Why Can Fish Be Fantastic First Pets For Your Children?

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Most people in the U.S. may have dogs or cats, but did you know that fish are the third most popular pet, with over one million households having at least one? Fish are such a good choice when you are living in a busy home with little children, since they are relatively easy to care for, and make such a beautiful addition to your interiors. If you’ve seen fish jumping up to catch food, giving ‘kisses’ to their owners through the glass, or swimming gracefully through structures in their aquarium, then you know they can also be entertaining. Why are fish such a practical choice, and what steps are required to keep them happy and thriving?

Fish: The Beautiful Yet Low Maintenance Pet

According to research undertaken by The Simple Dollar, the average lifetime cost of having a dog reaches tens of thousands of dollars, with veterinary care costing up to $2,300, vaccinations $1,800, and grooming up to $14,400. Cats are a little less expensive, but can also cost tens of thousand of dollars, which is something families seeking potential pets should take into account when creating a budget. Fish are a great choice for those wishing to keep expenses down, since the total lifetime costs of this pet range from $270 to $410. They are also less time-consuming, as they do not require grooming, and don’t need a daily walk. 

Maintaining A Clean Aquarium For Your Fish

One thing you will need to be very vigilant about, is keeping your aquarium clean and functional. You will need to consult with an expert about the needs of the specific fish you buy. These needs include heat, light, and the amount and purity of water. You shouldn’t clean your aquarium too often (since this can affect the vital bacterial balance), but you should check it daily to ensure your filter and lights are working as they should and that the temperature is right. If you notice that the temperature has dropped, something could be wrong with the heater, and it should be fixed quickly. Water should generally be changed as frequently as your vet or fish expert recommends – either once a week or once every two weeks. The new water should be treated and allowed to sit for around 24 hours prior to use, and it should have a similar temperature to the water being replaced. You should also test the water monthly and perform general maintenance checks on all aquarium components.

Decorating The Aquarium

Your kids may enjoy designing the aquarium alongside you, and choosing plants, toys and installations for fish to swim through. Creating a safe living space for your fish should be the number one priority when it comes to aquarium décor. If you wish to paint your aquarium or any decorative items, ensure that you use fish-friendly paint that is non-toxic. Consult your fish expert about appropriate materials for plastic, glass, and other materials you wish to paint. To keep things safe, buy ready-made fish-friendly toys for the interior of the aquarium, and keep painting and other decorations to the exterior, where toxins cannot leach into the water.

Giving Children Chores

Children can play an important role in raising healthy fish. They can take on tasks such as helping you clean components of the aquarium (such as plants and decorations), but they should always work under your supervision. If children want to feed fish, they should be careful not to overfeed. A clear sign that too much food is being provided is the presence of uneaten food at the bottom of the aquarium. Excess food should be removed during your routine cleaning, and amounts should be reduced to those indicated by your vet or expert.

Fish are a popular choice when it comes to pets in the U.S. They are relatively low-cost and are easy to maintain. The main source of work is the aquarium, which should be regularly cleaned and maintained. You will need to be vigilant about temperature, lighting and filtration to ensure your fish thrive for many years.

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