How to Care for Freshwater Fish


Having an aquarium is a task that requires time and dedication. The fish that are easier to care for are freshwater.

For those who want to start in the fantastic world of animals, but still do not know how to take care of another living being, you can try fish. Also for the little ones of the house or those who in themselves like the aesthetics of an aquarium in their home. Here is a list of freshwater species that need less maintenance.

Basic characteristics

When it is said that a fish is easy to care for, we mean that it tends to stand by itself, no need for large investments in ultra modern aquariums, specific food and very expensive to get, tend to get diseases typical of their species or other basic needs that may have other types of fish. Of course, the size of the aquarium and giving food on a daily basis is essential for anyone.

The freshwater species is in itself peaceful, they do not require great maintenance and taking care of these fish is very simple. Of course, we must first consult the size, quality of life and what type of water they need, whether cold or hot. Because we cannot gather several species of this type without more, but they must have similar traits. The best thing for these cases is to do with a temperature regulator, in addition to a filter for those species that do not keep the aquarium for you and a decoration at the height of each fish.

The biggest family

The most common freshwater fish that we can find in almost any specialized place are cyprinids. They are not a species in itself, but it is a family that encompasses various classes. These come from Asia, they usually have a more striking color and a small size, ideal for any fish tank.

Within the large family composed of common cyprinids, we find three species that stand out for their easy maintenance. The danios They have a great vitality and reach an average length of 6 centimeters. They are jumpers, so you have to be careful and get an aquarium that is close but where oxygen enters. They live in small groups, like the vast majority, to feel safe and not take stress. The temperature which they usually live between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius. Its color is olive green or more golden tones, although each type of danio will depend on its color, since no two species are the same.

Following the type of cold fresh water, the chinese neons they are another species of fish that requires that the water be between 15 and 24 degrees. They are one of the most striking species, since its scales are composed of bright colors which are accentuated with proper lighting. They are resistant and tend to live in groups of approximately 10. Their color is more brown with greenish touches and they are crossed by a longitudinal line that can be white, yellow or pink along with red and yellow fins.

On the other hand, following in the cyprinid family, the carp or barbel They are the best known and most popular fish across the planet. They adapt easily to any type of weather and their variety makes them very attractive. They need a wider space, since they can exceed 7 centimeters in length, and a warmer temperature than the previous classes. There are all kinds of species, although if you like this type of fish but do not have the right place for them, their cousins ​​are almost the same but in a smaller size.

Compulsive cleaners

Fish that have similar features to other animals are also popular in the classification to care for a freshwater fish. Among them we highlight the catfish or coridora, more commonly known as a dump fish for its method of feeding. Thanks to the whiskers they have next to their mouths, literally sweep the floor to search for remains of food or waste. They are perfect to keep the fish tank clean. They are resistant and can live with a lower amount of oxygen than other species. The catfish is small, since it does not exceed 5 or 6 centimeters in length, but its close relative, the calíctidas, is even smaller.

Another fish that tends to clean in its path is the girinoqueílido. This small fish manages to stay attached to the rocks and walls of the fish tanks thanks to a particular organ, thus cleaning the glass of its new habitat and get your own food. They are elongated and their colors have a dark hue.

Other species

Rainbow Fish I could be one of the best known too. This species comes from Australia, New Guinea and Madagascar. They do not have a defined color, since its reflective scales change with light, and the only living conditions that it requires for maintenance are to be in a group of at least 6 more fish of the same species and that the temperature ranges between 22 and 26 degrees.

The Killis It is little known, but very easy to care for. They are very vital and peaceful, so they are perfect to accompany with other species. Its diversity of color will give a color explosion to your aquarium, thanks to its effects on body scales and fins. Another fish that will play a lot is the Spike, which are small and very colorful. As long as they do not suffer abrupt changes of habitat, they will be suitable to accompany larger fish.

Toxotides they need the aquarium to be open to be able to hunt small insects by powerful jets of water - so it is not recommended to join with the damages, who were expert jumpers. They will live on the upper part of the cabin and will be very sociable and peaceful.

Finally, the best species for beginners is the perch. This fish does not need more than basic care. They are a very resistant species, since it tends to live in the depths of stagnant waters, do not succumb to diseases and just look for hot zones.

⇒ Tiens That Acclimatize Fish

I could give you some tables full of number of fish species and the levels of PH, nitrate, ammonia, but over time I have learned that there is nothing better than when we buy a fish in the store, ask for the parameters that the fish must have. Water for the fish we just bought.

Another tip is to verify the water values ​​for ph, nitrate and ammonia well, and see if they are very different from those you need for your new fish. Keep in mind that the larger your aquarium the more time you will need to adjust these values ​​and acclimatize your new fish.

⇒ Float your fish inside the bag

Surely you know this trick, but especially for beginners, it is convenient to put the bag close where your fish comes to float in the aquarium, I leave it about 30 minutes. In this way the fish gets used to its new habitat while it is still in its bag.

After this time, open the bag a little and add half a cup of aquarium water where you are going to place the fish, repeat the process some more times every 10 minutes so that your fish gets accustomed to the aquarium water. This is one of the best ways to incorporate a new fish, without suffering so much from change.

⇒ Swimming space: Avoid overcrowding

The super population of fish in your fish tank is very bad since it will lower the oxygen level in the water a lot. Another problem is the large amount of waste that you are going to have in the fish tank, the water filter will probably be blocked very often and the aquarium water in general will be of very poor quality. When you buy the fish, find out what space you need at all and if necessary buy another aquarium, it will save you a lot of headaches.

