How to care for fish?


If you want to have fish as a pet but you don't know which one to opt for, we tell you which are the easiest tropical fish to care for.

An aquarium requires, whether we like it or not, basic care. But there are some species of fish that help us to maintain of our fishbowl, so that they can develop with total ease and we are calmer for their well-being.

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Among all the types of fish that can exist, we must find those with whom we feel most identified. There is a type that are the most colorful, where more strange species We can find and what will work best if we look for a different aquarium or fish tank: tropical fish.

If what we want is to mix different species from the list belonging to tropical fish, one thing should be noted: not because they are of the same designation of origin they will be suitable for gathering. You have to take care of the pH of each of them, the food they have, the oxygen and the temperature that each fish needs, necessary groups so that they do not produce stress and that are not territorial or face each other.

The main thing is to look for fish that are from the same family, whether tropical or not. Thus, harmony will reign in our fishbowl or aquarium - which is not the same. Normally, all species that come from specific areas and whose average temperature is between 21 and 29 degrees Celsius are classified as tropical fish. Lugo there are others who need a water maintenance that is below 25, but that will depend on each specific species.

Tropical fish, like other kinds of fish, also needs a fish tank or aquarium size that suits their basic needs. You have to be careful that this is a space adapted to its size, the amount of fish that we will include in it and that each of them can have their own space, also depending on the decoration.

The best adaptable tropical

Within the catalog of tropical fish we can find freshwater fish. In this case, we will start with those of the cold type, which also need a basic maintenance and simple care. Among them we highlight two perfect species to include in our fish tank or aquarium.

The barbos they are a tropical fish that does not measure more than 7 centimeters and that the temperature it requires is 10 to 20 degrees Celsius, so adapt to any type of habitat. There are striped, tiger, red, pink. Any class is perfect to include it in our list, although be careful with who we put them together, because they are territorial and they will let the rest of the fish be unless they are around their area.

On the other hand, the labyrinths They need a temperature that ranges between 15 and 30 degrees. These also have a very strong and territorial character, so we should not bring both species together. Of course, its maintenance is basic because even they themselves are able to take oxygen from the air.

The warmest tropical

The aulonacras They are a kind of tropical fish that stands out for its color. They require ample space, because they can reach and exceed 14 centimeters in length, although their diet is varied and will conform to any type. The care of these fish is basic and very simple.

Within the popularity of tropical fish, guppy They have been made of gold. If we have one of these animals we must attend to the decoration, since they like to rest wrapped near aquatic plants. Like the previous ones, the average temperature of both species is between 22 and 25 degrees.

On the other hand, the Rainbow Fish It has a very peculiar color. The hue of each of its subspecies could not be clarified, since its scales are the ones that change according to the light. They do not exceed 12 centimeters in length and they can live without problems with other species.

The tateurdine It is of varied colors and does not require special care. The space they need is not very wide, so that aquariums or small fish tanks will serve to swim in its waters. Between 24 and 26 degrees of temperature will serve to make them more than comfortable.

Another type of tropical fish is the xipho. These need an average size for their habitat, since they do not exceed 15 centimeters in length, but they are below that measure. They are docile and friendly, unless there are females in the same space because they will become territorial among themselves and with other species. Although it is recommended that there be more females than males, so they don't fight each other.

The tetras, the last species of the warmest tropical fish that we will include in this list, are also colorful, as are their cousins, and their combinations are almost endless. They are small, do not reach more than 5 centimeters, so the fish tank or aquarium we choose does not need to be very large. Its ideal temperature ranges between 24 and 27 degrees.

Other species

The Kuhli It belongs to that type of tropical fish that needs little care and maintenance. Single look for fine gravel on the ground of his habitat to bury himself, but otherwise he needs nothing apart. They grow no more than 10 centimeters and the food they are looking for is dry.

Finally, we will include in this list the electric yellow, a fish belonging to cichlids, the largest family of freshwater fish that require basic care. Its name comes from its appearance, which also always looks for a place near rocks or walls. The ideal aquarium or fish tank for this fish is long and wide, because their migratory transitions tend to be long haul. Although other species belonging to the same family of fish are easy to find and maintain.

