Do you want to start Fishkeeping as a pet activity and dip your toes into the water? Fish are fascinating creatures, even if they don’t snuggle up to you on the sofa or join you on hikes. Do you know fish are more interactive than you thought? They’re enjoyable to watch as they weave in and out of rocks and plants as they move around a tank.
They’ll also hurry to greet you when it’s time to feed, rising to the surface for the delectable goodies you’ve dropped in. Be it for fishkeeping magazines or fishkeeping games, having a fish as a pet is bliss.
So, without further ado, let’s get started to the fishkeeping world complete care guide to caring for keep fishkeeping blog.
Table of Contents
History of Fishkeeping Hobby
Fishkeeping as a hobby date back at least 4,500 years, when the Sumerians kept fish in purpose-built ponds. Ancient Rome, the Chinese, and the Japanese are considered the first civilization to breed fish carefully.
Goldfish were maintained indoors in huge ceramic containers during the Song Dynasty. Early hobbyists in England utilized glass jars to keep goldfish throughout the 1700s. French naturalist Jeanne Villepreux-Power developed the first glass aquarium in 1832.
The type of practical fishkeeping system you choose is determined by the fish you wish to maintain.
Some fish species are found in saltwater environments, such as estuaries and mangrove swamps, where the water is salty and fresh.
Keeping a brackish aquarium well-balanced is challenging, especially when water evaporates, taking some of the salt content.
At each weekly partial water change, the hobbyist will also have to balance the combination of saltwater and freshwater carefully.
The majority of aquarists begin their fishkeeping adventure by keeping freshwater fish. To create an appealing and fascinating focal point in their house, most choose to keep a mix of species in one display tank.
Certain fish, such as bettas, are solitary, yet they still create a striking display in a single-species aquarium.
Saltwater aquarists are better suited to marine and reef tanks than those who keep freshwater animals in home aquariums. Temperate species demand chilly water, which is challenging to offer in an aquarium unless you employ a refrigeration device.
Living rock, big coral species, and anemones can create a coral reef in a saltwater tank. Mollusks, crabs, echinoderms, shrimp, and tranquil small fish species are commonly found in reef tanks.
Top Tips For Novice Aquarists
What Fish Species?
When choosing fish for a beginning aquarist, there are a few fishkeeping advice to keep in mind:
- What is the maximum size of aquarium you can have?
- When the fish are entirely matured, how large do they get?
- What is the species’ hardiness?
- Is the species simple to care for life?
- Is the species friendly or hostile?
- What is the species’ expected lifespan?
Until you’ve decided on the kind of fish, you want to raise, do some study for providing all have the same water conditions, habitat, diet, and temperament needs.
You should also avoid fish with a reputation for being aggressive. The size of the tank you have will affect the fish species you may keep.
What Size Fish Tank?
Keep in mind that you’ll need space around your tank for maintenance as well as easy access to electrical outlets. The larger the tank, in general, the better for the fish.
Check that the flooring in the area where the tank and cabinet will keep it sturdy and level. Maintain a consistent water temperature as variations may be detrimental to many fish species.
What Equipment Do You Need?
You’ll want some equipment in addition to the tank for your marine fishkeeping, like:
- Air Pump
Introduce The Cute Fish
Begin by introducing a few tiny fish to the tank to give the biological filter time to adjust to the increased workload of fish waste in the water.
Your fish will be placed in a plastic bag for transportation after you purchase them. Before releasing the fish into the aquarium, float in the tank for 30 minutes with the fish still inside.
Understanding Water Chemistry
The quantity of minerals in the water, such as calcium carbonate, determines whether it is hard or soft. The pH of water determines whether or not it is alkaline, acidic, or neutral.
When it comes to water chemistry, various fish species have varied tolerances. Check the hardness and pH of your aquarium water before you buy your fish.
Filtration for Fishkeeper
Mechanical, biological, and chemical phases are present in the most delicate fish filters. The filter purifies water by drawing it through different media, preventing ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates from forming in the water.
