Freshwater Aquariums For Dummies
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Before you’re ready to purchase freshwater fish for your aquarium, you need to know how to take care of the fish you want. You also need a general idea of the type of fish you’ll buy so that you know what types of plants and other items you need and how to set up water conditions that are just right for the species you choose. This discussion helps you get begin.

freshwater fish ©By Sergey kamenskykh/

Differences in species

A fish’s physical makeup (fin shape and size, body shape, color, and so on) and how a fish uses its body in its natural environment is important when determining what type of fish and what type of aquarium you need for that particular species. For example, long, thin, streamlined fish such as danios tend to be speedy horizontal swimmers and love a tank that is long and not tall.

Become familiar with the physical makeup of various aquatic species so that you can understand what system your fish will enjoy most. You can quickly see whether there is a problem, such as stress or disease, by observing any deviation in your fish’s normal body shape, fin shape, and swimming patterns.

Knowledge isn’t only power; it’s also the best preventive method on earth for diagnosing aquarium problems before they get out of hand.

Which types of fish are best for you

You have so many choices in aquarium fish that you may wonder, where is the best place to start? There are many popular and easy-to-keep aquarium fish; you should have many good options to choose from when you begin.

There are some excellent choices for beginning hobbyists. These fish are inexpensive, easy to find, forgiving of beginner mistakes, and will help get any aquarium off to a good start. You also can find a few neat invertebrates (animals that don’t have a spine) to keep your fish company.

Buying fish — what you need to know

The best way to start as a beginning fishkeeper is to develop a good relationship with a local pet store. A quality vendor can help you make decisions on the best way to set up or improve your system. She can also make good suggestions on fish compatibility and lend a hand if your fish become ill.

The Internet is a great place to find fish, plants, and equipment for your new aquarium, but nothing beats the wonderful feeling of walking through a tropical fish store and seeing everything up close with a helpful dealer at your side.

Aquarium clubs and societies are another good place to find aquarium stuff. Using a combination of local stores, clubs, and societies, and wonderful dealers online to purchase aquarium fish is always a good choice that will ultimately provide you with the best options for your setup.

Feeding your fish — what types of food to buy

Although you can buy canned fish food, nutrition goes beyond premanufactured dry food. Many species of fish have different nutritional requirements.

A well-balanced diet for you fish can include prepackaged, frozen food, live food, and in some cases fresh vegetables.

Taking care of sick fish

Despite having the best setup possible, fish will eventually contract disease from time to time. This usually isn’t a cause for alarm because many fish illnesses can be cured.

You need to be able to identify stress, spot common problems ahead of time to prevent disease, treat common illnesses, set up a hospital tank to treat disease, and understand the importance of a quarantine tank to avoid introducing sickness into your main tank with newly purchased fish.

Never buy ill fish with the noble idea of taking them home and nursing them back to health. This practice will endanger your other fish and risk upsetting your current system.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Madelaine Francis Heleine has been involved with aquariums and fish-keeping for more than 40 years. She has been a contributing writer and columnist for various magazines dealing with the aquatic world and has written several books about aquarium fish. Madelaine even enjoys exploring the underwater world firsthand as a scuba diver.

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