When you were a kid you had a little fishbowl with one, lonely goldfish. Now you have the time and money to take this hobby more seriously, and you want to try and keep a beautiful tank full of tropical fish.
Tropical fish kept in an aquarium usually live between two and three years.
Keeping tropical fish started becoming popular in the 1920s, and became all the rage after World War II.
The majority of tropical fish aren't very large; they are between one and five inches (2.5 to 12.5 cm) in length.
Saltwater aquariums require a lot of maintenance. If you're just starting out, consider a freshwater tank.
There are more than 1,500 varieties of freshwater tropical fish that can be kept in home aquariums.
One third of the 1,500 varieties of fish on the market are easily available for purchase. Some fish, however, must be special ordered at great expense.
Everybody starts out with a goldfish, and goldfish remain the world's most popular fish.
The opening of a fishbowl does not have enough surface area to allow oxygen to be absorbed and poisonous gases to leave.
For every inch of fish in your tank (excluding the tail) you need one gallon of water.
Fish tanks need a lot of water surface, and stuffing a tank with fish is bad for the fish. For five inches of fish you need 120 square inches (10 square feet) of water surface.
Using an aerator to supply your tank with oxygen means you can double its capacity.
Too much direct sunlight will cause a fish tank to grow algae, which are harmful to freshwater fish.
A freshwater tank should remain between 70 and 80 degrees F (21 to 27 C), and should never be allowed to fluctuate dramatically in temperature.
The food that fish do not eat will often decay, allowing harmful bacteria to develop in the tank. Feed your fish carefully and consistently.
Fish should feed for about 15 to 20 minutes. The rest of the food will not be eaten, turn to bacteria, and infest the tank.
Protozoans in the water will often cause fish to develop fungal diseases and white spots.
Place the sick fish in a mild saltwater solution for a couple of hours, and it should be fine.
Livebearers, whose eggs hatch while inside the mother, are very popular fish -- especially guppies.
Saltwater fish don't need saltwater; they need seawater, which is not easy to reproduce or to maintain.
Glass and stainless steel are the only materials suitable for saltwater tanks. The way seawater reacts with other materials is harmful to fish.