Finding Nemo (The Perfect Home)
November 21, 2013
Though they may not be fun to play fetch with in the front yard,
and can’t curl up with you on the couch after a long day, a fish
can still make a wonderful and unique pet. Fairly easy to care for
and pleasing to the eye, there are various species that will make a
perfect addition to your home. Whether you choose your finned
companion based on size, color, or unique attributes, the next step
in proper fish ownership is familiarizing yourself with Nemo’s
specific care requirements.
Before bringing your new aquarium fish home, there are some
important things to consider. Primarily, you need to keep in mind
the size the fish will grow to be, their tolerance of other fish,
and their specific water requirements in order to find the perfect
“There are two basic types of small aquariums: freshwater
(tropical and temperate) and marine (saltwater), which should both
be no smaller than 36 liters,” said Caitlin Burrell, a zoological
medicine intern at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences. “Larger fish, or fish with high oxygen
requirements, are better suited for large aquariums or ponds.” Some
common freshwater species suited for smaller aquariums are tetras,
guppies, discus, danios, and various types of goldfish. Common
saltwater species could include clownfish, damselfish, gobies, and
Burrell also recommends that before putting different species
together in one aquarium, you should research their individual
needs to ensure they are compatible and won’t show aggression.
“Marine fish in general are not often kept in large groups in home
aquariums, and it is important to make sure that fish housed
together in one aquarium spend their time at different levels (for
example, bottom-dwellers and midwater fish) to avoid overcrowding,”
said Burrell. “Additionally, there are more aggressive fish that
typically do not pair well with other fish.”
After you’ve purchased the perfect aquarium for your fish, you
must learn how to keep them happy and healthy while living in their
new home. “One of the most important aspects of a home aquarium is
the water quality,” said Burrell. “Things like pH, temperature,
dissolved gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen), salinity,
and nitrogenous compounds need to be monitored closely, and partial
water changes should be performed on a regular basis.” Just make
sure that your fish doesn’t execute his escape plan during your
routine aquarium cleaning!
As with any other pet, feeding requirements vary greatly between
species of fish. “Marine fish can be carnivores, omnivores, or
herbivores, so it is important to research the type of fish to know
what type of food to feed them,” said Burrell. For freshwater fish,
many commercial foods are available, and can be found for any type
of fish. It is best to supply small amounts frequently to avoid
excess food sitting in the tank and decomposing.
From aquarium specifications to feeding requirements, the
responsibly of caring for your fish should not be taken lightly.
However, after thoroughly researching how to properly care for your
new finned friend, Nemo will undoubtedly be happy to call his new
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Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.
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