Do you want to start introducing the idea of pet ownership to your kids? A fish is the ideal starter pet. Fish are low maintenance, and provide a great way to teach children about responsibility without needing a lot of care or specialist knowledge. Here’s why fish make a great starter pet, and what you’ll need to do to introduce them to your home.
Easy to take care of
An integral part of pet ownership is caring for them according to their needs. This can be challenging for beginners, especially kids. However, one your aquarium is established, fish need little care beyond feeding and cleaning out, so they’re a great way to introduce children to the idea of responsible ownership.
Entertaining and budget-friendly
Fish are easy to come by and cheap to buy. When choosing a fish, let your children help you decide. Do they like plain colored ones? Would they like patterned fish? Look at the size and features of the different fish, and discuss them with your children.
Depending on how many you choose or how large a fish is, you can customize an aquarium to your space, budget or taste. You don’t need any expensive equipment: just an aquarium, air pump, water, and food, and pet store owners will be only too happy to help you out. Fish eat very little, so you will also make savings on food, compared with keeping other animals.
Setting up the tank
Aquariums range in size, style and budget, but for most fish, a simple and affordable tank will work fine. You will also need an air pump to ensure that your pet will get enough oxygen concentration and water movement. It’s also advisable to invest in a dedicated aquarium light. This will provide more oxygen and energy, and it encourages other friendly organisms to grow in the aquarium. When you add plants and rocks, the fish will have more oxygen, and less carbon dioxide, ammonia, bacteria, food residue and waste, resulting in a healthier living environment. Your aquarium will need to be cleaned every six months in order to keep the tank healthy.
Introducing fish safely
If you’ve bought a fish in a bag, check for disease before adding them to your tank, as an infection in one fish can affect the entire population. Watch out for red or white spots around their gills, and check that they are breathing well. If you’re confident that your fish are healthy, transfer water from your aquarium into the bag to allow them to acclimatize to their new environment. Seal the bag, and wait for at least ten minutes, before using a net to transfer the fish to the aquarium safely.
Fish make a great first pet for children. Once you have set up your tank, they’re cheap and easy to care for, and provide a great way to introduce children to the idea of responsible pet ownership.