A Childs First Aquarium
A fish is a great first pet for a young child and it's easy to set up. The average cost is around $30.00, not including fish, which are priced from 99 cents to hundreds of dollars.
Letting your child pick the pieces that go in it make it his or her own, and the soft bubbling noises may help with children who wake easily.
Picking out a set up a the pet store is often frustrating, as the employees often work on commission and will sell you things you do not need. With this article, you'll have the knowledge you need and not pay more than you have to.
What you will need:
a 10 gallon tank An air pump A heat source unless your tank comes with one built into the lid, which is recommended. chemicals to treat the water. gravel for the bottom a small net to use on the fish when cleaning the tank. a castle, plants, backdrop, other decorations. food Fish are last. The tank has to sit for 12-36 hours before they can safely added or the shock will kill them.
The tank and buying equipment
Since tanks need to be set up 12-36 hours before the fish can be added, it's best to buy all your equipment, set it up, then chose the fish. Letting your child pick it will make him or her feel good. Most fish need a heat source so it's wise to buy a tank that has a special lamp in the lid to take care of this. Otherwise, it's another piece of equipment you'll have to buy.
You can purchase everything new or buy used. Since Everything has to be cleaned anyway, I recommend using places like Amazon or ebay to get good deals on everything you need, including food and fish.
Ready to begin?
Wash the tank and anything going inside with lightly soapy warm water and rinse repeatedly. If you don't rinse it enough, the soap will kill the fish as fast as the germs you're trying to remove by washing it.
Dump in the freshly rinsed gravel and smooth out. Add water. Fill to 2 inches from top. For a bigger aquarium, fill less if you intend on bigger, or a lot of fish. Add filter(usually comes with tank. You'll have to by more later). Add chemicals to water. Most tanks require a simple solution called water conditioner. There are a lot of kinds of this and it's best to ask or research what type is best for the fish you plan to put in the aquarium. Many places sell kits that have test strips you put in the water that tell you the ph level, something that measures the amount of chemicals in the water. If it's too low, you add some, if it's too high, you add a different solution that dilutes it.
After adding chemicals, let tank sit for 12 hours.
Add the plants, castle, and other decorations, using the gravel to weigh them down. Add the air pump, again, using the gravel to hold it on the bottom. Be sure there's a steady steam of bubbles flowing from the hose. This is the air they need to breath. Turn on or add heat source and let sit for 12-24 hours to aerate and warm the water.
Adding the fish
Fish come in baggies of water that must be allowed to adjust to the temperature of the new tank before the fish can be released. Place the baggie into the open tank and let it float in water for 2 hours. Then release your fish, feed them according to the instructions on the can, and enjoy your new aquarium. Tips:
Cleaning matters. A lot. Crowded tanks should be cleaned weekly, less populated tanks, monthly. If slime builds up on the tank, the fish will develop diseases, like ick, and die.
Tired of cleaning the tank so often? Get a few snails or an algae eater, which is a type of fish that eats the slime off the side of your tank.
Don't over feed. Since they grow to their environment, an overfed fish in a crowded tank will die.
Fish fight. Be sure what you're mixing get along or you'll have to explain to your child that some of their pets ate each other.