With their vibrant colours and abundance of shapes and sizes, fish make fantastic first pets. Not only do they add a beautiful ambience to any home but they are also inexpensive and low-maintenance pets. Here, Speciality Category Manager for Petbarn, Leanne Tong, chats to New Idea about keeping fish.
Fish are very popular pets, and they are relatively easy to look after compared to dogs or cats. Some species of fish are easier to look after than others, for example, marine fish require very specific water conditions while many freshwater fish are more tolerant of different conditions. As long as your aquarium is set up with suitable filters and the water is correctly treated, most fish are not difficult to keep.
Fish and children
Fish are among the most popular pets for children as they are easy to care for, harmless and intriguing for kids to watch. Although fish require regular care, children can help share the load. Fish feeding and changing tank water are easy tasks for children to take on and learn how to be responsible for the welfare of an animal, making them an ideal first pet. Keeping a fish tank also introduces kids to lessons in biology and chemistry.
Best fish for a first pet
There are many varieties you can consider for a first pet. Male Betta Fish are popular as they are easy to care for and feature bright jewel colours. Tetras are quite popular with fish owners as it’s easy to keep multiple Tetras together and they do not require large tanks. Goldfish are also a great option as they are also very happy to live in cold water so won’t require a heater. They are always on the move and are very peaceful.
Cleaning their tank
As a guide, you should change 10-20 per cent of the water in your freshwater tank every two to three weeks. Never do a full water change, as this will remove bacteria that’s essential in breaking down the waste your fish create.
Another important tip is to never wash your filter material in tap water as the chlorine will kill all the beneficial bacteria that keeps your fish safe. Use a little of the aquarium water instead.