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Best Pet Fish for Kids

pet fish for kidsSmall Aquarium Fish makes wonderful Pet for Kids and children. Although there is an amount of effort and work involved to provide care for the fish, it is always a good experience for them to learn up about sense of responsibility. Selecting the right fish may not be an easy task because basically as a parent, you might want to look into getting a fish that requires little care and effort, a starter fish hardy enough to withstand different living condition. But bear in mind that, whatever pet fish you get for your kids, it’s also part of your responsibility to help them care for it and make them understand to learn every aspect of fish keeping hobby.

Although the most obvious choice of pet fish for kids is goldfish, this may not be necessarily the right choice after all. In fact, parents often make mistakes by getting fish bowls, which are inexpensive, and a small goldfish hoping that this would please their children. Soon enough they will find out that the goldfish will outgrow the small bowl that they used to live in, and even worse the fish will die because of suffocation cramped into such small confinement. What’s even worse is that, goldfish will also generate a lot of waste and without filter, water will become dirty easily, thus I would not recommend them as suitable choice of pet fish for your kids.

Based on my own experience, the best fish for children should be either platys, swordtails and guppies. The reason why this is so is because those all are hardy fish and they don’t grow to very large size, often reaching roughly about 2 inches in length. The fish species are also colorful especially platys which exhibit a very dark bright red coloration while guppies has mix of different shades from green to yellow on their body and fins. Although it would be sensible to get a small fish bowl, I wouldn’t recommend doing so, because such tight living space that holds little amount of water requires a lot of work to constantly changing the water to maintain good water quality. Instead, the best option to house your new pet should be a mini fish tank which measures about 5-gallon capacity and believe me, your kids will definitely love them.

What follows next are fun and excitement to choose pet fish names...

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How Fluidized Bed Filter Works

Fluidized bed filter is not a standalone type of aquarium tank filter because it provides only biological filtration and thus is often used in combination with either canister filter or external power filter to complement mechanical filtration part to remove solid waste particles. It uses a type of special sand or quartz as the filter media, and all these are initially loosely packed in the filter chamber. But as water flows through the compartment, it starts to expand and the constantly moving sand or quartz will form a fluidized bed that has wide surface area for growth of beneficial bacteria.
fluidized bed filterOne of the advantages of this fluidized bed filter is that, the wide surface area provides a more efficient conversion of ammonia to nitrite and nitrate. In fact, the water turbulence inside will also introduce and encourage more air to dissolve into the water and this improves on the oxygen level as well. The mode of operation to clean aquarium water is considered more efficient compared to trickle filters, which can only treat small volume of water at any time.

Fluidized bed filter is best used for new aquarium tank, which has just been set up. During this critical period, when ammonia will suddenly fluctuate, fluidized bed filter can help to act quickly to control and lower the ammonia level before it reaches the hazardous level that will harm your fish. The constantly moving stream of water through the bed will ensure oxygen rich water which will help the beneficial bacteria to establish faster and this will probably save you a lot of hassles later to maintain perfect water quality. Common fluidized bed filter sold in the market are also reasonably prized, with some units costing less than $100 suitable to be used to treat even for 50-gallon fish tank. In fact, the price here is still considered much lower than any other aquarium filtration system, for example like the diatom filter, which can amass huge cost of aquarium maintenance in the long run.

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Kohaku, Sanke, Tancho Koi Pets

kohaku koi petsKohaku remains as the top highly searched for variety of koi pets because of their desirable red and white marking on their body. An adult kohaku can fetch a hefty sum and koi pet collectors often look for the best overall appearance judged by the good mix from the ratio of red and white marking distribution on the body. The one that is highly prized after is the kohaku that has the red color pattern that resembles a zigzag lightening bolt pattern that begins from the head up to the tail end. Between one fish to another, kohaku can look pretty much alike and identical in terms of the pattern marking even though each individual fish have different genetic makeup. There is actually no way to control the red patch distribution and while you can select the best male and female variety with a desirable pattern as quality pets, this will not ensure that you will get the koi offspring with the zigzag marking that you want.

