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Before You Buy Fish
By Joan Good

Before you start thinking about fish, be sure to stop by Tigger's very helpful page on Setting Up An Aquarium. Already been there? Ok then, let's get started!

There are a few questions you should answer before you go to the store and start buying fish.

  • What size tank you will buy? Buy a tank as big as you can afford and for which you have space.

  • What is your local water like? Bring a cup full of your tap water to your local pet store and ask to have the water tested for pH and hardness. If you are short on free time you will probably prefer to buy fish that thrive in your water type, rather than spending your evenings trying to adjust the water to the fish.

  • What kind of fish do you like? Fresh water or salt? Warm water or cold? Salt water fish tend to be much more brilliant in color but are also more expensive and the tanks require more care. Fresh water fish are easy to find and come in a huge variety of shapes and colors. Tropical, or warm water fish are abundant in the stores, but do require a heater and some attention to the water temperature. Cold water fish, like goldfish or koi, don't require a heater, but have other needs that tropical fish may not.

  • What sort of support is available to you? Is there a good, reputable pet store nearby with knowledgeable staff? Wal-Mart may carry fish, but does the sales staff there know anything about them? Have you perused usenet or the web?

Great! Now you are ready to go buy your fish! Of course, buying the fish is just the first step. For tips, tricks and helpful fishy hints, read on!


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