Growing up, our family maintained at least two healthy tropical fish tanks at all times. There was the “big tank” (the traditional rectangle aquarium) and the “little tank” (the decorative jug-shaped tank that doubled as a lamp). I remember tapping on the glass gently to get the attention of the fish and being delighted when they seemed to respond by swimming close to my finger.
Ahhh . . . the joys and heartaches of keeping tropical fish. The joy comes from the many relaxing hours you spend gazing at the beautiful exotic tropical fish swimming around. The heartache when you find them floating belly up, having succumbed to some mysterious tropical fish disease or something wrong you did.
Healthy Tropical Fish
First, I suggest finding some credible freshwater tropical fish information and reading up on the subject before going out to buy your first freshwater tropical fish. These fish are delicate. And some need special care.
We had (at any given time): angel fish, red Oscar fish, plain guppie and fancy tail guppie fish, kissing fish (these are fun to watch!), popeye fish (my sentimental favorite), scavenger fish (keeps the tank clean), and even a small pet shark.
While many of these fish may all come from the same waters, they may not all get along when plopped together in a small space. A good tropical fish guide can teach you how to keep and breed healthy tropical fish and give you recommendations for fish to keep together. Believe me, if you make a mistake, you’ll see your share of fish fights!
One of the most important basics of tropical fish care is learning how and what to feed your fish. Healthy tropical fish need a special diet and goldfish food won’t do. When you buy your fish online or from a reputable tropical fish dealer, you should also purchase the correct fish food for the specific types of fish you are keeping. If you don’t know what to buy – ask. And, please don’t overfeed the fish – they can die from overeating.
Oh yeah. Better learn about semi-aggressive fish for tanks as well. We used to have a couple of mouth breeder fish that really liked those cute little frogs we put in their tank to add to the atmosphere. While frogs aren’t technically fish, we never thought that our well-fed fish would enjoy frogs for dinner.
I still shudder at the memory of seeing that poor helpless tiny frog hanging from the jaws of that fish. We also saw aggressive fish pick on and take bites out of other non-aggressive fish. If you don’t separate them, eventually the non-aggressive fish will die.
Freshwater Aquarium Care
Aquarium care maintenance is a real responsibility. This is where your fish live 24/7 and they need a clean environment. This is a chore that needs to be done regularly so keep that in mind when considering setting up a home fish aquarium.
A good aquarium care guide can show you how to clean a fish tank with the fish in it, or you can transfer the fish to another holding tank while you clean the dirty one. How do you clean a fish tank? Usually it involves taking a hose and draining out the dirty water, then replacing it with clean fresh water. Don’t forget to turn your pump back on after cleaning the pump filter.
If you have aquarium plants, you’ll also want to read up on aquarium plant care.
Tropical Fish Diseases
Unfortunately tropical fish are prone to diseases. Tropical fish medicine is available if your fish come down with fish ich or ick (a sticky white film on their bodies), or some other disease. You want to catch any disease in time before it kills them.
More Freshwater Fish Information
You can get complete fresh water tropical fish information online that can tell you all you need to know and more about live freshwater tropical fish. There are also good articles on tropical fish keeping that are a good guide to keeping tropical fish healthy and happy.
Tropical fish are a wonderful addition to your home. With proper care and maintenance, you will get many hours of enjoyment out of your exotic home aquarium.