tancho koi petsTancho is defined with the presence of red patch marking on the head region and the best desirable characteristic should be the one with the spot appearing as round, circular or oval. In fact, a highly prized variety should have the patch appearing as dark red color (and not orange). The marking can appear on a completely all-white body background as seen with tancho kohaku koi pets while other tancho koi varieties have mix of black color patches distributed on the body, like the tancho showa. Basically the fish is considered unique in the sense that you can never breed two tanchos together hoping to get a pure bred offspring. They actually originated based on random selection when among a batch of young white colored koi pets that you've selected, there's a chance for one or two to develop in a quality Tancho with the appearance of the desirable red patch on the head.

sanke koi petsSanke is basically multicolored and the one most sought after by hobbyist as pets is the one with the right balance of red, white and black splotch distributed on the whole body. The fins must all be free from color marking and the black patch must not be more than the red and white. A fine specimen should have small amount of distribution for the black colored spots to appear sparingly across the body. They are considered the second most popular after the kohaku and breeders looking for the right sanke is often presented with the task of tedious selection among the young koi hoping that the one picked up will grow to become adult koi pets fish with the desirable color pattern and distribution. One of the secrets to having a healthy, prize-winning koi is by making sure you set up your pond to be as large as possible equipped with the best pond facilities.

More on Koi mix and varieties: Identifying a Bekko Koi

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Types of Canister Filter Models

canister filterCanister Filter operates based on the principle of using high-pressure pump to deliver the flow of water through compartments filled with different kinds of filter media. Since it relies on high-pressure pump as a driving force, it can provide better rate of filtration capability and is considered much more efficient than any other aquarium filter system. It can be used in any type of tank set up especially to treat larger volume of water up to capacity measuring more than 50-gallon and above. Canister filter is also flexible in the sense that it can be placed anywhere outside the aquarium and usually it’s a norm for aquarist to place it well hidden under a cabinet stand.

There are different makes and models of canister filter sold in the market these days and all of them offer the same principle of water treatment to purify and clean the aquarium water. One of the main advantages compared to any other system is that, it will be able to provide all 3 different types of filter mechanism (biological, mechanical and chemical) utilizing various filter media like sponges, activated carbon and ceramic cartridge filter. New designs made by different manufacturers like Fluval, Eheim and Marineland were able to come up with advanced models capable of controlling the water flow and the units usually contain multiple chambers so that each compartment can be used to fill up with various filter media.

Canister filter are commonly employed in saltwater marine tanks because the high water output from the discharge tube will ensure that this agitates the water sufficiently so that there are no dead spots and stagnant point in the tank. This is especially important for marine coral tanks because the set up requires oxygen rich water to be returned to the aquarium and high flow of water movement will ensure that the corals will be able to develop well and remain healthy. When it comes to cost advantage, although canister filters are usually priced much higher than any other filter system, they provide higher returns in the long run, in terms of efficiency and overall better performance. This will translate to a lot of saving especially in time needed for maintenance and any other related aquarium management aspects.

Aquarium Filter System for Small Aquariums: Trickle Filter System and Sponge Filter

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Purpose of Having Sponge Filter

Sponge Filter is a basic and simple aquarium filtration set up meant to treat small volume of water. Unlike other conventional types of aquarium filter, sponge filter will only take care of biological and mechanical filtration aspect and since it does not involve use of chemical, the setup is safe to use for any hospital and quarantine fish tanks.

