From the humble goldfish to the spectacularly beautiful and exotic tropical fish species, fish offer such a diverse range of choices to animal lovers. Live fish add colour and interest to any home and come in a fascinating array of shapes, sizes, colours and species. And unlike many other pet options out there, they won’t dig up your garden, leave fur everywhere or make too much noise and disturb the neighbours.
If you’ve decided that the time is right to add a pet fish to your family, congratulations! You’re in for an exciting time and you’ll hopefully enjoy the benefits and thrills of pet fish for many years to come.
But before you can go out and buy the perfect pet fish, you’ll need to make sure that you have all the essential equipment for your aquatic companion to be happy and healthy. Check out our handy pet fish product guide below for a rundown on the basics you need to own a pet fish.
Essential Pet Fish Products
After the fish itself (or themselves, if you’re getting more than one!), the next thing on your shopping list will undoubtedly be a tank. There’s a huge array of fish tanks available in all manner of sizes and designs, but you’ll obviously be affected by the amount of space your new pet needs to swim around in and the space you have in your home. A tank stand will also be required in some cases, while an aquarium canopy can help protect your pets, provide illumination and also look very impressive.
The tank will obviously need to be filled with the appropriate clean water that your fish needs to thrive, so water test kits can help you check whether you’re creating the perfect living conditions. Gravel or glass pebbles are also essential, as is a gravel vacuum and an adequate filtration system for the size of tank you have.
Next, live plants or silk plants provide great hidey holes for your fish, while rocks and other tank decorations can add more character and perform the same role. Depending on the type of fish you’re getting you may also need to purchase a light, a water thermometer and a water heater. Cycling fluid and water conditioning fluid can manage bacteria and remove chlorine respectively, but it’s worth talking to an aquarium expert to work out exactly what you need.
Fish food is also a must for your pet, so make sure to invest in a high-quality food that looks after all of your pet’s nutritional needs. Last but not least, a fish net, a cleaning bucket and an algae scraper can all make handy purchases.
Pet Fish Tips
Want to know more about how to look after your pet fish? These handy tips will help:
- Start with the basics. Looking after many species of fish can be quite complex and involved, so if this is your first time owning a fish, don’t be too ambitious. Start out with a couple of small goldfish to see whether keeping fish is as enjoyable in practice as it sounds in reality, and to get an idea of what is involved in looking after your pet.
- Research is key. It can be quite easy to wander into an aquarium shop and get sucked in by the distinctive beauty or mesmerising movements of a certain species of fish — it’s often too late before you realise that they’re extremely difficult to look after. Before you buy any species of pet fish, research it thoroughly to make sure you’ll be able to keep up with its regular maintenance requirements.
- Cycle your tank. Once you’ve got your fish tank set up and ready to go, remember to stay patient. Instead of just chucking your new pets into a brand-new tank, the tank needs to be run (or cycled) for a while in order to allow good bacteria to build up.
- No exercise required. Unlike dogs, which need regular walking, pet fish will give themselves all the exercise they need by swimming around their tank.
- Talk to an expert. Giving a pet fish the perfect level of care and the living conditions they need to stay healthy can sometimes be a tricky proposition. To make sure you’ve got all the bases covered, talk to an aquarium expert to make sure you fully understand the ownership requirements for your chosen species.