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how to buy your first pet fish

How to Buy Your First Pet Fish: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re thinking of buying your first pet fish, congratulations! Fish make wonderful low-maintenance pets and can provide many hours of enjoyment. But before you rush out to the nearest pet store, there are a few things you need to know in order to make the best possible choice and ensure that your new fish arrive safely and thrive in their new home. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to consider when buying your first pet fish.

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Before Heading To The Pet Shop To Buy Your First Pet Fish

Pet fish are wonderful low-maintenance pets and can provide many hours of enjoyment.

When buying your first pet fish, there are a few things you need to consider in order to make the best possible choice.

Some important factors to think about include:

  • What type of fish do you want? There are many different types of fish available at pet stores, from small tropical fish to larger freshwater fish.
  • What size of tank will you need? Fish can be bought individually or in groups, but remember that you will need an aquarium of a certain size to accommodate them.
  • How much are you willing to spend on your new pet? Fish can vary greatly in price depending on the type and size of the fish tank you choose.
  • What kind of equipment do you need to look after your fish? The aquarium, lighting, filter, and heater are all essential for keeping your fish healthy and happy.
  • Is your fish tank all set up and cycled ready for your fish to be introduced into their new home.





The benefits of including substrate in an aquarium

Aquariums provide a unique and fascinating way to observe fish and other aquatic creatures in their natural habitat. In order to create a healthy environment for fish, it is essential to maintain a proper water balance.

One of the most important aspects of maintaining water balance is the substrate, which helps to filter and regulate the water quality. The substrate also provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow, which helps to break down waste products and improve water clarity.

In addition, the substrate can help to stabilize pH levels and provide a buffer against fluctuations in water chemistry.

For these reasons, the substrate is an essential component of any aquarium setup.

When choosing a substrate for your aquarium, be sure to select one that is appropriate for the type of fish you are keeping.

Different fish require different levels of filtration and water clarity, so it is important to select a substrate that will meet the needs of your fish.

With the right substrate, you can create a healthy and balanced environment for your fish to thrive.

Why aquarium decorations and ornaments are good for pet fish

Decorations and ornaments in aquariums provide many benefits for pet fish.

First, they create a visually pleasing environment for both the fish and the owner.

Secondly, they help to increase the oxygen levels in the water, which is beneficial for the fish, ornaments such as bubblers are perfect for oxygenation.

Thirdly, they provide hiding places for the fish, which can help reduce their stress levels.

Fourthly, they help to keep the water clean by providing a surface for algae and other organisms to grow on.

Lastly, they help to improve the overall health of the fish by providing them with a stimulating and interesting environment to live in.

Consequently, it is clear that aquarium decorations and ornaments are good for pet fish and should be used in all aquariums.

Once you’ve considered these factors, it’s time to head to the pet store!

What To Look For When Buying Your First Pet Fish

What To Look For When Buying Your First Pet Fish

When buying your first pet fish, it’s important to select a healthy and active fish.

Here are some tips on what to look for:

  • Look for fish that are swimming around in the tank and are brightly coloured. Avoid buying any fish that are hiding in the corners of the tank or appear to be sickly.
  • Ask the store staff to help you choose a fish that is compatible with the size of your tank. Some fish need more space than others and can’t be housed together in the same tank.
  • Fish can be bought individually or in groups, but remember that you will need an aquarium of a certain size to accommodate them.
  • Choose a fish that is compatible with your budget. Some fish are more expensive than others.
  • Make sure you understand the difference between freshwater and saltwater fish. Not all fish can be kept in a saltwater aquarium.
  • Ask the store staff about the feeding and care requirements of the fish you are interested in buying. Some fish require special diets and/or equipment to keep them healthy.

Buying More Than One Fish

If you are a beginner and this is the first time you have kept fish, it is best to start with just one fish.

When you are confident that you can meet all the needs of your fish, you can then add more fish to your tank.

Adding too many fish at once can overload the filter and lead to water quality problems.

Not all fish types are compatible with each other so it is a good idea to do some research to find the best type of fish for your tank, I would recommend choosing a hardy variety of fish to start off with because they are more likely to thrive in a fish tank even if your set up is not yet perfect.

Transporting Fish From The Pet Store

Transporting Fish From The Pet Store

Pet shop owners will provide you with a polythene bag that contains water from the fish tank that the fish was kept in within the store, this bag will also contain oxygen so the fish can breathe.

The bag should be placed in a cool, dark place and must be kept upright at all times.

Try not to shake the bag or make any sudden movements that could frighten the fish.

Arriving Home With Your New Pet Fish

When you get home, it is necessary to place the bag that contains your new pet fish into your fish tank so that it floats on top of the water within the bag, after 30 to 40 minutes the water in the bag will become the same temperature as your fish tank.

This process is necessary so that any sudden change in temperature does not shock your fish when you introduce it into its new home.

When you’re removing the fish from the bag to the new tank, it’s best to use a tiny fish net to transfer the fish from the bag and into the tank.

The reason it is not advisable to add the fish water from the pet store into your tank, is that it may contain harmful bacteria that can make your fish poorly, or the fish may have been in a tank in the pet shop with other fish and one may have had a disease.

When You're First Pet Fish Is Swimming In Its New Home

When You're First Pet Fish Is Swimming In Its New Home

Your new fish will have been through a traumatic time being transferred from the pet store to its new home, don’t be alarmed if the fish hides away for a while in its new fish tank.

Keep a regular check on your fish and give it some fish food so that the fish starts to feel safe in its new environment.

The fish will soon start swimming around and you can enjoy watching it grow as it becomes part of your family, and a well-loved pet.

Aquarium maintenance is an essential part of keeping your pet fish happy and healthy, regular partial water changes, filter cleaning, glass cleaning, and substrate vacuuming will ensure your fish live in a wonderful environment and provide you with many hours of enjoyment! 


This article has provided you with some basic tips on buying your first pet fish and the things to consider before making your purchase.

Remember, if you have any questions about buying or caring for your new fish, don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff at the pet store. They will be more than happy to help.

Ensure your fish tank setup is complete with all the necessary equipment and is at the correct water temperature before purchasing your fish (see our basic aquarium knowledge guide).

Enjoy your new pet fish!

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