Tropical Freshwater Fish as a Beginner Hobbyist:
by Stephanie Whitley
If you are a beginner and you love animals and other living things, tropical fish is a rewarding, challenging, but sometimes pricey hobby. If you don't like a challenge and just want something easy to care for, I imagine a goldfish is a good bet. A Beta is a nice choice also. They are pretty, colorful fish and easy to care for. They're also fun to watch when they see they're reflection in the aquarium or bowl. They puff up and try to charge and attack their own image.
Sometimes it looks like they're marching back and forth like sentry. You can only keep one in an aquarium or bowl, however, or they will try to kill each other. Another name for the Beta is Siamese fighting fish. Putting other tropical fish in with the Beta isn't a good idea either. The Beta will bite off chunks of the other fishes fins and otherwise terrorize them.
I have had aquariums on and off through my life since 1977 and now have three. Tropical Fish are found in tropical surroundings around the world, including both freshwater tropical fish and salt water species. Freshwater tropical fish are the more popular of the two and the freshwater tropical fish themselves are very inexpensive. Due to their often bright coloration, salt water fish are admired by hobbyists because of their exotic appearance. However they are more expensive and a great deal more difficult to care for.
It can be extremely enjoyable building and sustaining a cozy environment for your fish. It can give you much satisfaction making sure, for instance, that the water hardness, ammonia, ph, and nitrate levels are all normal. Sometimes I feel like a scientist using the test kits and test strips to monitor the water.
If you find a good water siphon to do your water changes, it can be a piece of cake. An inferior water siphon can make a mess. Another significant part of the aquarium environment would be the ornaments.
Placement of the ornaments is important not only for aesthetic purposes, but also the fish need a place to hide. Sometimes fish are shy at first or they become stressed by being chased by aggressive fish. The same is true when you introduce new fish. Also, I find they like to hide for a few hours after a water change which must seem very invasive to their world. I have three aquariums and I always place the ornaments in a corner with the plants behind it. You can still see the fish weaving in and around the plants and peaking through any opening in the ornament(s).
To avoid killing your new freshwater tropical fish, it is essential that you set up your aquarium days beforehand. Creating and maintaining a virtual natural environment within the aquarium should not be a problem as long as a balance is being maintained. Most of the aquariums you find in pet stores have everything you need. Just follow the directions. The directions don't, however, tell you what you need to do with the water. You will always need a water conditioner.
After you have given your aquarium a few days to set up, some pet stores will test your water for free and advise you on what you need to do to correct any problems. The aquariums in this website are also worth considering. These aquariums are quite unique and aesthetically pleasing. Once your simulated environment has been achieved, the fascination of watching your fish develop and interact is a reward in itself and well worth the time and effort taken. I clearly state here that I am not an aquatics expert; I am a hobbyist and love animals. The subject of this article is not exhaustive.
The documents herein are based on my experience and research. Therefore I am not liable in any way for how this information is used. There are lots of articles on the web or talking with your local pet store might be a good idea if you have any questions.
I am a former government employee. A designer and developer of database applications, websites and desktop publishing. I recently resigned to start my own business; an online pet supply store. I've also been singing in choirs and chorus' for 12 years. I hang out with my two best buddies (felines) Harry and Max. I spend time keeping 3 aquariums going, as well. Watching fish really relaxes me.
Tropical Fish Hobbyist