If you are looking for a pet that is relatively easy to take care of, but still offers loads of fun and enjoyment for your self or your family, a fish tank might be the right choice. However, not all fish are the same, and each of the many different fish verity have different considerations to be aware of. Some fish tanks can be a lot of work! If you are looking for simplicity, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Fresh water or salt water? There are lots of amazing colorful salt water fish available, and for many, salt water fish tanks are a great hobby. However, for beginners, or anyone who wants a low maintenance pet, I highly recommend starting with fresh water fish. They are much easier to care for.
Tank and accessories. Setting up your first fish tank can be a lot of fun. Here are a few things that are important.
1. A tank that holds an adequate amount of water. I recommend about 2 gallons per fish. So, In a 10 gallon tank, I would not recommend having more than 5 fish. Maybe less, if your fish are large.
2. A water cleaning filter. Having a water filter, and changing the filter cartridges regularly is extremely important. This will help to keep your fish healthy and happy, but will also keep the tank from stinking.
3. Gravel for the bottom of the tank and aquarium plants. For the least hassle, I recommend using plastic aquarium plants and decorations (rather than live plants). Plants make your fish more comfortable and happy, and also make the aquarium more fun to look at.
4. Cleaning supplies. Cleaning your fish tank takes work but there are great products available that make it easier. Generally you should only replace about half of your tank water when cleaning your fish tank.
5. Fish food appropriate for your fish.
6. A water heater (for some fish)
What fish to buy?
Check with your local pet store regarding the fish you want before making your purchase. Some fish are aggressive and should not be put with other fish, some need to be in groups of 3 or more, and some can only be with specific types of other fish.
Here are a few fish that I think are fantastic for beginners.
1. My all time favorite choice is Goldfish. Goldfish are hardy, easy to care for, and come in some amazing varieties. I think they make a great pet. HOWEVER, they do put off a lot of ammonia that can be dangerous for other kinds of fish, so its best to stick with different varieties of goldfish if you choose this rout. If kept in a warm and relatively temperature consistent location there is no need for an additional heater.
2. I also love Beta fish (or Chinese fighting fish). They are a beautiful fish and are relatively hardy as well. Keep in mind, they should only be kept in small tanks ALONE. They are very aggressive with other fish.
3. Neon Tetra’s and Zebra fish are other favorites for me. They are both attractive and unique fish. These two types are best in groups of 3 or more.