benefit so much from our pet fishes, it’s important that we look after them in the best way possible for them to thrive. To help your pets live their best life, here’s a guide to keep your pet fish happy and healthy.
Maintain an ideal aquarium environment
Setting up an aquarium takes more than picking a tank and filling it up with salt or fresh water. First, get an aquarium that’s big enough as keeping fish in small tanks or bowls can put your pet’s life at risk. Next, you need to ensure you have the right level of gravel in your aquarium to maintain a healthy environment for pet fishes. Start by putting one to two inches of gravel at the bottom of the tank to allow beneficial bacteria to grow within it. This is an important step since gravel blocks reflections from the bottom of the tank, which can cause stress in pet fish. Next, provide some places for fish to hide, such as plants, a mini fish cave, or other decorations. Some fishes do well without all the accessories, but others need hiding places to feel safe in the tank. Whenever you add a fish to your aquarium, don’t forget to add another decorative piece so that new fishes can have a place to go to. Even the most placid fish can get territorial about their hiding spots, so make sure to have enough accessories in your tank for all of your pets.
Do partial water changes
No matter how great your filter is, you still need to change the water since nitrate and phosphate can build up over time. High nitrate levels can be fatal for pet fish, so make it a habit to do partial water changes at least twice a week. To do this, turn the heater and filters off, then remove 25 percent of the water and put it in a bucket. Use a gravel vacuum to clear out debris from the bottom of the tank, taking care not to hit any of the fish with the device. Next, open up the filter, take out the sponges, and clean them thoroughly before putting them back in the filter. Top up the tank with water from the tap, but make sure that it’s the same temperature as the old water in the tank, so add hot or cold water as needed before mixing the new water with the old.
Feed them the right way
Your fish needs more than one type of food to stay healthy, so make sure to get different types of fish food to meet their nutritional needs. You can feed small active fish small amounts of food frequently throughout the day, while larger, slow fishes can be fed twice a day. Supervise young children while they’re feeding the fish and let them know how much food is enough for your pet fishes to avoid overfeeding.
Keep your fish happy and healthy by giving them an ideal aquarium environment and by feeding them different types of food. Not only will they live longer, but you and your loved ones will enjoy the benefits of owning these amazing pets for years.