Your filtration system keeps the water flowing, allowing oxygen to enter the water while it does so.
Removing fish waste, uneaten food, and general debris from the aquarium is easier with mechanical filtration.
You should change the filter cartridges once a month, depending on the system, to ensure that the filter performs at its best. Clean the filter media in the tank once a week to eliminate any dirt that might clog the filters. In turn, prevents water from flowing freely.
The biological filter is critical to the health of your fish. Special natural sponges in the filter promote the growth of “good” bacteria in the aquarium.
Beneficial bacteria assist in breaking the nitrogen cycle, keeping your fish and plants safe in the water.
The system’s chemical filtration section is in charge of removing hazardous substances from the water.
This phase of the filter system is generally filled with activated charcoal, which is highly efficient in keeping the water safe for your fish.
Fishing Tank Maintenance
If you want your fish to stay healthy, you must correctly maintain your aquarium.
Tank maintenance is essentially a weekly task (as per fishkeeping news and fishkeeping blogs):
- To remove algae and biofilm from the aquarium glass, start by washing it.
- Remove any dead leaves or overgrowth from any living plants in your tank.
- Remove the lid and turn off the tank illumination.
- Remove any algae from the cover slide, as well as any complex watermarks.
- Turn the filtration system off.
- Clean the gravel with an aquarium vacuum and remove a bucketful of water.
- The filter device must withdraw from the tank.
- Remove the filter media from the housing and wash it in the dirty tank water bucket.
- Replace the unit in the tank and the filter media in the housing.
- As partial water changes are necessary to eliminate accumulated nitrates, keep cleaning the gravel until around 25% to 30% of the water in the tank has been removed.
- Refill the aquarium with new tap water that has been dechlorinated.
- Replace the tank lid and light fitting after turning on the filtration unit and making sure it’s operating correctly.
Choosing the Right Aquarium for Aquascaping
It’s natural to want to begin small, especially when children are involved. A larger tank, such as a ten or 20-gallon tank, is preferable to a small desktop aquarium.
Larger tanks are more steady, and beginning errors are more forgivable. It’s usually preferable to go bigger if your money and available room allow it.
Glass Aquarium vs. Acrylic Aquarium
Glass or acrylic aquarium? Both have advantages and disadvantages. Glass tanks are less costly, do not warp or scrape readily, and do not discolor with time.
However, they are more prone to breaking. Acrylic tanks are lighter and less prone to breaking while being more costly.
An acrylic or frameless glass aquarium’s entire bottom must be supported when choosing a stand, not just the sides, as with a framed glass aquarium.
Where To Place Your Aquarium?
Put your new aquarium in the room where you spend the most time so that you can enjoy it! Avoid using windows that receive direct sunlight since this might change the temperature of the water and lead to algae development.
Avoid external walls and entrance doors in colder areas where winter drafts might cause a reduction in water temperature. Avoid placing your aquarium in high-traffic locations where it could knock.
Place your aquarium on a level surface, away from a fireplace or heating/air conditioning vent, and away from electrical gadgets, books, and anything that may be harmed by water.
Choosing the Right Equipment for Pet Fish Keeper
Selecting the Equipment for Your Aquarium
Choosing the right heater size; if it’s too tiny, the heater won’t warm the aquarium adequately. Some heaters include an inbuilt thermostat that controls when the heater goes on and off, while others provide a continual heat flow.
Types of Heaters
- Flat Heaters
- Mini Heater
- Preset Heaters
- Submersible Aquarium Heaters
- Pro Heaters
In aquariums and with fake plants, intensity and spectrum are less significant. Low Kelvin ratings apply to light sources that have a yellowish or warm appearance.
The majority of freshwater aquarium lights have a Kelvin rating of 5,500 to 8,000. The depth of the water is also a consideration. Specific wavelengths are more effective at penetrating water than others.
