Photo Essays

Keeping Aquarium Fishes

It is a pleasure to have a fairly large aquarium at home with fishes of different breeds, sizes, fin configuration, body shapes and coloration. Apart from variety of gold fishes, my aquarium has sardines, red caps, black mollies and cichild fishes including angel fish.

While gold fishes are undoubtedly a major attraction, the red cap with a bright red hood and iridescent white body is so beautiful. While sardines, also known as pilchards, are quite playful and active, tiny silver sharks too are quite active and beautiful fishes with a metallic silver body. Black molly with black coloration and short fins is quite adaptive. Angel fish is unique in so far as it swims up and down horizontally.

It could be a good pastime to feed, watch and play with aquarium fishes particularly for those animal lovers who live in big cities and do not get much opportunity to be with nature. Of course, maintaining a fish aquarium also devolves a lot of care and responsibility in terms of maintaining the healthy and ideal habitat and equilibrium for the small and delicate fishes.

It may be kept in view that different fish need different food and fish feed should be procured accordingly. Further, the maintenance requirements of different fish varry too in so far as some need more frequent maintenance compared to others.

Instead of periodically changing complete water of the fish tank, a partial water change say about 25% at a time on weekly basis is usually recommended. To carry out the water change, a gravel vacuum should be used which can siphon out any waste too in the substrate.

To maintain a natural environment in the fish tank, one needs to learn the ideal temperature range, the Ph tolerance and right feed suitable for the kind of fishes kept. The size of the tank should be chosen keeping in view the number and adult size of the fish. For the fresh water fishes, ideally about a pound of pebbles should be put per gallon of water in the tank. Special care must be taken to choose right kind of filter system for the fish tank.

Fish feed should be given twice or thrice in a day.

Adequate tank lights, a heater and thermometer are also necessary. Heating is usually required during the winter for the comfort and safety of the fishes. Fishes are very sensitive to chlorine in the water, hence appropriate dechlorinator may be used to make the tap water safe for the fishes.

The ordinary tap water may be used in the fish tank but the water needs to be treated to ensure there is no ammonia, nitrites and only traces of nitrates, if any.

Finally, you also need to regularly monitor and watch your fish to ensure that different species are getting along well. You should also keep a watch if there is any change of colour, falling of fin, damaged tail etc. of any fish.

All pictures (c) jaipalsingh


More by :  Dr. Jaipal Singh

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