Friday, December 3, 2010

Read this before you buy anything

It is important that you understand what is required if you want a healthy, rewarding tank.  I try to put everything in numbers because that's what you really want to consider.  I consider a beginner tank somewhere in the range of 10-30 gallons because of price but I will talk about sizes later.  I give realistic figures so there are no surprises.

  • Time- The typical beginner tank will require feeding 1-3 times a day at 3 minutes per feeding. The beginner tank will also require a weekly partial water change which would usually require 20 minutes but can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. During a water change you will need a way to dispose of roughly a third of the tank's water and a method of refilling the tank. Other than feeding and water changes, a few minutes every couple weeks MAY be needed to scrape some algae.
  • Money- The cheapest setup you could get would probably be a small, few gallon, heated betta or shrimp setup.  This would run maybe 50$.  A nice 10 gallon setup would run maybe 85$.  A 20 gallon probably 120$.  A 29 probably 140$.  Most fish you will consider will probably be 2$-4$ and at this small size, you'd probably get 1 per 1-2 gallons (varies, discussed later).  As you plan your tank, consider your budget wisely because you don't want to be stuck with a setup you can't afford but you also want to get the fish you really enjoy.  Maintenance costs aren't too bad.  The ONLY chemical you will probably need is water conditioner (prime), a 5$ bottle will last a few months.  Food would cost a few dollars a month as well.  Electricity and water costs only really add up on larger setups.  You really can't get into fish keeping if you just want to place a betta or goldfish in a bowl, it simply is cruel and won't work; you need to shell out some cash and some time.  Again, this guide will start you off slow so there won't be huge money lost if mistakes are made.  I find this to be a good balance between enjoyment vs. cost.

  • Learning curve-  Forget what anyone has told you about fish.  Chances are anyone you have talked to about fish is misinformed, even your friend who has kept fish since they were a child or the guy at petsmart.  Listen to this.  I'm telling you now that if you don't want any dead fish, you will need to cycle your tank which takes around a month or more.  Yes, this is necessary and it means you will have a tank with water running with no fish for a month.  I would say 80% of fish keepers quit because they don't grasp what cycling the tank is.  If there is one thing to take away from this blog, it will be the cycling article.  Also, realize now you will probably not be able to house any combination of fish you want together.  Fish fight like many other animals. This will be one of the next articles.  Keep checking for updates.
Please realize that I'm not writing this to scare anyone away.  I'm writing this so you are aware of what you are getting into once you take a living thing into your home.  It would be unfair if I told you anything other than the truth.  Also, you will see me mentioning a lot of prices in here, please don't think that I think of my wallet before the health of my fish.  I've worked in a petstore and I know how much cost affects how people keep their fish.  I'm just being informative my giving you prices so you know what to expect.  The rewards of keeping a nice tank are huge.

      No comments:

      Post a Comment