Dive into a new freshwater aquarium with your kids!
|July 9, 2012||Posted by Mindy under Kids|
“Mommy, can we get a dog?” How many times as parents have we heard this from our children? Most kids would love to add a new furry friend, be it dog or cat, to the family – but is your child ready for the responsibility that comes with taking care of a pet? Why not start with a fish tank instead?
Aquarium fish are the most popular pet in the United States with nearly 1 in 8 households having fish as pets – that’s 12 million households with over 158 million fish! Did you know that Florida is the #1 producer of aquarium fish and aquatic plants in the United States? Aquarium fish account for over 44 percent of Florida’s total aquaculture sales – over $33 Million.
Once you decide to add a fish tank to the family there are some important questions that must be answered. How much room do you have? What type of tank do you want? Glass or acrylic? Is the tank going to be in the child’s bedroom where there is a possibility of it being hit by flying objects such as toys or a basketball? If so, you should opt for acrylic since it won’t chip or break. Next is choosing the size of the tank. Most people like to start out with a small fish bowl but the truth is smaller tanks sometimes require more upkeep than larger ones. Think about choosing a 20 gallon or larger tank where your fish have plenty of room to grow. Make sure you allow yourself a few days to cycle your new tank before you add fish. You never want to put fish into a brand new tank that was set up that day. Speaking of – how many fish should you get? The general rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon of water. This translates to ten 2 inch fish in a 20 gallon aquarium. When you buy juvenile fish from a pet store, be sure to pay attention to how big these fish will grow in order to not overfill your tank. Another point to consider is that some fish are not compatible with others. There are plenty of resources on the internet that have freshwater compatibility charts so that you choose the perfect fish. How about a tank full of freshwater sharks? I bet your little ones would love to watch their very own sharks swim around the tank!