The number-one job for any aquarium enthusiast is keeping their pet fish healthy. Every pet owner knows that preventing disease and illness is much better than treating them, so it’s important to take every possible step to stop any health problems occurring.
There’s plenty of simple things you can do at home, often every day, to give your pet fish the best chance at staying in tip-top shape. Our five top tips for fish health reveal just how easy it is to prevent your pet getting sick.
Top 5 tips for a healthy pet fish
- Choose the right diet. You are what you eat — and so is your pet fish. No matter what species of fish you own, the right diet is essential to ensure its health, vitality and ability to ward off disease. We’ve posted an article with advice on how to choose the right diet for your pet fish in the past, so check it out for a whole host of handy tips on feeding your fish. Once you’ve chosen an appropriate fish food, it’s also important that you’re aware of how much you should feed your fish and how often you should feed them. This can vary from one species to the next, so do some research to find out all about the best diet for your pet fish.
- Maintain water quality. Just like people can develop all sorts of health problems from living and breathing in polluted air, a fish that lives in dirty, unhygienic water is also at risk of a wide range of potential issues. Maintaining the water quality in an aquarium is a demanding ongoing task, but it’s one that’s essential for the wellbeing of your pet fish. From freshwater algae and the build-up of bacteria to dealing with water that is too hard, there’s a whole range of issues that can affect fish health. Make sure you’re aware of the acceptable water parameter ranges for your pet fish and what you need to do each day to meet them.
- Clean regularly. Now that we’ve pointed out just how important clean, healthy water is for your fish, it’s time to mention one thing that’s very important to ensure the best-quality water — regular fish tank cleaning. Aquariums should be kept clean and have any waste removed. You can use a gravel vacuum to clean the tank’s gravel, clean tank filters to ensure that they continue doing their job properly, and even using a net to remove any other waste. At the same time, remember not to go overboard when cleaning, as creating an environment that is too sterile can destroy the good bacteria that help fish thrive.
- Provide environmental enrichment. While diet and water quality can ensure that many of your pet’s physical requirements are taken care of, don’t forget to consider other aspects of your pet’s care. For example, certain species need to share a tank with several other fish in order to thrive, while other fish need somewhere in the tank that they can retreat to and hide away from the world. Environmental enrichment is crucial to ensuring the ongoing health of any pet fish, so make sure you’re aware of any special requirements your species has before you bring your new pet home.
- Know the signs of illness. If you’re truly passionate about your pets, chances are you’ll spend plenty of time taking care of their ongoing maintenance — or even just staring at them in wonder — every single day. Whilst doing this, keep an eye out for any signs your fish may not be at optimum health, such as if they have changed their swimming behaviour or their colour or condition looks noticeably different. Researching your fish’s species to learn about the warning signs you should keep an eye out for is also a good idea. Once you know what to look for, you can take action if anything ever seems to be amiss with your much-loved pet.
Regardless of what type of fish you have, prevention is always better than cure. And if you follow the simple steps above, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that your aquatic animal stays in the best condition possible and keeps any health problems at bay.