Type of Light Fixtures
- Standard Fluorescent
- Day/Night Cycle Light
- Algae & Light
The ideal filter for your aquarium will be determined by the size of your aquarium, the species of fish you maintain, and your feeding habits.
Fish excrement is released into the same environment where they feed, breathe, and live. Their long-term health and well-being rely on a reliable filtering system.
- External Power Filters
- Canister Filters
- Internal Power Filters
- Sump or Wet/Dry Filters
- Sponge Filters
Setting Up Your Unisex Tropical Aquarium
How To Set Up A Large Aquarium?
Always integrate a drip loop on any electrical devices and read all directions before building and installing equipment:
- Lay the tank face down on a carpeted or covered surface and attach the backdrop cloth with tape or hook and loop strips such as Velcro.
- Place the aquarium far enough away from the wall to allow for filters, hoses, and cables.
- Make sure the stand is level and doesn’t shake or wobble while you use it.
- If required, use wood shims to level and support the stand.
- Using a colander, wire strainer, or fishnet, rinse gravel with tap water.
- Bleach, soap, and other cleaning agents should not be used.
- Assemble the filter and place it in the aquarium.
- Place the outflow to ensure that the aquarium is well-circulated.
- Set the required temperature (75° – 80° F for tropical fishkeeping) on your heater’s control dial and place it in the tank.
- To achieve uniform heat dispersion throughout the aquarium, place it near the filter intake, outflow, or air diffuser.
- For more effective heat distribution, submersible heaters can be placed horizontally.
- Do not turn on the heating quite yet.
- Install a thermometer on the aquarium’s opposite end from the heater.
- Fill the tank halfway with water that has been treated with a water conditioner and is at room temperature.
- Put a plate on the bottom to prevent the pebbles from being stirred when the water enters. o Now is the time to put in artificial plants, rockwork, driftwood, and other decorations.
- After the aquarium has been functioning for at least 48 hours, live plants and fish should introduce.
- Fill the aquarium to 1″ below the rim once the ornaments have been added.
- Use a drip loop to connect the filter and prime it.
- You create a drip loop when you let the cord fall below the outlet before plugging it in.
- If you’re using an aerator, turn it on right now.
- Air diffusers and bubble wands must keep away from the filter intake tubes since they can cause the filter to cease working if the air is pulled in.
- Plug the heater on after 30 minutes.
- Cover the tank with the cover and light, then plug the light.
Fishkeeping Advice For the First 60 Days of Marine Fishkeeping
Here are some pointers on how to get the most out of your first 60 days with a new fish tank.
The First 5 Days After Setup:
You’ll be giddy with anticipation as you prepare to stock your new aquarium with fish. Allow at least 48 hours for your aquarium to “settle” before adding your first fish or live plants.
These blooms are typically safe to fish, but testing for ammonia and nitrite to ensure they remain at zero is a good idea. If no ammonia or nitrite are found, resist the urge to replace the water.
On the other hand, significant water changes might stress your fish by prolonging the bloom by supplying nutrients.
5 to 15 Days After Setup:
At first, your new fish may hide. To make them feel safe and comfortable, make sure they have lots of shelter and hiding places. If you don’t have live plants, turn off the aquarium light for a few days to encourage cautious fish to come out and appreciate their new habitat.
Feed only when necessary! Feeding only what the fish can take in 2 minutes or less is a decent rule of thumb. Feed your tank once a day for the time being till it completes its initial cycle. You may now add more fish to the mix.
15 to 30 Days After Setup:
Algae may develop on the glass and other aquarium items as ammonia are converted to nitrite and eventually nitrate.
Scrub the algae from the glass using an ALGAE SCRAPER or a scrub pad. Before buying fresh fish, always test the water and only buy a few at a time.
Between new fish arrivals, wait at least a week. The ideal water changes are small, regular ones. It’s critical to develop a habit of changing your water.
30 to 60 Days After Setup:
Begin feeding twice a day as long as the ammonia and nitrite levels stay below zero. The Nitrogen Cycle completes when nitrite and ammonia levels are zero. Only feed your fish what they can take in 2 minutes or less.
