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Fish tank friends

fish tank friends

This month we look at keeping pet fish…

An attractive aquarium can be a positive addition to a home. Brightly coloured fish provide a soothing sight; watching and taking care of them can itself become an absorbing pastime.

An appeal of fishkeeping may be the apparent simplicity of their needs, however, depending on your choice of fish type and environment, there is more to it than first meets the eye. So, if you’re thinking of enhancing your sitting room with a colourful aquarium, or treating your children to a new pet, do your homework first. Pop along to an aquarium shop and chat to an expert.

Your first decision is what type of fish to keep. There are three categories:

Coldwater — this category contains mainly Goldfish species and tends to be the hardiest, making them ideal for beginners.

Tropical freshwater — this is a diverse category of all colours, shapes and sizes. These fish live in warm water and providing you do your research on compatibility, you can keep a variety of species together.

Marine fish — require expertise and more technical aquarium technology. Success requires commitment and a bigger budget, rewarded by a wide variety of highly colourful species, with the option of mixing fish and corals.


Goldfish are relatively low maintenance. That said there are regular tasks that need to be carried out to ensure the health and welfare of the fish is maintained.

Many an unfortunate goldfish has been kept in a small glass bowl. The RSPCA say: “’Decorative’ tanks, which include goldfish bowls, jars or children’s tanks are designed as ornaments without any consideration for animal welfare. The small size is inadequate (fancy goldfish require at least 60 litres of water each) and small volumes don’t allow for a stable environment.”

So, if you are planning to keep two goldfish, a 24inch aquarium will ensure they have adequate space for their needs, with a surface area to allow enough oxygen to be absorbed into the water and for the temperature to remain stable. ( adviceandwelfare/pets/fish)


A goldfish should be fed as much food as he’ll eat within two minutes twice a day. Overfeeding is more detrimental than underfeeding — unwanted food will end up polluting the water.


A filtration system will keep the water clean in both a mechanical and biological sense. You will also need to control the water quality by carrying out partial water changes (25 per cent of the aquarium’s volume) on a six-weekly basis. The filtration system itself must be cleaned — washed in water from the aquarium rather than straight from the tap. Replacement water will need to be conditioned before it is added. A good aquarium shop will be able to offer all the advice you need.

Did you know?

It is a fallacy that a goldfish’s size will be limited by the size of his habitat.


Treat your goldfish to a pea or two, or a small piece of chopped spinach.

Did you know?

A goldfish can live up to 25 years.

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