I just bought an aquarium, what should I do?

A common mistake in most people who start in the world of caring for fish is to skip the water cycling process. Water cycling is an indispensable process that your aquarium must pass before you can add any fish to your aquarium and that usually lasts between 3 and 6 weeks. It doesn't matter if the aquarium is 30 or 500 liters, the fish that you put in an aquarium that has not passed the cycling process will most likely die within a few weeks.

The first tube aquarium had small community fish, namely tetras and guppies. I did not understand why after two weeks they were dying little by little, every day one or two fish appeared floating on the surface of the aquarium and if they replaced them they would die again. Curiously after about a month they stopped dying. What I did not know at that time is that during that time when the fish died, the water cycling process was going on.

Explained in a scientific way, during cycling, a series of bacteria needed to balance the ecosystem are formed in our aquarium. These bacteria feed on the ammonia produced by the organic waste present in the aquarium water and convert them into nitrites. Subsequently, other bacteria convert those nitrites into nitrates. In a new aquarium, this process of generating bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrites soars at very high levels lethal to fish. At this time the water can take a whitish color and even give off some bad smell. After a few days the volume of bacteria drops to normal levels, and necessary, within an ecosystem, nitrites are converted to nitrates by other bacteria and the aquarium will be ready to house fish.

Now that you know why it is necessary to cycle an aquarium before putting fish in it, we will explain the correct way to do it:

  1. Place the earth and / or stones in the aquarium where you are going to take care of your fish.
  2. Fill the aquarium to a third of its capacity and place the live plants if this is your case.
  3. Finish filling the aquarium.
  4. Set the thermostat and set it at the right temperature for the fish you put in the future.
  5. Place the filter with the filter material inside and put it into operation.
  6. Now is the time to arm yourself with patience and wait until the cycling is complete, this usually takes between 3 and 6 weeks.
  7. To favor the appearance of ammonia and the bacteria that should consume it, add fish food to the water as if there were 2 or 3 fish in the aquarium 3 times per week.
  8. To know when the cycling process is over, you should buy a kit to measure the levels of ammonia (NH3), nitrites (NO2) and nitrates (NO3). Measure levels twice a week to detect how water experiences NH3 and NO2 growth. By the time the NH3 and NO2 levels drop to 0mg / l and the NO3 levels are below 5mg / l you will be ready to introduce the fish.

Now that you have your cycled aquarium, you can start introducing the fish you are going to take care of, but you should do it gradually and neatly. It should be done gradually so that too much organic matter is not generated and nitrite levels re-grow and in an orderly manner because territorial fish will prevent you from introducing less aggressive fish if you introduce them first.

You can start by introducing the shoal fish, such as gupies or tetras, and in groups of 2 or 3 each week, then non-group but less aggressive fish, such as botias and finally more territorial fish such as scalars.

How to choose fish for my aquarium

If you visit any fish store you will discover that there is an amazing variety of fish that you can buy to make your aquarium more colorful. There are varieties of fresh water, salt water, some larger, others small and colorful. Among all that variety, what should I consider when choosing my fish?

The first rule that you should not jump under any circumstances is that you should never, never buy a fish without having enough information about its needs and its characteristics. Acquiring a new fish for your aquarium should be the result of a process in which you will be informed that varieties of fish are suitable for the water conditions in your aquarium, if they can live with the rest of the fish and animals in the habitat and if you will have enough space to grow healthy and happy.

Then, you might think that you can save all that time if you ask the sellers of your pet store, however it is a practice that almost 100% of people who have some experience in the world of caring for fish are advised against. Often, the advice you will receive in an animal shop will be wrong or will only seek to get the sale without worrying about the welfare of the animals. Even in specialized aquarium stores you can find unscrupulous people who are only interested in your money. I know cases of sellers who have sold a Goldfish and a 20-liter round fishbowl, when anyone with a little experience knows that those fish need between 120 and 200 liters for every fish in the water.

