Tips When Buying a Fish from a Local Fish Shop

Aquariums are an excellent hobby to create a peaceful atmosphere and to enjoy magnificent fish species. However, hobbyist should consider all the fundamental needs of the aquarium and fish since this pastime requires work, attention, patience, and special equipment. Fish are different from each other, thus their basic needs and care are different. A good beginning aquarist should be informed enough about the desired aquarium type before taking on a task such as this.

Local Fish Shop

Here are some basic and essential tips for starting to set up an aquarium:

Fish Type and Health Control

Local pet shops are the best places to obtain new fish when starting out.If you do not get assistance from an associate, it is very easy to know if the fish is in good condition;healthy fish are vibrant in color, active, and have clear eyes with a full stomach in the aquarium. Sick fish will appear pale, thin, and with unnatural spots on the skin.  The aquarium should be set up and running, with all the necessary equipment functioning properly, 3-4 weeks prior to bringing the fish home. Fish should be brought home quickly, within 15 minutes, in a bag with extra water, but a crucial rule is NOT adding the water from the bag to the aquarium. Aquarium size and fish population should fit each other so your tank should not be too large and there should not be too many fish in it.Fish have different habits; some fish live in big groups, others don’t like schools, and some of are territorial and need a larger space in the aquarium. Each aquarium is unique and diverse;marine aquarium sare not similar to freshwater aquariums and neither are the species that live in either. Usually for beginners, freshwater aquariums are recommended since marine fish and aquariumst end to be more complicated to maintain. Hobbyist should have enough knowledge about the desired aquarium in order to avoid misunderstandings in the local market.

Tank Placement

The aquarium should be placed in a room away from the heaters, windows, and doors and shouldn’t be exposed to the direct cold, heat, and too much light. Excessive heat changes can be lethal for fish and too much light can cause increased levels of algae accumulation in the tank. Additionally, the surface should be stable to prevent tip overs.

Nitrogen Cycle

A nitrogen cycle is the process of toxin elimination from the aquarium. A tank witha dense fish population is prone to collect too much waste that causes toxic chemical accumulation. However, beneficial bacteria in the tank can process the toxins into less toxic substances. All the waste in the tank can release ammonia, which is highly toxic for fish. When a nitrogen cycle starts, the ammonia is used by the beneficial bacteria and converted to nitrates at the end. Nitrates can be removed by partial water changes. The beneficial bacteria proliferation occurs slowly and requires 6 weeks starting the first day of the fish addition. Therefore, it is recommended to be patient and slow to complete the aquarium. At the beginning,there are two different ways to initiate the tank’snitrogen cycle. First, it is possible to add some fauna in the tank and then after two weeks some fish. Second, a small amount of fish can be added in the aquarium at the beginning and after a week the rest of them. Each step should be done slowly and with patience. During this time,ammonia and nitrite levels should be monitored using special test kits. When the nitrogen cycle is completed,the filtration system should be in charge in order to maintain the constant detoxification levels of ammonia and other toxic chemicals.

Aquarium Equipment

Filtration is an important factor for aquariums. There are three types of filtrations: biological, mechanical, and chemical. Biological filtration uses beneficial bacteria while mechanical filtration needs additional equipment and chemical filter media is needed for chemical filtration. Canister filters, power filters, and wet/dry filters are common filter types to be purchased according to aquarium type.Ultraviolet sterilizers are used in the management of biological agents accumulation such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. However, it is necessary to use a cooler because UV sterilizers generate too much heat that can harm fish. A cooler, heater, and thermometerarenecessary to adjust and monitor the aquarium’s temperature. Each aquarium has a unique optimal temperature, which hobbyist should have knowledge of to maintain a healthy fish population.Test kits are essential to monitor water parameters such as pH and chemical level. Plant decorationsmay be recommended to maintain a natural habitat in the aquarium. Some fish enjoy with plants, but others may destroy by digging the roots.


There are several types of fish foods: flake, pellets, live, frozen, and dried food.To determine which type, or types, of food your specific fish will enjoy, research your fish because if you several varieties of fish they may all require different diets.  Fish also may require supplements and vitamins, but this, too, needs to be researched.

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