10 Things Fish Tank Owners Wish They Knew Earlier
In 2009, at Christopher’s request for a pet that didn’t bite, we bought a 26-gallon fish tank. I was excited about it because I always wanted a fish tank.
In the beginning, I immersed myself in fish tank maintenance like it was my long lost hobby. I was at PetSmart a couple times a week asking questions.
All of our fish had names. We had Molly, Night, Sunshine, Rain, Oscar and so on.
When a fish died within 14 days of purchase, I took the dead body into the store to get a diagnosis.
I even returned fish when they didn't seem to get along. When we bought home some guppies and they chased Molly, they had to go.
10 things I wish I knew about fish and maintenance
- Dead fish lay on the rocks. They don't float - making it grossly difficult to get them out.
- Fishing for dead fish is disgusting.
- Dead fish smell really really REALLY bad.
- Some dead fish disintegrate while you're scooping them out. Ewwwwah!
- Some fish jump out of the tank and die on the floor. Poor Molly.
- Don't clean the tank often. Just top off the water so the bubbling doesn't disturb you.
- Don't waste a clean filter on a dirty tank.
- Don't buy self feeders. Go on vacation and feed the fish when you get back.
- Forget about the PH levels.
- Wish for them to die and they'll live forever.
I would NOT have said "yes" to being the mom of a fish tank if someone had warned me about the first five. Nope!
Today, the chore I hate doing the most is... cleaning the fish tank.
It's gross and slimy.
I use to clean the tank every two weeks. Now I clean it when it's too gross to look at.
Months go by.
I told Christopher when the last fish died we weren't getting anymore.
That was five years ago.
Bonus Disclaimer: Honestly I don't think we've ever gone this long without cleaning the tank. Back in January, when Christopher was "helping", the hood light fell into the tank full of water. I didn't want to invest anything else into this tank, so I bought a small fluorescent light that cost about $14 and duct taped it in the place of the other one. The lighting is a little different and it doesn't grow algae nearly as fast. Wish I had of known THAT five years ago.
Check out this handy graphic for a happy tank. Knowing what fish are compatible in a freshwater tank will keep you from having to experience the first five.