⇒ Condition the water

This is one of the first things you should learn if you are a beginner, think that water for fish is the same as what air is for us, so it is very important to have a good water quality, so that you do not get sick and Enjoy your life in the aquarium.

The water that comes from the tap has many elements that must be balanced so that you can use it in your aquarium, and for this you use biologic supplements, which are for sale in an animal shop.

⇒ Maintain adequate pH levels

Also related to water quality, is the control and manipulation of the PH levels of the water. PH is what measures the acidity or alkalinity of water. Different species of fish need different levels of PH, and therefore you have to plan your fish tanks well, to group the fish according to the PH they need.

eye! This is not the only factor you have to keep in mindThere are fish that cannot live with others because of their aggressiveness, in short there are many things to keep in mind, throughout my blog, I explain these factors and how to design an aquarium in conditions.

You will need a Kit to be able to measure the pH of the water in your aquarium and see that they are at the correct levels, many factors make the PH level change and you have to control it. In general, freshwater fish require a PH level between 6.5 and 7.8. But as I told you before, each species is different, those values ​​are like having an idea.

⇒ Change the aquarium water when you touch

It is very important to be changing the water in your aquarium, but be careful with this, especially if you just start not change all the water, your fish are acclimatized to that water and if you change it all you will have to re-acclimatize the fish again.

For this reason, what is recommended is to replace 20% or 25% of the water in your aquarium every 30 days. Although I do it every 15 days I think it's ideal. If you do this, what you will achieve is to have a clean aquarium, with a good water quality, as you are changing 20% ​​or 25% of the water, the levels of the different water values ​​will not be affected.

To make this change, it is very good for me to use a gravel vacuum that I use so much to remove water and debris that there are always caused by stones that you may have and even other seaweed. If you follow these tips and change the water in your aquarium, I can assure you that your fish rarely gets sick.

⇒ Keep the water at a correct temperature

This is something that many people do not know, but freshwater fish is very bad if the water is changing temperature. And then you will wonder, but how will the water temperature change? Well, in my case I had the fishbowl near a window and during the day it was sunny and the water was too hot.

Another very common thing is to put the aquarium near an air conditioner or in winter near a stove, this will cause a sudden change in the temperature of the water, and it will harm your fish.

⇒ Clean the sides of the aquarium

Many times I see photos of people proud of their aquariums and I see them full of green spots on the side of the aquarium, and sometimes photos of experienced aquarists. You have to know that if a lot of algae accumulates in the aquariums especially on the sides, in addition to giving the water a cloudy appearance, it damages the oxygen in the water, which as we have seen is important for the health of your fish.

The plants that you could have put inside the aquarium are also affected by these algae, I have made an excellent article talking about the topic that I invite you to read, and learn how to clean these algae from your aquarium:

If you keep a healthy fish tank, with good quality water, you will save a lot of problems, which is one of the keys to enjoying your fish, because in the end if you are in the aquarium hobby it is to enjoy the fish not to be suffering with them.

Choose the fish

The first thing you should think about is What fish to choose. There are tropical and freshwater and, basically, the seconds are more suitable for beginners. But if you are already an expert in this work because you had a large small aquarium, you can opt for tropical fish, which are beautiful and with curious personalities.

Try to make them small, as they are easier to care for and will require less attention. The best thing to get right in your choice is that you buy the fish from a dealer or a trusted store.

The aquarium

The aquarium It must be of sufficient size to comfortably accommodate all the fish you choose. To give you an idea, we will tell you that a 2.5 cm fish needs about 4.5 liters of water. So, if you have 10 fish of this size, you will need an aquarium of at least 45 liters. The goal of the aquarium is that the fish can be as in their natural habitat and feel comfortable.

Think that you will have to put certain objects to get it, so you will have to subtract the space they occupy so that each fish has the required water measure. The best thing is that you always opt for an aquarium of 5 or 10 liters more than you have calculated, so as not to speak mistake.

Choose the place

Be sure to put the aquarium out of direct sunlight, as well as on a table that you can easily move. The fish are quiet animals and, although they can be had in the lounge, this is not recommended, since noise and traffic could make them nervous.

Choose a quieter room, where it is not smoked and light enters, but not too much. The temperature is not important, as this will be regulated from inside your new home.

Temperature and filter

Yes, you will have to regulate the temperature with a heater or thermostat inside the aquarium. The fish need a climate that oscillates at 22 and 28 degrees Celsius, this should be constant and you can find different heaters that keep it. The installation instructions are diverse, so be sure to read the instructions well or ask at the store before buying it.

The filter will be another necessary object, if you do not want to be cleaning the aquarium every two days. There are many different models to choose from in the market, both in size and in functions. Some could reduce chemicals, others waste, or some all at once. Depending on the size of the aquarium, the fish you have and your pocket, the store will recommend the best one for you.

Once you have the plankton, substrate, the objects that emulate their habitat, and everything else, it is time to put the fish in the aquarium.

Basic fish care

And now comes the easiest part. You will only have to feed them once a day with little food, since an excess of this could kill them. Also, if you don't eat everything you could clog the filter and this will cause more serious problems. Fish food is easily available in stores, although some need granules instead of leaves. Ask at the store or at the vet.

Another step to take will be to measure the pH at least once a week, with a simple kit you can do it easily. Change the filter every month and remove the dirt that accumulates on the crystals with a soft sponge.

You won't need to change the water continuously, but A partial change of this once a month could solve the problems of pH or dirt.

You see that fish are simple animals to care for that do not require too much attention, but that can give you more than you think. Watching them will be a show to enjoy. Test it!