Many people think of pet fish as being fairly low-maintenance. Though fish do not require as much attention as some other pets, they still require care and attention in order to remain healthy. In a properly maintained tank, fish will have a much higher life expectancy. Here are some general pet care tips for ensuring that your fish remain in good health.
Freshwater or Saltwater: Depending on the type of fish that you own, you will either be caring for a saltwater or freshwater tank. Though it’s true that saltwater tanks are significantly more complicated to maintain than freshwater tanks, this doesn’t mean that you can ignore the needs of your freshwater fish. The pH, temperature and nitrite levels of your freshwater tank are very important in caring for your fish’s health.
For saltwater tanks, you will most likely be using “live rock” in your tank. Live rock can greatly help the health of your tank, as long as it is used properly. Live rock often needs to “cure” in your tank for a few weeks before your tank is ready to host saltwater fish and other organisms.
Health Problems: Caring for a fish involves being aware of some of the most common health problems that can affect fish. For example, fin rot is extremely common in tanks that have a high level of bacteria. If you notice a change in your fish’s behavior or appearance, this may be a sign that your fish is suffering from a health problem. Educate yourself about some common fish diseases, as well as the symptoms they usually cause in fish. In general, keeping your tank clean is a great way to prevent potentially serious health problems in pet fish.
Tank Cleaning: Cleaning your fish’s tank is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your fish remain healthy. Many people believe that the water in a fish’s tank needs to be completely replaced in order for the tank to be properly cleaned. In reality, this is not the case! Replacing about 20% of the water in your tank on a weekly basis will go a long way towards ensuring that your fish tank remains fairly clean. It’s best to siphon off the water at the bottom of the tank when cleaning, since this is where the most debris and waste collects.