Freshwater tanks are a lot easier to maintain than a saltwater
aquarium. The fresh water fish may not be easy to keep but the setup is a lot less complicated, you do not have to
be chemist to run one of these tank set ups. Freshwater fish are perhaps easier fish to care for in comparison to
saltwater species because they are usually hardier fish.
A basic aquarium set up will be required. You will need a tank,
some rocks or substrate to line bottom of the tank. You will also need a filter, and some lighting. You will also
need a thermometer. After the tank has been sitting for a few weeks getting the bacteria to cycle then it is ready
for some freshwater fish.
There are different kinds of fresh water fish that you can get.
When choosing fish, it is imperative to make sure the fish are compatible. Not only do they need to be compatible
for water temperature and P.H., but they also should have similar food requirements. Try to keep the fish
relatively the same size. It has been said that if a fish is small enough to fit in another fish’s mouth, that is
usually where it ends up. So, don't be discouraged if this happens. Even fish that have been housed together for
several months have been known to disappear on occasion.
There are of course large and small and different species of
each. If you are just starting out and your tank is only for decorative purposes then stick with small fish, but if
you see this as becoming a great hobby and you are going to stick to it then don’t bother with small fish as they
are a waste of money, it is better to get the bigger fish. Bigger species of fish aren’t harder to keep than
smaller ones, just different. When I say bigger species, I don’t mean that they are bigger to start off with, but
most of the “bigger species” can grow to at least half a foot long. Cichlids and Malawi's are the usual favourites
of fish enthusiasts, although they are both freshwater fishes, they both need different types of fresh
African Malawi's prefer hard water, and a lower PH. American
cichlid like to have a different temperature and PH level. Also, there is a certain type of fish, known as Discus
which is very, very expensive and hard to keep. There PH level has to be maintained almost exact throughout their
tank life or it can result in death, they also like their temperature higher than most fresh water fish, nearly
When choosing your fresh water fish make sure that they are fish
that you like! Not to mention make sure that the fish that you choose are going to be relatively easy for you to
keep, there is no point in purchasing hard to keep fish if you are not going to spend the time and take on the
responsibility to look after them. Fish are living creatures to and they need a lot of looking after, so don’t
purchase them if you are not prepared to do so.
Freshwater fish should be fed twice daily. Feed only a small
amount that can be consumed within the first two to five minutes. Over feeding is a common mistake among novice
fish keepers. Any excess food should be lifted with a net if possible, as it will become debris and quickly dirty
the tank. Water should be kept regulated and tested weekly. Any discrepancies in P.H. and water temperature should
be corrected immediacy in order to minimize stress caused to the fish. Stress is significant because
it causes illness in fish. It is important to monitor the activity and overall well-being of the fish in an
aquarium. The signs of stress will be fairly obvious. Slow moving or lethargic looking fish will require a stress
coat that can be purchased at a local pet store. Try to avoid overcrowding the tank. This should help to reduce the
amount of stress caused to the fish.
Change about a third of the water in the aquarium at a time,
because this type of change will cause the least amount of disturbance to the fish and other inhabitants. This will
need to be done every two to three weeks. Use either a bucket or a siphon to remove the water from the tank. Try to
remove any loose or floating debris at this time. When adding the new water to the aquarium, be sure that it is
within approximately two degrees of the tank water. The sides of the aquarium should be scrubbed regularly to
remove an alga build up. Again, be careful not to disturb the fish. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after
handling the aquarium. Lastly, check the manufacturer's recommendation on filters and change them accordingly.
Filters collect any fish waste or left-over food. They can't function properly unless they are
Introduce hardy fish to a new tank. These fish can withstand
higher nitrite levels that are present in a new aquarium. Choose fish such as danios, barbs, gouramis, and live
bearers. Don't add more than three to four small fish per week. Acclimation times vary per species, so check with
your retailer before adding any other new fish.