It’s OK to skip a feeding once in a while. As they engage with one another and swim about the tank, observe their behavior.
Be on the lookout for fast breathing, gasping at the surface, clamped fins, white patches on fins or bodies, scratching against things, strange behavior, or new external marks. Doubts and worries blinding you? Then, contact a local aquatic specialist.
Care and Maintenance
Water Quality Basics
The Nitrogen Cycle
Ammonia is exceptionally harmful to everything in your aquarium, especially your fish. Fish waste, decaying food, dead creatures, and plant residues build as your aquarium becomes established.
The ammonia levels in your tank should be zero in an ideal circumstance. Nitrites aren’t as poisonous to your fish as ammonia, but they’re still toxic, and ideally, nitrite levels should be 0ppm (parts per million).
The nitrite is broken down by another bacteria called Nitrobacter to create nitrates in the last step of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrate levels should ideally be less than 20 parts per million.
A pH of 6.8 to 7.6 is ideal for most tropical species in freshwater aquariums. As organic waste builds up and mineral buffers are exhausted, the pH of an aged aquarium will naturally decline.
To remove contaminants and restore minerals from pH water, partial water exchanges must be performed regularly.
How To Safely Lower pH:
To achieve the correct pH and offer buffering, use reverse osmosis (RO) or deionized (DI) water. Before putting water in your aquarium, make sure it’s clean and tested for pH. Natural driftwood may use to decorate your aquarium.
Fill your filter with peat moss or peat pellets. Peat moss, like driftwood, contains tannins that decrease pH. To keep it confined, use a mesh media bag and only peat materials meant for aquariums. Replenish as required to keep the pH at the appropriate level.
How To Safely Raise pH:
To achieve the correct pH and buffering, use reverse osmosis (RO) or deionized (DI) water. Before putting water in your aquarium, make sure it’s clean and tested for pH. As a substrate, use crushed coral or dolomite gravel.
Over time, these calcium carbonate-based gravels disintegrate, increasing and buffering pH. Limestone or coral rock may use to decorate your aquarium. Use a fair amount of calcium carbonate rock to have the desired effect, just as you would with driftwood for reducing pH.
Practical Fish Care Tips for Maine Fishkeeping
Our fish rely on us to provide the most pleasing possible environment and attend to their every need. Here are some ideas about how we can do it:
To feel comfortable, establish territory, reproduce, or seek shelter, most aquarium fish require structure in their habitat.
Fish tend to remain out in the open and are less stressed in a well-decorated aquarium. The coolest part of owning an aquarium is decorating it.
It allows you to customize your aquarium, stretch your creative muscles, and transform that glass box into a work of living art!
Some fish are omnivorous, which means they ingest both protein and plant matter. Knowing what your fish eat in the wild will help you pick the proper food for them and give you an idea of how often they are fed.
The majority of fish thrive when fed once or twice a day. In nature, large predators miss food every day, and in the aquarium, they do not need to be fed every day. Small amounts of food should be provided two to three times daily to herbivores and fish graze throughout the day.
The most effective aquarists do a 10% to 25% water change on their aquariums every week. This assists in removing undesirable trash and the replacement of stale water with fresh and clean water.
Changing more than half of the water at once is not good Even though it doesn’t appear to be filthy, trash can accumulate over time and chemically change the habitat in which your fish reside.
Questions When Buying A New Fish in Fishkeeping World
Before buying fish, you must have a pool of questions! So, let’s give you brief fishkeeping answers to questions.
Transport and Acclimation
The more significant the difference in temperature between store water and aquarium water, the more time and caution you need to use when acclimating them.
Some fish are more sensitive to changes than others, necessitating a more gradual acclimatization process.
Some fish are too huge to acclimatize in an aquarium while floating. In contrast, other fish tends to be more fragile and need a more careful procedure.
