10 Things Fish Tank Owners Wish They Knew Earlier

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.  

Too much to clean. #High Maintenance

Too much to clean. #High Maintenance

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

  1. Dead fish lay on the rocks. They don't float - making it grossly difficult to get them out.
  2. Fishing for dead fish is disgusting.
  3. Dead fish smell really really REALLY bad.
  4. Some dead fish disintegrate while you're scooping them out. Ewwwwah!
  5. Some fish jump out of the tank and die on the floor. Poor Molly.
  6. Don't clean the tank often. Just top off the water so the bubbling doesn't disturb you.
  7. Don't waste a clean filter on a dirty tank. 
  8. Don't buy self feeders. Go on vacation and feed the fish when you get back.
  9. Forget about the PH levels. 
  10. 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!

Before/After - that time the bridge got really gross and slimy

Before/After - that time the bridge got really gross and slimy

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.

My fish keep having babies. #-oI've lost a lot few of them to cleaning the tank. The babies intentionally unintentionally go out with the dirty water and some die from clean tank shock.
The ones that remain have no name. But because they are somehow related to the original school of fish, Christopher doesn't want to let them go. It's not a deterent to have him help clean the tank either. It just becomes a time consuming chore for the both of us me. :-<
A few minutes after this photo was taken, the hood light fell in the tank. No humans or fish were harmed in the process. 

A few minutes after this photo was taken, the hood light fell in the tank. No humans or fish were harmed in the process. 

The last time we cleaned the tank was January 14th! [-X The bridge isn't gross yet so I think we can wait a little longer. :-j
Four things to clean. #Low maintenance.

Four things to clean. #Low maintenance.

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. 


This story was inspired by Finish the Sentence Friday, where the writing prompt this week is - The chore I hate doing the most is...

Hosted by Kristi Campbell & co-hosted this week by Michele Grewe and Jill Robbins

I'm Vain...

I'm Vain...

5 Minutes: No sleep

5 Minutes: No sleep

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