New to Fish keeping ? Here are 10 things you should know
Fish keeping is one of the most enjoyable hobbies that you can take up as children and families can enjoy the breathtaking views of the underwater world right at home. Fish keeping has been known to reduce stress and provide a host of other benefits for health as well.
However, the fish keeping we knew 20 years back has transformed into a billion dollar industry globally and Bangladesh in the last ten years is slowly catching up with the global trend.
Aquariums add color to your home
If you are new to fish keeping and planning to get an aquarium in Dhaka, you will probably go to the pet shop market in Katabon. Katabon pet market has been in existence from many years and you get to choose from a variety of colorful fishes for your hobby.
However, you will probably realize that majority of fish stores in katabon lack two major things. First, expert advice when it comes to fish keeping and second, variance in price and cleanliness among the shops.
Many fish stores are overstocked ! Check the health of your fish before buying !
If you are planning on getting an aquarium, here are a few things you need to know before making your first purchase:
1. Fix your budget before heading out to buy an aquarium. This is very important as many people buy more than what they can keep and overspend. Decided on whether you want a fresh water or saltwater setup. Saltwater setups are more expensive than freshwater and require a strict maintenance regime. Don’t buy fishes and aquarium on the same day.
Saltwater aquariums require strict maintenance regime for success
2. Research online on the compatibility of fishes and know their requirements. Fishes do become large after a certain period so know their compatibility. Aqadvisor.com is an excellent website to check compatibility of fishes and provide plenty of information regarding filtration etc.
check compatibility and size requirements before buying fish
3. Decide on the size of the aquarium. Note that the larger the aquarium, the easier to maintain. Avoid buying glass jar and bowls as proper filtration is difficult in them. Decide on the glass thickness depending on what decor you intend to put in it. For extra clarity, you can choose crystal glass. For authenticity, note that crystal glass are typical clear on the edges and not green like most cheap glasses. Avoid acrylic aquariums as they are more prone to scratches than glass aquariums.
All in one systems are good for generic setups but not for high energy planted aquariums
4. Filters are very important to keep aquarium water clean. Choose from a variety of filters available such as power filter, Hang on Back Filter, Sump Filter, Cannister filter, top filter etc. Buy appropriate filter media as well to ensure biological and mechanical filtration.
small schooling fish look great in planted aquariums
5. If you decide to get a planted aquarium, your requirements will be a bit different. The right choice of aquasoil, light, fertilizer, plants, rocks and bogwood will make your aquarium stand out. For planted aquariums, avoid ‘all in one aquariums’ available in the market. All in one systems makes aquarium difficult for changes and up gradation. Buy aquarium light with the right spectrum and wattage to grow aquatic plants.
avoid artificial plant that are not safe. Buy aquarium safe decor or live plants for a healthy eco system
6.If you decide to get a saltwater aquarium, you will need live rock, aquarium salt and a different set of equipment such as a refractometer to test the salinity of water. You will also need a chiller to integrate cooler water temperatures in your system if you want to grow corals given our hot climate. Choose light specific to your needs. A FOWLR (Fish only with live rock) system may not require the same equipment as a coral setup. Sump Filters work best for saltwater setups.
Growing corals require a different skillset by experienced hobbyist
7. Buy a good water conditioner and live nitryfying bacteria to cycle your aquarium. Research online on cycling aquarium to learn more about the ammonia cycle. Add fish only when your aquarium is cycled.
8. Buy maintenance kits such as fish net, water test kits, glass cleaner etc. and do weekly water changes to ensure a healthy ecosystem. Live plants help stabilize aquariums and keep deadly ammonia in check. Use live plants when possible in a freshwater setup. Keep fish medicine in handy and test your water weekly to know more about water parameters.
Planted aquariums require good knowledge of live plants
9. Don’t keep your aquarium lights on for more than 8 hours. Algae is one of the major reason why most people leave the hobby. So make sure you start with a lot of healthy live plants in freshwater aquarium to avoid algae. Do large water changes in planted aquariums to keep the system algae free. Use sterilizers and other algae control products to reduce or eliminate algae when needed.
keep mainteance kits in hand, wear proper clothes during water changes and keep your phones away to avoid splash and accidents
10. Feed fishes only once a day. Don’t overfeed fish. Use a lot of hardscape such as bogwood, live rock, stones etc to keep hiding spaces for fish.When buying fish, make sure they do not have any unusual spots or damaged fins and look sick. Most fishes are stressed during shipment so it is best to buy fishes after a couple of days of shipment from a reputed store.
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