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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thinking About Buying Fish As A Hobby?

Keeping fish as pets is one of the most challenging yet rewarding hobbies today. Constant water changes and keeping fish from dying is definitely challenging.

Although there is a lot of hard work that goes into keeping the aquarium running, I find that the benefits outweigh the challenges; the fish create a serene environment and it is relaxing to watch the fish swim around. Fish are also very smart creatures and some fish (depending on the species) will even interact with you.

But before buying fish, think about the type of fish that you would like to care for: Is it a freshwater fish? brackish water? or saltwater? Depending on what you choose, there is much research to be done before heading out to the pet store to purchase. Take some time to research the different types of fish that are available and learn about their habits and water condition requirements (such as chemicals needed in the water, temperature, ...etc). Try going to and type in any one of the keywords to get some ideas: freshwater fish, brackish fish, or saltwater fish.

In choosing fish, the easiest to start out with are freshwater fish; they are inexpensive and are usually pretty hardy fish. (Make sure that you also research what other fish can live in the aquarium with them should you add other fish down the road).
Freshwater is also the easiest to maintain. Once you feel that you have mastered the freshwater aquarium setup, it is much easier to learn how to maintain the others.

If you do choose to start with a freshwater aquarium, it is VERY IMPORTANT to let your tank "cycle". This is a very important step. All new aquariums goes through a phase where it needs to build up bacteria in the filter. All the levels of chemicals in the water will skyrocket, then suddenly drop after it has completed "cycling". Unfortunately, while your aquarium goes through this phase, you may lose some fish.

You can check out my blog on cycling if you need more information on this topic: How To Cycle A Freshwater Aquarium

All the information mentioned above is just a little peek into what is required to start up an aquarium. Although all this seems confusing and overwhelming, the hobby itself is something to be admired and enjoyed.

I currently have a 55-gallon aquarium with a few fish and I have enjoyed this hobby since I was 10 years old. I have been amazed at all the different types of personalities and intelligence that fish possess. I hope that you will be able to enjoy your new pets as much as I enjoy my fish.

Good luck and please comment on your experience!