Top 5 Fish Mistakes – #4: Limited Education

If you are just at the beginning stages of getting involved in fish care, great! We have some great resources we’d like to share with you when you first get started with a new pet. Pet fish require the same research and planning as any other pet you welcome into the family. Make sure to discuss the addition with all members of your family to make sure everyone has their questions addressed beforehand.

We recommend starting with some very basic books. There are many available online or in your local bookstore to suit your every fish-keeping need. You can try finding what you need on the internet, but there is a lot of misinformation out there that can quickly overwhelm novice fish keepers. Keep it simple to start and you can always work up from there.

Here are some recommendations to start with:

We always recommend starting with a basic goldfish tank or betta fish. Both are freshwater and will require you to tackle the basics in fish keeping before you aspire to loftier goals. They are not without their challenges however, so don’t just think about plunking down any old fish in a bowl and calling it a day. Never put a fish in an environment without proper filtration. A fish in a bowl is the equivalent to a human locked in a small room with no ventilation. You wouldn’t want to sit in there yourself, so don’t do it to your fish! There are hundreds of small tanks available bundled with filtration.

No bowls. This is non-negotiable.

If you’ve moved past the novice level, you may be looking at the saltwater with a gleam in your eye, but let’s try the in-between level first: a tropical community tank. Still dealing with freshwater, you can add different fish together, provided they all get along, and maybe even try your hand at underwater plant gardening.

Please reserve the saltwater tanks for the most advanced levels of fish keeping. They require additional equipment and skills. For more information on these tanks, check out our 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Saltwater Tank. Again we recommend investing on a book on saltwater tank or reef tank care and read it through before starting your new project. Know what species will get along with each other or have room for everyone to seek out their own home turf. Educate yourself on proper diets for all fish and invertebrates and make sure your entire family is involved.

Educating yourself about proper fish care and environment can make the entire hobby significantly more enjoyable with considerable less stress and cost. Invest in your own education through books before getting your feet wet. There are resources available for all levels of fish-keeping, no matter what your skill level.

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