There are quite a few things to know about how to keep aquarium fish alive and the following information is especially helpful for anyone who is thinking about setting up an aquarium.
It doesn’t matter what you keep your fish in, a bowl or a 50-gallon tank, you can’t just put them in, feed them and expect them to live a long life. Fish require care and attention, and saltwater aquariums require much more than fresh water.
Naturally, it takes a lot more work to keep a large tank than a goldfish bowl, so it’s important to know ahead of time if you’re willing to spend the time to maintain it.
After you have decided on the size tank you want, be careful what you put in it for decorations and where you put it. It may be pretty in front of a window, but sunlight makes algae grow, and the water can become too warm in the summer. Your tank doesn’t have to be in the dark – use a tank light to display fish. You’ll have to experiment with the amount of time you keep the light on since too much light also causes algae.
All decorations should be bought at an aquarium store. Those pretty shells you collected on the beach could be contaminated with bacteria or parasites, and fancy shells bought in dime stores could be painted with poisonous paint or lacquer. If you decide to use plastic plants, anchor them to the bottom with clean marbles.
When you fill the tank with water, it should be dechlorinated and stand a few hours. Actually, you should wait a few days to make sure filters and motors work properly before adding the fish if you want to keep them alive. You can use commercial dechlorinator to add to the water.
If you decide to move the decorations after the fish are in, don’t reach in with your hand if you want to keep your aquarium fish alive; use a plastic “spaghetti grabber” or salad tongs. Your hand can contaminate the water.
Never leave the top of an aquarium open; keep a lid on it. A screen or large nylon net works terrifically to keep objects from falling in and, most important, to prevent fish from jumping out. Even very small fish can manage to jump out.
There are many good books you can buy at aquarium stores or libraries that can teach you how to keep aquarium fish alive and give you all the information you need to care for the specific fish you want. Not knowing how to care for your fish is what usually kills them.
Once you have everything set up, you’ll see how relaxing it is sitting in front of a beautiful aquarium and watching fish. It can be a wonderful therapy for a lot of people.