Drip application is helpful in these situations. The water pace is controlled through airline tubing and a flow regulator.
To keep the bag floating during the acclimation phase, form a flotation ring by opening the bag and rolling it towards the outside.
Fish will less stress if the lights are turned off while they acclimate to the aquarium’s temperature.
Betta aquariums are a typical type of aquarium to put up. The floating acclimatization approach is highly recommended.
Make sure any water in the bag is discarded and not added to the aquarium.
Fishkeeping News about Nutrition and Feeding
The size of the food you give your fish should correspond to the size of their mouths.
On the other hand, big predatory fish are unlikely to be interested in little flake crumbles, while small fish, such as Neon Tetras, can’t get large pellets into their jaws. Food that hasn’t been consumed may rapidly contaminate your aquarium.
How Much to Feed?
Underfeeding fish is always a good idea, especially in young tanks. Feed as much as your fish can ingest in 2 to 3 minutes as a general guideline.
Begin with a small quantity and see how quickly your fish consumes it. After five minutes, use a siphon hose or a net to remove any remaining food.
Where Fish Feed?
Sinking tablets, wafers, and pellets are ideal for bottom feeders. When feeding frozen meals, use a turkey baster or a big syringe to administer the food a bit at a time.
Most fish will learn to eat from any accessible source, but shy fish may require special attention.
How Often To Feed?
It is adequate to feed fish once or twice a day. Fish that are larger and more sedentary may go longer between meals than fish that are smaller and more active.
Small, energetic fish, such as danios and freshly hatched fry, have excellent metabolic rates and should be fed regularly.
Fish metabolisms are influenced by water temperature, which impacts how frequently and how much they require to be provided.
When To Feed?
Aquarium fish may be fed on any day, although the ideal times are morning and evening. Sinking foods can also supply nocturnal species, including knife fish, catfish, and some plecostomus.
Thirty minutes before morning feeding and 30 minutes after nighttime feeding, make sure the aquarium light is turned on.
Signs of Overfeeding Fish
Overfeeding refers to giving your fish more food than they need or prefer in a single feeding. Even amateurs who only feed once a day or every other day might overfeed if the food is not eaten in less than two or three minutes. The following symptoms can identify overfeeding:
- After 5 minutes, uneaten food remains in the tank, but the fish show little interest in it.
- The water in aquariums is murky or hazy, and it has a terrible stench.
- After cleaning, the filter material becomes blocked in a couple of days.
- Algae growth is out of control.
- The levels of ammonia or nitrite are high.
- Excessive nitrates or a low pH.
Fishkeeping Blog about Algae Prevention and Control
Regardless of how meticulously you maintain your aquarium, you may face algae development.
Although some algae development is acceptable in a mature aquarium, excessive algae growth can be caused by water quality issues or poor management practices.
To avoid and regulate algae growth, you must first understand what causes it.
In their most basic form, algae are aquatic plants. They, like other plants, require water, light, and nutrients to thrive.
Nitrate and phosphate are the essential nutrients in an aquarium. Nitrate (NO3) levels should be less than ten parts per million, while phosphate (PO4) levels should be less than half per million.
As fluorescent bulbs age, they lose their brightness and suffer a “color shift.” Algae thrive in dim light because they are more tolerant of unfavorable circumstances.
Fluorescent light bulbs should be replaced every 10 to 12 months for optimal effects.
Types of Algae
The five different types of algae are the following:
- Brown Algae
- Green Algae
- Blue-green Algae
- Filamentous Algae
- Green Water Blooms
Algae seldom grow in well-planted aquariums because aquatic plants take nutrients from the water and starve algae. When the aquarium is thickly planted, live plants perform best in preventing algae.
Hornwort, Wisteria, and Rotala are fast-growing bunch plants that are excellent at using nutrients and keeping algae at bay.
Algae Eating Fish
Bottom feeders like Corydoras catfish and other loach species help clean up uneaten food and consume dead plant debris, which helps to minimize nutrient build-up in the water.
