Pets effortlessly bring so much happiness into our lives. They make us feel relaxed, make us laugh, and will always be there for us anytime and no matter what. If you are living on your own, you may get lonely at home sometimes but if you have a pet, it feels like you have a companion. Modern life is very stressful and can make us feel anxious, the good thing is, pets can really help us be relaxed, just seeing your dog, hearing your cat or simply watching your fish swim around the aquarium can make your worries go away.
Having a pet is a great conversation starter, it is also an easy way to meet people and create bonds easily. There’s a pet owner community, and everyone is friendly. You can often find people you can ask and talk about your pet and be friends who have the same interest. And pets can teach you lots of important skills, it will help you develop your nurturing and empathy skills, which are vital in your life.
Right now, fishes are the third most popular pet to have, aside from dogs and cats. This is due to lots of benefits they have to pet owners, first is they have lots health benefits from keeping a fish. With just watching fish swim it can reduce stress, reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and improves behaviour and habits of those who have Alzheimer’s. And unlike other pets, fish are completely silent, they are so convenient if you have kids and old people at home. Aside from not making any noise, they also don’t take up much space.
However, there are so many breeds to choose from, and you might have a hard time finding the fish that is right for you. If you are a novice in having a pet and choosing fish, you might as well start with having goldfish. They are a good breed for beginners, and exceptionally resilient and need less attention making them low maintenance than some other breeds. And although they are easy to have as pets, there are still things to keep in mind before getting a goldfish. Now let’s take a look at the list.
Getting a Tank
Although goldfish can be housed in bowls, there will always be a tendency for them to outgrow it. It may be appealing to get a small tank, however, for beginners, getting a small aquarium is not wise. If you plan right from the start to get more than one goldfish, it is better to buy a tank and a much bigger one. In choosing a size, you have to make sure it’s good enough to have a surface area for oxygen to be absorbed. It will also be a factor because you need to accessorize the tank in the future. Your fish should have a good and plenty enough space to swim around. Always remember that same as other pets, fishes also need as much as space they can get.
Accessorizing Your Tank
There are lots of things that need to be included when getting a tank. From hood, to prevent the fish from jumping out and other unnecessary things to go inside your tank, you also need a pump to keep the water oxygenated by making bubbles in it, also filters to keep your water clean and purified by removing waste and any other harmful chemicals. There should also be gravel lines at the bottom of the tank to help breed good bacteria in the place. Putting real plants is good to assist in the breakdown of toxins and help reduce algae growth. Aside from that, you can add a personal touch to decorate your tank. Goldfish are naturally lively and playful, you should put some decorations that goldfish can swim through and hide on. Choose decorations that they can play around at, and make sure there are no sharp edges or objects that can harm your fishes.
Make it Homey
Create a real proper home for your goldfish. Before getting your fish make sure that you spend time on making your pets home. You should place the fish tank where it can get enough sunlight during the day which is not hitting it directly. You should also place your tank in the good surface level with a strong foundation. In water preparation, you should do it days before you get your fish. You can use tap water but you should let it stand for a couple of day’s to make the chlorine have enough time to dissolve. Prepare your tank – clean it properly and all the other accessories that you will put with a mild detergent. Add first all the accessories and then pour the water. The water should be put in the tank for a few days before it to reach the perfect temperature.
Maintaining the Water
Fish are low maintenance, and the only most important thing your fish need to survive is water. It is very crucial in keeping your fish healthy. Using a filter makes your tank much easier to maintain. Do a regular water change every week by removing and replacing water. About one-third of the water inside the tank must be replaced. Tap water has so many properties that need to be balanced so your fish could live, to condition water properly, use a dechlorinating agent which you can get at your local pet store. Remember to let replacement water stagger for at least a day to dissolve the chlorine properly.
Keeping Your Tank Clean
Dirty water conditions cause most of the illness and deaths of fishes, it can be bacterial or fungal. It is mainly caused by uneaten food, making the water polluted or not changing the water. Goldfish are a little bit messy, you should clean your tank regularly. When cleaning, you should remove all the accessories, brush off all slime, clean and wipe properly the tank, remove waste and algae. When cleaning the tank it’s advisable to transfer the fish to a bucket of clean room temperature water, this way they won’t notice the difference in water temperature and won’t stress them out. Once you’ve finished cleaning gently return the fish again so they won’t feel any difference.
