6 Tips to Care for Your New Fish
As with all pets, it’s important to do your research. Pets of all kinds are a lifetime commitment, and it’s no different with fish. Don’t buy a fish until you’re prepared to care for it and the environment it lives in!
Fish Care Tips
Fish cannot live on tap water alone. Many municipalities treat their water with chlorine or fluoride, which can be deadly for fish. Make sure to treat the water first to ensure it’s safe for your fish. For tips on treating your aquarium water, see PetSmart’s tip sheet.
Introducing your fish to their tank. Rather than immediately opening the bag your fish arrived in and releasing the fish into its tank, we recommend you float your fish in your aquarium for about 15 minutes so they can acclimatize to the temperature. You can then open the bag and slowly add some water into it, every five minutes until it’s full. You can then gently lower the bag into the aquarium and let the fish swim into their new home. This helps avoid any major temperature or environment shocks.
Regular maintenance. Even if using a filter in your tank to clean the water, it’s important to check it on a regular basis. Filters can get damaged, and should be replaced every four weeks.
Follow the instructions on the fish food container! Giving your fish breakfast, lunch and dinner will only clog up your water filter and make their tank dirty much faster. This excess waste can change the chemistry of the water and cause problems for your fish’s health. We advise you feed your fish on a schedule, to avoid overfeeding.
Accessorize. There are aerators, filters and every kind of tank decorations you can imagine at most pet stores, but which are good for your fish? Your best resource is to talk with pet store staff. They’ll know what your type of fish needs to be happy and healthy.
Keep it clean not green. Some algae isn’t a bad thing, but too much can cause health concerns for your fish. Talk to pet store staff to discuss tools to help clean the sides of your fish tank.
Floating fish = dead fish. Unfortunately, a floating fish tends to mean a dead fish. A good indicator that the fish is dead is if you do not see any movement over the course of a few hours. But don’t dispose of the body until you know without a shadow of a doubt!
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to bringing home a new fishy friend!