If your child has never owned a pet before and is practically begging you for one, then your best bet might be to get him or her a fish first. This is a good pet to start out with, especially for smaller children. Having a fish can help teach your child responsibility and help prepare them for any future pets they may own. It important to teach your child the proper feeding and cleaning techniques when owning a fish. Although caring for a fish isn't too difficult, there are certain precautions that must be taken to keep your scaly friend alive. Always make sure the fish that you buy are well fed. They should have no missing scales and be somewhat plump. It is best to start out with about 3 or 4 fish in a tank, depending on the size of the aquarium. You can always add more later if you decide to get a bigger tank. The less fish you have in a tank, the better. This will also cut back on having to clean the aquarium as much. You should teach your child that the aquarium needs to be cleaned at least once every 2 weeks. Although, some tanks may require a weekly cleaning.
The tank that the fish will live in should be set up about a week in advance. This will allow the water to adjust to the correct stable environment. You should only fill the tank about 3/4 full. Once you bring the fish home, put the bag in the aquarium to allow the fish to adjust to the temperature. If the fish are emptied too quickly, it can cause the fish to go into shock. After about 15 or 20 minutes, slowly open the bag and release the water and fish into the aquarium.
Now, you may be asking "What type of fish do I choose for my child?" If you are wanting a pet that will last a while, goldfish are the way to go. Aquarium fish generally last between 3-7 years but some goldfish have been reported to live up to 20 years! You want to be careful to get fish that will get along. Contrary to most people's belief, betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are actually compatible with some other fish such as mollies and rainbow fish. We have a variety of fish at our Pet Depot locations. Our employees will be more than happy to help you in all your fish and aquarium needs.