Back in October, I took my daughter to Exotic Pets to take a look at the store for a blog. My daughter loved looking at the fish so much and wanted to return days later. Less than a week later, we became fish owners. We asked tons of questions, did a couple days of research and welcomed home new pets to our family. Four months have passed since and we’ve been loving it. Some close friends of ours have since also joined the ranks. I’ve had some questions from other friends about our experience and decided to turn it into a blog.
Starting Out As Fish Owners
While some first timers start off with betta fish, we decided to go the guppy route. We didn’t want just one fish to look at; I wanted a small school of them. After looking at different aquariums, we went with the Fluval Chi 5 gallon aquarium kit that we purchased at Exotic Pets. We loved the elegant column style tank and that it didn’t have that basic look. The kit came with a filter and lights.
Carter who works at the Exotic Pets on west Kellogg is our favorite go-to guy for any questions and assistance with fish. It’s embarrassing the number of times we’ve gone in to buy fish, look at fish, get more product or ask questions. Each time, Carter has been more than willing to assist.
Back when we started in October, we were told with guppies that the aquarium would be good for roughly 5-7 guppies depending on the size. At the start, we had seven males guppies. I’m not ready to be a grandfather yet, so making sure there was no hanky panky going on in that tank was crucial.
The first month of owning fish wasn’t ideal for us. It was a learning experience. From water quality to possibly incorrect feeding cycles, we had some unfortunate tragedies. After less than four weeks, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. We’ve fixed our water issues and test it pretty regularly with these test strips we purchased off Amazon.
With the algae growth in our aquarium, we also added snails to our family. They’ve probably been more fun to watch than the fish. We have a few mystery snails that crawl all over the place….
…. and a rare turquoise Japanese trapdoor snail that’s our favorite. We keep hearing about snails reproducing and are keeping an eye on that. Like I said, I’m not ready to be a grandfather.
The Time Required to be a Fish Owner
This is one of the biggest things to consider if you want to join the ranks. Are you ready to commit the time it takes because let’s face it, your kids likely won’t.
Maintenance and proper water care are crucial to ensure your fish live a happy life. We were told to clean the tank anywhere from 2-4 weeks. For us, we play it by ear based on how everything looks.
Water changes are really simple. We typically change out about 20-30% of the water each time. To siphon the water out, we use a Long Nozzle Water Changer for with Air-Pressing Button. The button makes it super easy and quick. All the water gets dumped into a 5-gallon bucket we got from Lowe’s.
Another tool we use is the Aquarium Cleaning Tools Kit from Amazon that includes an algae scrape, cleaning sponge, fishnet, gravel rake and plant fork. Both tools are very affordable and do everything we need to clean the tank in roughly 5-10 minutes.
Is Becoming a Fish Owner Right For You?
It all comes down to whether you are willing to make the commitment to care for your fish. It’s pretty low maintenance when it comes to pet ownership. We feed our fish once a day and our snails every other day. Cleaning is typically every three weeks, with some spot cleaning here and there.
We are now in talks to upgrade our tank and find anywhere between a 20-30 gallon tank to get even more fish. I’ve been browsing around for different aquariums and types of fish that we could get that would play well with our guppies. Of course, we made another stop to Exotic Pets where Carter was happily there to assist with all the questions we had as we plan to grow our fish family.
Lastly, I want to send a big thank you to my daughter, who was the major deciding factor in us getting fish. I just need to make sure I don’t bring her around any other animals because I’m trying to avoid additional responsibilities at home.
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