The filter unit is composed of highly porous sponge material that acts to trap solid waste and debris that passes through the compartment. Similar like a box filter, it is located at the tank bottom and the force of air pump drives the flow of water moving through the compartment. As air is supplied into the filter unit and then exits, water is pulled into through the sponge material thus, this captures and filters out the waste. The whole mechanism provides a good way to treat the aquarium water by means of providing huge surface area to support growth of beneficial bacteria, and this is important especially to reduce amount of dissolved ammonia in the water by breakdown into less harmful compound (read more about nitrogen cycle).

aquarium sponge filterOther advantages of using the sponge filter is that, it is easy to operate and maintain because all you need to do for the cleaning part is to rinse the sponge. The item is also not expensive, often costing less than $10 and if you are a Do-It-Yourself kind of guy, you could even construct your own DIY sponge filter. Basically, all you need is a plastic container and some sponge to get started. Other advantages with the filter is that, it is suitable to be used in fish fry tank because the weak aquarium water flow will not cause much turbulence in the water and this will avoid sucking in the fry to the filter unit.

However, the only setback when using this filter type is that it can only treat small volume of aquarium water and with heavily polluted cloudy tank (usually those occupied by goldfish), it will choked up easily in short amount of time. Thus sponge filter is best to apply and use in mini fish tank that rarely exceeds 5 gallon. Another disadvantage concerning use of this type of filtration is that the unit will sit inside the aquarium and it will take up space and look rather unpleasant. For heavily planted tanks, using sponge filter will not come as a problem since you can easily hide it up among the dense vegetation.

Other aquarium filter type: trickle filter, fluidized bed filter, diatom filter, canister filter, external aquarium power filter

comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Online Pet Fish Sales

Ever fancy going online to purchase new pet fish for your community aquarium? Most of the time we are presented with endless choice and it’s hard to know whether we might be overcharged paying the fish.

Below is the list of expected price range for different types of aquarium fish gathered around the internet. Hopefully this can serve as a guide to use when you shop for your perfect new tank mates. If you like to know more about the different fish species and the related information, you can also click on the link which will take you to the individual profile fact sheets.



Price: $6 - $10
Scientific name:
Pterophyllum altum
Full grown size: 6 inches

Ease of care: moderate
Corydoras Catfish

corydoras catfish

Price: $2 - $5
Scientific name: Corydoras aeneus
Full grown size: 3 inches

Ease of care: easy
Clown Loach

clown loach

Price: $5 - $20
Scientific name:
Botia macracanthus
Full grown size: 12 inches

Ease of care: moderate
Dwarf Gourami

dwarf gourami

Price: $8 - $13
Scientific name: Colisa lalia
Full grown size: 2 inches

Ease of care: moderate


Price: $2 - $3
Scientific name:
Xiphophorus maculatus
Full grown size: 2 inches

Ease of care: easy
Neon Fish

neon tetra

Price: $2 - $3
Scientific name: Paracheirodon innesi
Full grown size: 1 inch

Ease of care: moderate

Need something different for a change? Get some freshwater clams as new addition for your pet fish tank or you can even consider mixing your favorite fish with turtles.

comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Choosing Names for Pet Fish

pet fish namesWhen you first purchased your pet fish, there are long list of things to do like making sure it can adjust well to new aquarium environment, observing whether it can get along well with other tank mates and doing other things like studying its feeding habit. But one of the most exciting part is also choosing the right name which you can easily remember and best describe its behavior.

Listed below are some of the names which I’ve categorized based on different coldwater and tropical fish species and the fish names are selected with considerations put in mind based on your pet fish characteristics like aggressive temperament, docile behavior and whatever best describe it. Whether it is meant to be funny, comical, cute, silly, adorable, all the names have been carefully thought of for your special pets and it’s up to you to choose. Sometimes you may not find what you want but hopefully those can give you an idea on what is it like and maybe change it a little in order for it to be special.

Name are very important as it represents your lovely pet and it might be a good idea to make it as unique as possible.

