Almost everything you need to know about pet care.
The Art of Fish Keeping
Keeping aquarium fish is the UK’s number two pastime, gardening is number one. With three main classes of aquarium fish being kept, cold water, tropical and marine fish. Stockists for all three types are generally available in most large towns and cities. The hobbyist also has access to sophisticated equipment for filtration, lighting and other advances in water quality which lets us keep a larger numbers of fish and a wider range of species.
Generally an aquarium is any container capable of holding water in which aquatic organisms can continue to live over a long period of time. Most domestic aquariums today are made from glass or plastic panels either framed in metal frames or bonded together with a special aquarium sealant or you can buy a seamless plastic tank.
For the novice aquarist, it is recommended that the minimum size for an aquarium should be 50 litres. This is a small sized tank and can only be lightly stocked with smallish fish. The preferred size would be 90 to 120litres, as a rule of thumb only stock your aquarium up to an absolute maximum of 1cm (adult) length of fish per each 2 litres. If your tank actually holds 90litres of water then look at a maximum (adult length) of 90cm of fish. That is only 9 (juvenile) fish with an estimated adult (grown) length of 10cm each or a maximum of 18 fish at 5cm adult length each. So look at around an average of 14 various fish in your 90litre tank. If you want big fish then your 90litre aquarium will only hold two or three fish like Oscars, maximum! A tank described by a pet shop as 90litres may actually only hold 70 to 80litres of water or less by the time you take into account gravel, rocks and equipment.
An aquarist explores the general ability to keep fish. Acquiring knowledge of the biological and physiological characteristics of fish. An aquarist should be aware of all aspects of their fish’s husbandry: such as feeding & nutrition, reproduction, water temperature and pH balance requirements, water quality management, sources & control of stress, & disease control.
Before you rush out and buy some fish and an aquarium, visit a couple of different pet shops that supply fish, aquariums and equipment. Decide what kind of fish you would like to keep. Check out the prices of the equipment and the you will need and set yourself a budget.
We have had some experience with cold water and tropical aquaria, having had four tropical aquariums and a cold water aquarium over the years. We have also had a cold water garden pond. Besides being a decorative addition to the house, fish can be an interesting and educational hobby.
Fishlopaedia by Mary Bailey at £6.96
Interpet Guide to Aquarium Plants at £5.19
Aquarium fishes of the world by Herbert Axelrod at £13.96