A freshwater aquarium can be as simple as a couple of goldfish in a tank or as complex as you want – although most people find that once they have started keeping freshwater fish it is hard to stop. Odd as it may seem to anyone who has not kept a fish before, they are amazingly good company. They don’t talk much, it’s true, but they do soon get into the habit of knowing what movements mean ‘food’ and for children they really make ideal pets, being reasonably easy to look after and not expensive to buy. There are a variety of starter kits available and the staff at Aylesford Aquatics will be able to advise you on the best size of tank and how many fish it will hold. It is important to be patient when setting up a new aquarium as water fresh from the tap is very bad for fish, so if buying for children it is probably best to buy a secret tank and not let them in on the fun until it is ready to receive the fish – a week is a long time to wait just looking at an empty aquarium.
Once your environment is ready, you will be able to choose your fish. There are a huge number to choose from, from the very familiar shubunkin to some quite exotic looking fish, with goggle eyes or bright colours. As with all fish husbandry the balance of fish and plants in the aquarium is the most important factor in making sure they all stay healthy. It is tempting to fill the tank with a lot of fish, but they won’t be happy if too crowded and there will be a lot of stress which could quite literally wipe out the entire stock. If you ask when you buy, the Aylesford Aquatics staff will be happy to advise you not only on species which will be able to live together in harmony but also how many fish to buy. A mixture of top and bottom feeders will help to keep the aquarium clean naturally, which will make it easier to look after with less intrusion in the way of water changes and cleaning.
A freshwater aquarium, whilst being easy to set up and maintain, still needs a reasonable amount of upkeep. When you go on holiday, it is best to make sure you have someone who can check on it regularly, keeping up the routine of a 20% water change weekly. There are blocks to feed fish over a period of a few weeks, but it is best if the fish are still checked on. Even fish like a friendly face!