When choosing which fish you are going to buy, you should look at a series of factors that we indicate below:

  • Water pH: The pH of the water indicates the degree of acidity or alkalinity that the water has. Fish are very sensitive to this data and can only live between pH ranges that vary according to the species and should never be exceeded. The pH of the water can be measured using tests that you can buy at your fish store.
  • Water hardness: Water hardness indicates the amount of soluble minerals that float in water. In the world of aquarium fish, you will see that people talk about kH and gH. The kH is the degree of temporal hardness and measures the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water and gH is the degree of total hardness of the water counting all the salts and minerals that are dissolved in the medium. Each variety of fish can tolerate a certain range of kH and gH, so you should know the hardness values ​​of your water to choose a fish that does not die within a few days.
  • Water temperature: Another of the parameters that we must know and control within our aquarium is the water temperature. If the water is very cold, we can only have cold water fish in our aquarium and if we want tropical fish, we must acquire a thermostat that will be responsible for heating the water to the temperature we determine.
  • If it is a freshwater or saltwater fish.
  • Relationship between number of fish and volume of water in the aquarium. In order to live in adequate conditions, we must know the amount of water that each fish needs to live in an aquarium. Normally this data is given in liters per centimeter of fish, so we must know the total size of the adult fish to be able to reserve the amount of water that it will need inside the aquarium. Aquariums with too many fish are prone to have imbalanced ecosystems, an increased risk of disease and a stronger territorial instinct in the animals that live there.
  • The fish in the aquarium. Some fish, such as cichlids, are very territorial and aggressive fish and others, on the contrary, can live in community aquariums without problem. A territorial fish will attack until it ends any other member of the aquarium if they are not compatible or if it feels that it is occupying its territory.

As you can see, choosing fish is a bit more complicated than going to an animal store and choosing the one we like best because of its appearance or shape. So where can I find all this information I need? As there are different reliable sources, from books to pages and forums in which these values ​​and other data are indicated. On this page we will be adding information on how to care for specific fish.

How to introduce new fish into my aquarium

Well, I know what fish I am going to buy and they are ideal for my aquarium. Now you must reserve some time to make a trip to the fish shop. If you intend to do other errands in addition to buying the fish, leave the visit to the aquarium shop for last because fish bags should be taken directly from the store home to. The small volume of water that fits in the bag is subject to sudden temperature changes and is easily contaminated, so the fish will be subjected to considerable stress.

To understand the process to follow when introducing a fish in the new aquarium, we must know that the parameters of pH, hardness and temperature of the water in the bag will be very different from the characteristics of the water in your aquarium. The correct way to introduce a new fish in our aquarium is:

  1. Before you go shopping for new fish, feed the fish in your community aquarium to placate their territorial instinct. A full stomach will leave you alone for a few hours.
  2. Just before starting the process, turn off the aquarium lights to avoid fish stress.
  3. Float the closed bags with the fish on the water of your aquarium for approximately 10 minutes. This will cause the temperature of the water in the bag to balance with the water in our aquarium.
  4. After those 10 minutes, open the bag and introduce a third of the volume of water in the bag with water from your aquarium, close the bag and let it float again. Do this three times separated by 5 minutes of time. This step is important to gradually level the pH and water hardness parameters.
  5. At this point we are ready to release the fish into the water, but watch out! Do not pour water from the fish store in your aquarium. The correct way to do it is with a net with which you will catch the fish and when you have it you will release it in the aquarium. The water in the store is usually plagued with germs and drugs that you don't want to introduce into your healthy aquarium since it could unbalance the ecosystem or introduce diseases.
  6. Leave the lights off for an hour or two before turning them on again.

Aquarium experts have their perfectly balanced ecosystems and are very careful when introducing a new fish into their aquarium. The recommendation they give is that new fish should go through a quarantine period of two weeks in an intermediate aquarium before releasing them to the final habitat. This quarantine will ensure that the fish is healthy and that it will not introduce unexpected diseases or problems into its balanced aquarium.

The quarantine aquarium in which you are going to take care of the fish during those two weeks does not have to have gravel or aquatic landscaping, however it is necessary that you have a filter, a thermostat and some hiding places in which the fish can hide when Don't feel safe As hiding places you can use small clean pots broken in half or similar items.