Fish SpeciesSuggested Fish Names
AngelfishAnnie, Maple, Molly, Munchie, Vera
BettaAlpha, Buzzle, Barry, Bob, Ruffle
CatfishBowie, Whiskey, Spidey, Spike, Wyvern
Clown LoachCoolie, Duff, Moose, Hank, Trex
DanioNoah, Jiff, Pete, Flippy, Flake
DiscusAmber, Hootie, Nicky, Muffin, Wayne
GouramiBoom, Moose, Hank, Kim, Kissy
GoldfishAngel, Bubbly, Hazel, Puff, Goth
GuppyBizzie, Ginger, Ginny, Pepper, Vincy
Angle, Abbey, Jumpie, Limpy, Loop
Jazz, Rainy, Pinky, Creamy, Marble
KoiAce, Megan, Noel, Roland, Tabby
Neon TetraTed, Elf, Glowy, Shorty, Winnie
OscarAlexis, Rock, Bully, Matey, Mole
PlatyAsh, Alley, Reddie, Loop, Boom
Red-Tailed SharkBuffy, Brad, Boom, Cheeky, Tommy
Silver DollarAl, Amber, Caff, Fin, Hazy
SwordtailAmber, Hootie, Nicky, Muffin, Wayne
Tiger BarbPicky, Jerky, Nippy, Ralf, Ruffie

Interesting pet topic: Ideas for cute fish

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Keeping Small Pet Fish

The article here is meant to serve as a guide for those intending to keep Small Pet Fish in their home aquarium.

Firstly, if you have space constraint in the place where you live, then your choice of having your own aquarium should basically be narrowed down only to mini fish tank. With the size of aquarium as the limiting factor, your idea on having small pet fish should either be focused on fish species like corydoras catfish, neon tetra or kribensis dwarf cichlids, better known as colorful rainbowfish.

small pet fishMost beginners to freshwater aquarium always have doubts as to which types of fish they prefer. Different individuals have different preferences and most people nowadays go for smaller sized fish because they are cute, easy to case for and don’t require much space. Another thing to add is that, since you have smaller aquarium, this will also help to cut down time taken for doing tank maintenance.

The best way to find out what you want is to head over to your local aquarium or pet fish store, walk around, and scout until you find the pet that you like. If your idea is to set up a community tank, then you should do a research on deciding which type will compatible with other species. If you have chance to get larger sized aquarium, then your choice of ideal pet can also include freshwater live bearers for example like guppies, platy, black molly and swordtails. Certain fish will also form schools moving in groups while other will swim alone, therefore this will be another consideration to look for.

Aquarium hobby will require a lot of dedication and commitment. Although fish are quiet pet that will not run around but staying only within the tank confinement, they will still demand work to ensure that they have healthy living environment especially water. If you want to spend the least amount of time keeping small pet fish, then another option is to go for betta or better known as Siamese fighting fish. The reason why they make suitable pet is because they demand less aquarium space and can even live in hanging fish bowl without even requiring an aquarium heater or even air pump.

Contrary to everybody’s belief saying that goldfish will qualify as perfect choice for small pet fish, the statement is definitely not true. The main reason is because goldfish is a heavy eater and they can easily grow up to 10 to 15 inches in length depending on different varieties. Finally small fish will definitely make good pet for kids.

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Must-Have Fish Care Products

Although there are quite a number of different range of fish care products, some I think is a must-have item and will be the most useful of all.

Chlorine Removers

aquarium chlorine removerChlorine removers will ensure that the water is fully free from harmful chlorine before it is added to the aquarium. Chlorine is normally injected in gas form to our tap water supply and it is meant to kill off germs so that it is safe for household consumption. The compound is highly unstable in water and increased agitation of the water by using aquarium air pumps can actually remove the chlorine completely. However, since we will need to add in the water for aquarium use, it is best that the water should first be treated with the chlorine remover so that you are not taking any chance of harming your pet fish health. The main ingredient for all chlorine removers are sodium thiosulphate which will react with free chlorine in the water to form natural salt which is sodium chloride and some traces of ammonium and sulphate compounds.

Aquarium Water Softener

aquarium water softenerAquarium water softener generally helps to stabilize the pH and at the same time control on the hardness level making it suitable for certain types of aquarium fish species like neon tetra, angelfish and goldfish, which prefer soft water. The water softener actually acts as a buffer by providing bicarbonate ions, which will combine with free hydrogen ions (compound causing lower pH in water), and then form carbonic acid and later breaks down into natural carbon dioxide and water. In normal aquarium environment, as the fish produces more waste, this will cause pH to drop rapidly and thus this is where the aquarium water softener comes into play. Nowadays, the product is often sold in pillow form, which can be easily recharged and then reused again so that overall this can help to cut down cost on managing your aquarium.