Feeding Your Fish
Unlike most pets, goldfish only need to be fed once daily. Food for fishes can be easily bought at a pet shop, but if you don’t know what to buy, you can consult a veterinarian. You can give the fish some variety by feeding it both the flakes and granules, but one important thing you should know is goldfish have a sophisticated palate. Goldfish that have only dry food diet won’t be as pretty or colorful or grow as fast as those that eat live foods, as well. You can include various types of worms, larvaes, mosquitoes and special kinds of planktons. If you don’t know where to get them you can try an alternative like frozen, freeze dried or gel foods. As a matter of fact, you can also give your goldfish vegetables, like cooked peas, spinach and kale as these are good to avoid digestive problems. Just make sure that you give them only food that they can finish because they have a tendency to eat until they kill themselves.
Keeping Your Goldfish Safe
Avoid spraying insect repellents in your room or at the same place where your fish tank is located, doing this can poison your goldfish. Another thing you should avoid is using metals inside your tank, metal can be dissolved and mix with your water that can potentially poison your fish. Items you take from beaches and ponds may carry bacteria causing diseases so don’t put them in your tank . Another normal thing we usually do is tapping the tank, making sudden and loud noises could stress out your goldfish so avoid doing it.
Detecting Signs of Illness
Pay 100% attention to your fish, you should be familiar with its normal behavior. Look for changes in appearance, behavior or feeding habits so that you’ll immediately notice if something is wrong . By being familiar to your goldfish, you can easily detect when there’s something going on. You might notice common symptoms like scratching against things inside the tank, gasping at the surface and abnormal swimming patterns. And as long as you find that there is a sick fish, you should isolate it away from other fishes. It will be easy to notice any abnormalities your fish will do.
Just like most pets, fish can show a range of clinical signs of disease, and if the disease is not treated properly, it can cause death. The most common diseases for goldfish are: White Spot Disease which attacks stressed out goldfish most specially with low immune systems, floating problems, overfeeding, fungi, tail rot, anchor worms, popeye and fish lice. Another thing you should look out for is mercury poisoning. You can get medicine and treatment from your pet shop, but if you’re unsure or scared you can always ask your veterinarian.
Putting Compatible Fish Together
New pet or goldfish owners often choose fish that look good to them without knowledge about their environmental needs. Most fish may clash with one another or require different water conditions. Do a research on each species before choosing fish that you mix inside your tank. Get the same peaceful fish that will thrive and be at home in similar water conditions. Make sure not to mix aquariums with other types of fish because goldfish have a tendency to eat and prey on smaller fish.
Getting a pet is really a long term commitment, it shouldn’t be just spur out of the moment decision. Goldfish although not high maintenance still require a lot of attention. If you are unsure and hesitant you can’t give your time for your pet, getting a pet is not a wise choice for you. Another thing to consider is your financial condition, owning a pet can cost you and you should be ready for it. Food, tanks, treatments, accessories, equipment. Although getting a fish is less expensive, you should still be prepared for some expenses.
Considering that you have long working hours, or have a busy life, or always traveling, considering fish as a pet is a wise decision. Your pet should always fit your lifestyle and as a responsible owner you should also be able to accommodate your pet in accordance with your time. Doing research beforehand on your pet is a good idea as caring for pets requires a lot of knowledge. Cleaning, nutrition stuff and safety tips should be on your first priority to study. There’s a lot of ways you can study, there’s a lot of information on the web. As mentioned before if you’re scared and hesitant, you can always ask your veterinarians.
Consulting experts that you can rely on is necessary. It is very common to all pet owners to have a veterinarian they can rely on for their pets medical problems .Veterinarian is the first person you should ask when your pet is sick or there is something wrong with them.
Overall, goldfish are known to have a tranquil, calming effect on anyone who looks at them swim serenely through the water, they are also playful as they can also interact with their owners, and can even be trained to do tricks and feed from your hand. The most amazing thing is fish can recognize their owners. They can also develop a bond with their owners just like any other pet. Fish would truly make wonderful pets for people who don’t have the time or physical space to devote to a higher-maintenance mammal pet.
Looking after a pet is a huge responsibility, but when you are sure you can do everything listed above, you can sum up all the benefits and they can all make that hard work worth the hassle and effort. As Anataole France said “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”