How to feed the fish

One of the main rules when caring for fish is not to overfeed them. Everyone knows that fish are able to eat uncontrollably until they die and foods that are not consumed and deposited in the bottom of the aquarium quickly contaminate the water. In general, fish should eat once a day and an amount of food that they can finish completely in 5 minutes. It is advisable to leave one of the days of the fasting week that will ensure the correct cleaning of the digestive system of your fish.

Most fish will live perfectly with a diet based on dry scales, however, always try to buy food from well-known brands of high quality. There is a wide range of flake foods, and it is best to buy several kinds of scales and feed your fish with a different type of scales each time so that your diet is more varied and balanced.

Often, the fish that trace the bottom will not have time to eat since, the most gluttonous fish that eat on the surface will not let the food get to settle in the bottom. If in your aquarium you have bottom fish, such as corydoras or botias, it is advisable to also have granulated food, which has a higher volume and when thrown into the water it will go directly to the bottom, so while the fish that feed on the surface will eat the scales bottom fish will eat the granulated food.

In your fish shop you can find a variety of fresh, frozen or live foods, for which your fish will go crazy and, in addition, you will ensure a nutritionally complete diet.

When you buy your fish food, remember that commercial foods have a limited shelf life. If you see that the containers are dusty or appear to have been on the shelf for too long, it is better to look for another store. Buy small food boats so you will make sure you always have food in perfect condition. Although it is cheaper and more comfortable to buy larger-sized boats, once the nutritional value of the food is opened it will begin to deteriorate.

Between three and six months after opening the boat, approximately half of the original nutritional value is lost, for this reason, it is not advisable to buy food in bulk scales unless you have enough fish to consume in a few months.

For vegetarian fish, which also exist, there is flake food that is formulated to provide much more plant material and less protein. Flake foods can be supplemented with freeze-dried frozen live foods that you can find in your aquarium shop.

If you go on vacation, two days, your fish can endure without problems, however, if you are going to be absent for more days, you can buy an automatic food dispenser that will take care of the fish and feed for you. Automatic dispensers are programmed so that every day they release an adequate amount of food in the aquarium, however, it is not advisable to use them in their regular feeding since it will deprive you of enjoying those magnificent minutes when the fish eat and are more alive than never.

Aquarium fish diseases

The diagnosis and treatment of diseases when caring for aquarium fish is so complex that there are entire books talking about it. Fish can contract a large number of diseases and cure them may require a great deal of knowledge and effort. It is always easier to spend efforts in preventing the disease than in curing it.

Fish that live in a good quality water, balanced and crystal clear, receive a balanced diet and do not suffer continuously from physical stress rarely get sick. Their immune systems are strong enough to protect them from most bacteria and germs that may be in the water.

As a general rule, you should be aware of changes in the physical appearance and behavior of your fish, as they are indicators of other problems such as diseases. If you detect any suspicious behavior, perform pH, hardness, nitrite and nitrate tests to make sure there is no problem with them. If the parameters are good and you suspect that some of the fish may be sick, do not add any medication to the aquarium. You should always avoid treating the aquarium without knowing exactly what happens to the fish or fish that seem sick. The first thing you should do is move the sick fish or fish to a quarantine aquarium that will prevent the rest of the fish from becoming infected if it really is.

Antibiotics, in particular, are a problem adding them to the aquarium water. If used in small quantities, the bacteria that are supposed to kill can develop resistance to them and if used in higher doses, the nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter can die and you will have to go through a cycling process again. your aquarium

Most medications include instructions on how they should be applied to water and how the aquarium should be treated after curing the fish.

A common disease but easy to cure is ICH, also known as white spot, and is caused by the parasite Multifillis Ichthyophthirius. This disease is usually caused by physical stress, and how the fish reduces sudden temperature changes. The body and fins of the fish are covered with small white spots and begin to swim more slowly. Fortunately, white spot disease can be cured easily by slightly raising the water temperature to approximately 29 ° C and using proper treatment.

Avoid medications that contain copper. Copper can accumulate in the aquarium and be released if the water chemistry changes, killing all the fish. Copper is particularly dangerous in aquariums with soft water.

Another common disease is fin rot. It is easy to detect because the edges of the fins have an uneven appearance and gradually reduce their size. This disease usually appears when water conditions are not good and is easily treated with different treatments that you can find in your fish shop.

