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Sea World: A Look At The Wonderful World Of Fish

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

You think they’re cute, and maybe your child/children, and/or spouse wants one, but you barely have time for you, and the existing members of your family anymore; an you’re thinking there’s “no way” you could handle a pet.

Well, apparently you are not alone, which is why some suggest that fish are rapidly replacing more traditional animals as the preferred family pet these days.

And, fish are noted for contributing to the décor and ambiance of your home. But, while they may seem easy to maintain, experts assert that there’s plenty involved with the upkeep of fish.

1. Making Your Selection: Experts suggest that cold-water fish are better for “beginners” since they are easier to take care of. Among these are Gold fish, comets, shubukins, fantails, veiltails, moors, bubble-eyes and weather loach.

And, they note that some cold-water fish tend to grow to over a foot and the Japanese Koi grows to more than two feet long. Also, the average life span for gold fish is between 10 to 20 years.

Warm water fish also offer a healthy variety to choose from, but professionals point out that it’s important to identify if they will be able to flourish in the same type of water conditions and to check on how well they will be able to get along with other fish.

Among these are Tetras, Angelfish, Catfish, Danios, and Plays just to name a few.

2. Location, Location, Location: And, this includes setup. Experts recommend a tank between 10 to 20 gallons of aquarium with gravel weighing more than 200 pounds. They also strongly suggest keeping it out of direct sunlight and placing it on something extremely sturdy. Fill with clean tap water and allow water to age for several weeks prior to putting the fish in so that the chemicals (in the water) can thoroughly evaporate. Or, you can use a chemical neutralizer to achieve the same results.

Note that fish do better in water that has a pH of about 7 and, glass bowls are not ideal environments.

Furthermore, experts point out that it’s important to clear out several gallons of water weekly to get rid of unwanted chemicals and replace it with clean aged water. You’ll also need a properly sized aquarium heater and thermometer to maintain the temperature at about 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit for tropical fish. Also, the heater must be put into the tank and plugged in prior to placing the fish in the water. Experts suggest starting at a low temperature and gradually increasing the setting over a few weeks. After a week of setting up the tank, strong fish such as platy can be released into the tank and in fact can provide the bacteria needed for the tank. Then you can add more and more compatible fish to your waters.

Remember, according to experts, it’s a general rule to have a fish measuring an inch per gallon of water. When you are ready to introduce a new fish, it’s imperative to float the plastic bag containing the fish in the tank making sure the temperature of the water in the bag is the same as that in the tank.

3. Filtration: Maintaining the quality of the water means you’ll need to invest in and have one or more filters removing the waste and chemicals from the tank. Remember, there are a variety of filters to choose from, including box filters, under gravel filters, and outside filters. And, experts suggest consulting with a professional before making your choice, especially if you’re not a seasoned fish tank aficionado.

4. Gravel: Gravel is more than just a mere embellishment. It actually helps the bacteria thrive which helps treat impurities in the water. Coarse grave is best suited when using an underground filter and fine gravel for an outside filter. However, gavel that is too fine is not recommended for the roots of the plants to spread in the environment. Also the quantity of gravel for the tank is one pound of gravel for every gallon of water.

5. Lighting: Both an aquarium cover and a light fixture are necessary to keep water from evaporation and to keep dust from falling in the tank. A fluorescent fixture help enhance the colors of the fish and helps plants to grow. Incandescent lights emit heat, so, if they are kept on for 12 hours, they must be shut off for the next 12 hours.

6. Food and Feeding: Invest in fish food from the pet store, but avoid overfeeding. Dried flakes according to experts offer amble nutrition. Brine shrimp, blood worms and tubifex worms are other options and more natural sources of fish food. Try to give your fish several small meals per day and consider investing in a feeding tube that will help in regular feedings when you are at work or away. Also, allow a little algae tog row on your tank, which will serve as a little snack for the fish.

Long Island Pets Articles > Sea World: A Look At The Wonderful World Of Fish

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