Owning a pet is a great way to teach your child about responsibility while also having tons of fun. If your child is interested in setting up their very first aquarium, it’s easy to help them do it in a delightful, creative way. There are lots of awesome benefits to having fish as pets including reducing stress and improving your mood. Not only are fish great for your health, but they’re also a fun way to keep your children entertained and educated. Check out our helpful guide that includes some creative ways you can help your child set up their first aquarium for years of enjoyment at home.
When you’re ready to set up your child’s first aquarium,
consider these ideas to make it fun:
- Decorate the aquarium with some cool items like “fake” pirate ships and other unique pieces like faux starfish or sharks.
- Use colorful plants to give the aquarium a lively touch and combine faux plants so that everything is easier to maintain.
- Pick out items that respond to a black light to give the aquarium a lively neon glow.
- Add objects that your child’s fish can swim through and hide in like hollowed-out logs or some cool “obstacle course” pieces to keep the fish active and curious.
Choosing the Right Size for Your First Aquarium
When helping your child set up their first aquarium, choosing the right size is vital. If you’re new to fish care, start with a small tank that’s just large enough for a beta fish. These tanks are called single-species aquariums since they’re smaller in size and designed to accommodate just one type of fish. If you want something a little bit larger, use about one gallon of water per inch of fish as a good rule of thumb. You want to make sure that your new fish have plenty of room to swim around, and that your aquarium will be easy to keep clean and maintain. Start small (about five to 10 gallons), and you can always work your way to a larger tank as your child’s fish caretaking skills improve.
What You Need to Know About Maintenance
Proper aquarium maintenance is key to ensuring that your children’s new fish stay happy and healthy. Regular cleaning and removing excess debris will keep the water clear. You should also check the pH level of the water and monitor your fish’s health regularly.
Here are some key tips you need to know, so your child can maintain their very first aquarium:
- Keep the tank out of direct sunlight and away from heating and AC vents. Too much heat can cause algae to grow and if it’s too cold, it could hurt your fish.
- Rinse your gravel and pre-treat the water in your fish tank before you add fish to ensure that they have a clean, healthy environment.
- Learn about your fish so that you’re feeding them the best possible food and taking care of them the right way.
Use these tips to teach your kids how to do simple tasks that will keep their first aquarium clean:
- Encourage your kids to keep a journal that keeps track of the fish’s health and activity. They should also write down the water temperature and remove uneaten food daily.
- Have your children wipe down the outside of the fish tank every two weeks to keep it clean.
- Ask your kids to do a partial water change every two weeks or so, which will ensure that their fish have fresh, clean water.
- Show your kids how you test for things like the water pH level, ammonia, nitrate, and other chemicals so you can keep the water in a safe and healthy balance.
What are the best fish for an aquarium?
Now that you’re ready to set up your aquarium, give these awesome, easy-care fish a try:
- Goldfish: These brilliant, orange-colored fish are easy to care for, but they do require a clean environment with clear water free of excess chemicals as well as regular feeding.
- Guppies: These tiny fish are the best option for small tanks since they don’t grow to be much more than 1.4-2.4 inches long.
- Tetra: Tetra fish like to swim in schools, so add several to your fish tank to keep them happy. Ensure the tetra fish has a water temperature of around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Betta Fish: Betta fish are the easiest species to care for in a small bowl or another clear container with their luscious tails and vibrant colors.
- Platy Fish: These small, orange fish are easy to care for and thrive in almost any environment. Give them a balanced diet of flakes, pellets, vegetables, and a variety of live and frozen foods for the best results.
- Angelfish: Angelfish are stunning to look at and require a larger tank than some other species. Keep their water clean consistently and always provide them with as much room as possible so they can swim freely.
- Molly Fish: If you choose Molly fish, make sure you add a small bit of aquarium salt to prevent diseases, fungi, and bacteria. A 3 ppt salt is a great option and should be safe for most aquarium fish species.
What do fish like to eat with their peanut butter sandwiches? Jellyfish, of course! Take good care of your fish, and they’ll be an awesome pet that your kids will enjoy for years to come. Use these tips to help your child set up their very first aquarium, and you’ll have a fantastic educational tool that will teach them the importance of pet care with skills they’ll use for life.