When adding plecostomus to a planted aquarium, keep in mind that some species have been known to consume broadleaf plants.
On a layer of diatomaceous earth, diatom filters capture floating algal cells. UV sterilizers destroy algae as they travel through the light chamber, and they don’t need to be cleaned.
Both filters should be placed on the aquarium for 7 to 10 days to eliminate all algae cells.
Chemicals for Algae Problems
When dealing with algae problems, chemical algaecides should never be your first choice. They may give a short-term fix, but if the root cause is not treated, the problem will return sooner or later.
Algae development may be prevented and controlled considerably more effectively with proper filter maintenance, regular water changes, and appropriate stocking and feeding techniques.
Fishkeeping Magazine about Fish Compatibility
Every aquarist confronts the difficulty of selecting species that get along. While we know that some combinations work in most cases, numerous others may go either way based on various circumstances.
When buying fish for your aquarium, a few factors to bear in mind might help you assess fish compatibility.
- Aquarium Size
- Aquarium Dimension
- Decorations and Plants
- Species/Origin of the Fish
- Fish Age
- Fish Size
- Fish Gender
- Number of Fish
- Territory & Dominance Hierarchies
- Predatory Fish
- Fish That Are Breeding
- Fish Personalities
Fish Health and Disease
Knowing how to avoid illnesses and detect and cure issues before they become unmanageable can assure your aquarium’s prosperity and enjoyment for years to come.
This section will assist you in maintaining the health of your fish, detecting issues early, and treating common fish ailments.
Stress impairs the immune systems of fish, which leads to illness. Perform frequent partial water swaps and be vigilant about filter cleaning to maintain your fish in good health. Always use a conditioner on tap water before adding it to your aquarium when doing water swaps.
Quarantining any new arrivals is an excellent approach to keep your aquarium disease-free. The risk of introducing a disease organism is significantly reduced when fresh fish are quarantined.
It enables you to treat ill fish safely if necessary. Bullies or fish who are being picked on can also be isolated in a quarantine tank.
Ultraviolet sterilizers destroy disease-causing bacteria and algae floating in the air. UV sterilizer bulbs must replace every 7,000 hours or ten months.
Disease-causing organisms may be found in almost every aquarium, but they will not affect fish if their numbers are kept low, and their immune systems are working well.
If your fish seems unwell or is acting strangely, seek help from an aquarium professional as soon as possible.
Regularly observe your fish – feeding time is an excellent time to do so. When seeking assistance, photographs or a brief video of your fish might be pretty helpful.
Although you can’t foresee what’s wrong with your fish, it’s a good idea to be familiar with common diseases and their symptoms so you can start treating them as soon as possible. Here are a few of the common diseases among fishes:
- Fish Lice
- Anchor worm
- Lateral Line Diseases ( or HLLE)
- Nematode Worms
Fishkeeping is a rewarding and enjoyable pastime that the entire family can participate in it. We’ve included all you need to know to become a successful aquarist in our guide (unlike the other practical fishkeeping articles).
Decide where you want your fish tank to go and what size aquarium you can have, depending on that. Choose fish that are robust, compatible, and quiet. Assemble all of the necessary equipment.
There is a practical fishkeeping app for fishkeeping games or a website like www fishkeeping co UK for helping beginners. Seach for fishkeeping clubs near me and join the fishkeeping forums.
How hard is it to keep a fish?
It’s not difficult to keep fish alive, but knowing what they want and giving it can guarantee that you and your fish have many happy years together!
How much does an aquarist make a month?
It depends upon the experience, as it starts to form $24.44 per hour to $60.54 per hour.
What do you mean by fishkeeping?
Fishkeeping is a common pastime for aquarists interested in keeping fish in their home aquarium or garden pond.
Is fishKeeping ethical?
Keeping a pet fish may be harsh if done incorrectly. However, humanely keeping fish is ethical. Your marine animals will have a long and happy life if you treat them well and provide them with the proper circumstances.