“What can I do to set my fish up for a long, healthy life?” We hear this question a lot and there are a few simple things all pet fish owners can do to improve their fishes’s quality of life.
1) Maintain Your Water Quality
This is what my tombstone will say. Water quality is the most important influence in your fishes’ life. If you don’t understand how to test it, interpret it or make corrections, ask your local fish club, maintenance professional or aquatic veterinarian. Refer to our tank and pond checklists to make sure all your maintenance gets done on a regular basis. Read more about water quality basics here.
2) Get a Bigger Tank
Most of the systems our clinic visits are overstocked. 1 gallon per 1″ of fish is a ridiculous rule. Goldfish need 20 gallons PER FISH!! In order to maintain good water quality, make sure your system is large enough to give all your fish lots of room without straining your filtration. For fish tanks, bigger is always better. More water with fewer fish gives your filtration and water quality room to breathe.
3) Feed a Good Diet
Just because it’s the most expensive diet does not mean its the best. Not all fish foods are created equal and some charge extra for inferior products. Educate yourself on what your fish really need and keep it fresh. Once opened, fish food will lose its water-soluble vitamin content in 6 months.
4) Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine!
Any new, sick or injured fish should be moved to a quarantine system. Proper quarantine will save you time, money and LIVES. If you’ve recently upgraded your tank, save the old one to have at the ready just in case. Learn more about everything you need to setup a hospital/quarantine tank.
5) Ask For Help
Although not all resources are created equal, there is a ton of FREE help for fish owners on our website. If you are concerned about your fish and don’t know if you need help, CALL US – (831) 278-1081. If you are not in California or Nevada, we will help you find someone in your area. Search the American Association of Fish Veterinarians database for a fish veterinarian near you. Yes, we charge for our services, unlike all the free help from Google, but you get what you pay for. Don’t just dump in a bunch of “antibiotics” and hope for the best. By bringing a pet fish into your home, you have signed a contract promising to give your fish their best life possible. Just because they only cost a few bucks doesn’t mean they don’t deserve veterinary care.