How to Take Care of a Fish


Keeping fish can be an simple way to introduce a young child to the concept of pet care, or a complex challenge for the most skilled and experienced of aquarium enthusiasts. Here are a few tips to help you understand how to take care of a fish.

Start with Fish That Does Not Require Much Attention

fish hiding

If you’re new to keeping fish, start with easy care specimens. The most inexpensive fish in the pet shop are also the easiest to care for.

Decide What Sort of Fish You Want to Keep

another fish

Cold water or tropical, freshwater or salt? Cold freshwater fish are easier to care for, saltwater aquariums really do require specialist skills and equipment and are more suitable for the experienced.

Buy a Decent Sized Tank

is it a fish?

Even a single goldfish really needs at least 40 litres of water, which is way more than you’ll get in a goldfish bowl.

Don’t Overcrowd the Tank

fish and a friend - another fish

Balance your tank size with the number and type of fish you want to keep. A well balanced aquarium is a restful and beautiful thing. An overcrowded tank, full of diseased specimens is unfair on the fish and no fun to look at.

Don’t Put the Tank Near a Window

two goldfish

If you do that, you might encourage algal growth, bad for your fish and unattractive too.

Research the Fish You’re Considering

goldfish staring at your soul

Not all fish are compatible, get the wrong mix and your big fish may eat your small fish.

Set up Your Tank before Introducing the Fish

fish in a fish bowl

Depending on the type of tank you’ve decided on you’ll need more or less equipment. You need to think about gravel, plants, lighting and ornaments (these provide a more natural environment and hiding places for your fish), you may need filters and heaters, water testing kits, air pumps. The list goes on. Ideally, you should run the tank for at least three days before introducing the fish to its new home.

Buy Fish Only from a Reputable Pet Shop

fish in aquarium

If the tanks at the shop are overcrowded, you may end up with diseased fish. Quarantine new specimens before introducing them to your main tank.

Don’t Overfeed!

aquarium fish

This is one of the most common mistakes, it will increase the ammonia level in your tank which is bad for the fish.

Perform Partial Water Changes


The proper changing of the water is very important, however, it should never be done all at once. 20%-30% a week is a pretty good guideline, clean filters at the same time. It’s a good idea to also make arrangements to care for the fish tank while you’re away.