How to Look After Your Tropical Fish
Have you been dying to keep tropical fish, but you’re not sure what’s involved? You might have gazed upon the colourful fish in your local pet shop or perhaps been mesmerised by a friend’s impressive aquarium and fish collection.
A tropical fish tank is a wonderful addition to any home. It’s lovely being able to watch vibrantly coloured beautiful fish swimming around whilst you relax at home. But in reality, tropical fish aren’t the easiest fish to keep, as they live in a fragile ecosystem and they require a lot of maintenance and care. The smallest of changes to their environment can cause huge issues.
We’ve put together this handy guide to looking after tropical fish so that you know exactly what is involved, and if you’ve already got a tank, you might pick up a few useful tips. Here’s how to look after tropical fish properly.
Make sure your aquarium is in an ideal location
First things first, you might want to review the location of your fish tank as this can have an impact on the health of your fish. For example, don’t put your fish tank right next to your TV, or anywhere in your home where there might be loud noises.
The temperature of the tank is extremely important, which is why you should avoid having your tropical tank near any extreme sources of heat or cold, such as next to a radiator for example. Also, too much natural light can cause a buildup of algae, so don’t put your tank right near direct sunlight. The key thing to keep in mind is you want the temperature to be consistent, so pick somewhere in your house where you know the temperature won’t fluctuate too much.
This is something that should be at the top of your list of concerns. If you want your fish to survive and hopefully thrive in their environment, you need to keep the temperature exactly right. Exact temperatures vary depending on which species you keep, so be sure to do your research.
However, generally speaking the temperature of tropical fish tanks ranges from 74 to 82 degrees fahrenheit or around 25 degrees celsius. It’s a good idea to check the temperature of your tank every day, and if it has changed, be sure to see if the heater is still working properly. If your heater malfunctions your fish could die, so it’s a really important thing to keep an eye on.
You can get heaters that let off an alarm or warning if the temperature goes outside a predefined range. These are definitely worth investing in as they give you a little reassurance and can alert you to any issues.
Equipment needed to care for your fish
Obviously you will need a decent tank to keep your fish in, and it’s always best to try and get the biggest tank possible so your fish have plenty of space to swim around in. Other core equipment you will need includes a light, fish gravel for tropical fish, a filter to keep the water clean, a thermometer and a heater.
The right environment for your fish
It’s a good idea to try and replicate the natural environment of tropical fish. The type of things you will need to put in your tank depends on which species you choose, so do have a chat with us if you are in need of any assistance.
Try viewing our range of aquarium decoration. You can add things like plastic plants, backgrounds and aquarium rooms to make your tank look more aesthetically pleasing for both you and your fish. Do keep in mind that all your fish tank accessories should be specifically made for a tropical fish tank, as this gives you peace of mind that they won’t contain any dangerous toxins or harm your fish.
Feeding your fish
Your fish will need to be fed the right diet, at the right times. When and what you feed your fish can have an impact on not only their health, but the quality of the environment they live in. Different fish prefer different types of food, for example, some tropical fish like to eat pellets, whereas others are better off with flakes.
Food is actually the biggest source of waste in the tank, and overfeeding can cause all sorts of issues. Generally, if there is a lot of food left at the bottom of your tank, or some floating at the top after a feed, then you are probably giving your fish too much. Also, keep an eye out for any fish that don’t appear to be eating the food you put in, as there might be cause for concern if they aren’t eating.
Adding new fish
When it comes to keeping amazing tropical fish, you can’t just pick the fish you want and put them in your tank. Why? Because some types of fish just don’t gel well, and only certain species can be kept together. You don’t want your fish attacking or eating each other, or to have a poor quality of life because they are matched with the wrong species. Do your research and find out which types of fish are known to get along best before going out and buying tropical species.
Cleaning your fish tank
If you want to keep tropical fish, then you need to ensure that their tank is immaculate. You might need to clean the tank every month or so, and clear any algae away if you start to notice a buildup. You will need to clean the filter, the glass and any ornaments inside your tank.
Things you need to check regularly
To give you an idea of what’s involved in tropical fish care, here are some of the common checks you will need to carry out.
- - Weekly water composition tests.
- - Weekly monitoring of fish behaviour - watch your fish to see if there’s any major behavioural changes or any cause for concern.
- - Water temperature - this needs to be checked daily.
- - Clean your aquarium walls to prevent algae buildup on a weekly basis. Full fish tank cleaning should be done monthly.
- - Check water filter and pump every month.