What you should know before having tropical fish in the aquarium

Like all other fish species, tropical freshwater fish require certain basic care to survive and have a certain quality of life. They are not care of extreme attention or dedication of time, but they must be taken into account.

Among those cares or requirements that tropical fish need are: a good water temperature, proper cleaning of the aquarium and proper feeding. Meeting these three basic needs of a tropical fish, you can be healthy and show off your characteristics to the fullest.

Among the tropical fish are the most beautiful and colorful species for aquariums. Most of them have exotic shapes and intense colors that make them special and highly desired by people.

The aquarium to choose for your tropical fish is important. There are people who like to have a huge aquarium and others who use small fish tanks. It is important to know the species that you are going to introduce in the aquarium and how many copies you will have at the same time. Each species requires a certain volume of water to perform its daily actions. In addition, the morphology of the aquarium should be one way or another depending on what species are inside.

To give an example that helps to understand this, there are species of fish that need decoration in the aquarium that Serve as a hiding place or to spawn. Others require gravel or sand, some need more abundant plants, etc. Therefore, not only the conditions of temperature and salinity are the only ones that we must meet.

What species to place at the same time and type of aquarium

The aquarium that hosts tropical fish species it has to be placed with indirect light and, the bigger it is, the easier it is to maintain.

When choosing the species that will be introduced in the aquarium, you have to take into account that there are predatory fish, others more territorial and others calmer. When mixing them, you must have a balance with fish that match well and have different needs so that they do not kill each other.

Tropical fish grow quite a lot when they are adults, so the chosen size of the aquarium should be large enough to house all the fish in their adult state.

It is also important that the aquarium has space for some of the species to lay eggs and continue respecting the vital space that each species You need to move and swim freely.

Necessary conditions

Tropical fish are used to warmer water temperatures. Therefore, a water heater must be purchased to maintain temperatures over 25 degrees. The water must be clean at all times, so a filter according to the size of the fish tank must be installed. The filter has to be of high quality, since the life of the fish depends on it. Water that is not well cleaned can cause disease in fish and lead to death.

Tropical ecosystems are composed of plants, gravel and some objects that serve as a hiding place. To fully recreate its natural ecosystem, the fish tank will have to be decorated so that the fish can move and hide.

Before placing the pieces in the aquarium should be washed with water under the tap to eliminate possible impurities that contaminate the aquarium and facilitate the spread of diseases.

As for the diet, this is already something more complex, since it depends entirely on the type of food that each species has. Although the fish are tropical, each one has a special diet. Some of them are carnivores, others herbivores, others are more versatile and eat everything ... For food it is important that you inform yourself about each species that will be introduced in the aquarium previously.

Another parameter to consider when conditioning the aquarium is the pH. Each species of fish has its pH in which it can live in a healthy way. Usually, Fish can live in water between 5.5 and 8.

Aquarium acclimatization for tropical fish

To prepare the aquarium and accommodate it completely to incorporate the tropical species, everything must already be prepared. The placed decoration, the water heater and the filter.

Once you have all the materials, the fish tank is filled to the top of distilled water. It is important that tap water is not used, since it has chlorine. The filter and heater cannot be turned on until the fish tank is completely full.

Once the aquarium is full, the heater and the filter are connected so that the optimum temperature of the tropical fish is reached, around 21-29 ° C. The first reaction is that it shows that the water becomes cloudy, but this is completely normal, since it will take several days to acclimatize. The fishbowl lights They must remain on for 10 to 12 hours a day.

It is necessary to leave the aquarium without fish running several days so that the water reaches the necessary qualities to keep tropical fish healthy. Once those days have passed, the fish that you want to enter into it are introduced one by one.

During the first days, the control of pH and temperature must be exhaustive, since it depends on the acclimatization of the fish and their subsequent survival and adaptation to their new environment.

With these indications you can correctly enjoy your tropical fish and enjoy its characteristics that make them so special and desired throughout the world. If you want to know more about temperature regulation and some tropical species that congenially well in aquariums, visit Ideal temperature for tropical freshwater fish