If it’s any consolation, keeping a fish alive and healthy can be a tricky juggling act for beginners and old hands alike. But by staying on top of the following checklist, your next pet fish should enjoy a longer, happier life.
One of the main reasons behind most family fish deaths is poor quality water – after all, they not only swim in it, but source their oxygen from it. It’s important that the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are always at a healthy level. If that sounds like a lot of work, then an API Freshwater Master Kit 5 in 1 is a quick way to regularly measure all levels. Alternatively, head to your local Petbarn with a sample of your fish’s tank water for a free water test.
Keep the aquarium in good condition
Once you have the levels sorted, a high-quality and quiet water filter will keep your tank cleaner for longer, while investing in an air pump will keep the water aerated so your fish won’t suffocate from a lack of oxygen. Meanwhile, API Algaefix will help control algae growth in your aquarium. And if one of your fish looks a little sick, try using an aquarium antibiotic that safely treats all bacterial and fungal infections.
Regularly change tank water
Good fish care requires changing 25 per cent of aquarium water every week. While you’re siphoning the water off, use a gravel vacuum to remove fish faeces. When you replenish the water later, be sure to add water conditioner. Buying an aquarium heater is also a good way of ensuring the water temperature sits at a comfortable 23-26 degrees celsius for your fish, though ideal temperature varies between species of fish.
Give your fish a balanced diet
Your fish will live longer if they get the right amount of digestible protein, vegetable matter and carbohydrates, so speak to your local Petbarn expert to find out what flakes or pellets your specific fish should be eating. Overfed fish can become unwell so provide only as much food as they can eat within two minutes, two to three times a day.
Introduce your fish carefully
If your fish died immediately after being put into its new home, then it’s possible they weren’t introduced to the new habitat correctly. Fish are sensitive animals, so check our pet care article on how to introduce fish to a new tank for more tips.