Stress Coat Reliever

stress coat relieverAquarium stress coat reliever will definitely help to ensure that your fish remains healthy and it is most important to apply for pets which are under stress or either ill and will also help injured fish to recover faster. In addition to that, it can also be used when introducing newly acquired fish to the aquarium and adding stress coat reliever will help cushion the shock, thus assisting them to adjust and acclimatize to the new water environment. Basically it will form a layer of slime coating on the fish surface and using it will also ensure high mortality rate when transferring a fish from one aquarium to another location. Certain brands of aquarium stress reliever will also play some role towards removal of chlorine and break down harmful chloramines as well so this is definitely a must-have product on standby for emergency purpose.

Other important fish care products: basic medication; water test kit

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How to Care for Goldfish

goldfish care

Caring for your goldfish can be extremely easy as long as you follow some basic rules and ensure that the water stays clean all the time. Goldfish is actually a hardy fish that will do fine on their own and they can easily adapt to changes in water chemistry without difficulty as long as the fluctuation is still within the range of their tolerance limit. There is actually no secrets or hard methods involved because if everything is well taken care of, they will live a very long time to become your loyal companion. Today I intend to share with you some of the basic rules, which I follow until today.

Water Quality
Good water quality is the most important basic requirement of all that ensures that your goldfish stays healthy. Conduct regular water changes (preferably twice a week) and between that period, monitor and test using test kit on important water parameters like pH, temperature and hardness level to maintain a certain range, which they would tolerate. Goldfish being a cold water species prefers temperature of the water within 18 to 22 degree Celsius (although 20 degrees is the best temperature to have), pH around 7.5 while maintaining soft water at the range of 3.5 to 6.7 dGH.

regular cleaning to maintain perfect water qualityOther than what is mentioned, the water must stay clean all the time and overall presence of a little bit of algae is actually good for your goldfish. An experienced goldfish breeder will also tell you that in order to maintain crystal clear water, having a powerful and effective water filtration system is a must because goldfish will generate a lot of waste and they will discharge poop almost immediately after feeding. Sometimes, it is good also to install a UV sterilizer to ensure that whatever undesirable harmful bacteria level can be decreased and this will probably lower the chances for your goldfish to become sick.

Good water quality can also be achieved by maintaining low stocking level. Basically goldfish requires a lot of space for their growth and stays healthy. Read more about getting the right tank size for your goldfish.

Right Food
Food is another thing that you need to take care of because basically what you feed to them will determine their growth rate and body coloration. Always bear in mind that not all fish pellets which are sold in pet stores will be the right type for them and to sums it all, whatever that you intend to feed to them, must be monitored closely to determine whether it is first suitable for your goldfish. Usually if the food is the right one, the poop discharge will be solid and won’t easily disintegrate in the water while the color is also slightly darker.

Mixing different types of live aquarium food and pellets will also ensure that your goldfish gets the best nutrition. From time to time, you can also feed them peas in order to get rid of trapped air bubbles in their delicate stomach.

goldfish floating pelletsFrequency of feeding is also something you need to look into. A common mistake is to feed your goldfish too much food until they become bloated and it is always a good practice to reduce the same amount of food and spread it out evenly to two different course meals. In other words, it is better to provide small amount of food but more frequently rather than one large meal at a go.

I think that’s about all of it that you need to know and try to remember one last thing, show your love and care at all times to your lovely pet because they will appreciate what you did for them.

Related goldfish care topics:
Winterizing Goldfish in Ponds
Goldfish Reproduction
Caring for Japanese Jikin and Ranchu

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About Me

My Photo

My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

Have any comment, suggestion, picture or article about your pet fish experience you would like to share? Use the Contact Me Page.