Pets are good for mental health. We could link this to why medical professionals recommend people should at least have one as a companion. One of the most common types of pets for humans are domestic and aquatic pets, the list of animals under this species includes dogs, cats, turtles, and fish, but it has relatively expanded now.
You can always manage caring for domestic pets, but it differs greatly from aquatic ones. If you want to keep and care for aquatic pets like Freshwater Fish, Snakes, Lizards, Frogs, Amphibians, Hermit Crabs, Marine or Saltwater Fish, and Turtles, then read this guide. It is tailored to help you keep your aquatic pets happy, satisfied, and guarded against preventable deaths.
1. Your Aquarium Size Matters
This is the first thing that will show how serious you are as an aquatic pet enthusiast. After deciding on the domestic pet(s) you want to have in your home, you need to choose between using an aquarium or vivarium to house your pet, and consider what size.
The size of the aquarium you need depends on the type of fish, lizard, or snake you decide to bring home. There is a limit to the fish you can put in a 50-60 gallon tank, while you cannot overcrowd a 70-100 gallon tank with turtles if you want them to be comfortable.
Also, there is the glass or acrylic type of tank to think about, which depends on the pet you are keeping or where you want to put it. Deciding to get a short tank or shorter longer tank that can give the aquatic pets more swimming space and surface area for air exchange.
2. Aquarium Setup and Accessories
Aquatic pets love natural habitats, so we should set up aquariums like a replica of underwater life. It will make pets very comfortable when they are in a relatively familiar environment.
There are specialized stores where you can get aquarium accessories to beautify the tank, selecting from an array of rocks, wood, or other decor items. Decors are safe for fish, turtles, and snakes too. Ensure that you place the tank in a strategic location where sunlight can filter into it, or choose from incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, mercury vapor, metal halide, and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs to help keep the water warm.
Live plants are a superb choice in decorating an aquarium as it helps to remove ammonia nitrate from the water while providing a hiding place for fish and turtles.
3. Water Condition and Testing
This is very essential to keep aquatic pets alive and happy, make sure that you sterilize your tank with the requisite water and nutrients before putting the fish or turtle. This means you need to complete a nitrogen cycle and water parameters such as pH level, ammonia, temperature, and hardness.
Various aquatic animals require varied temperatures, therefore keep pets with similar requirements in the same tank, not polar opposite ones. You should also have a water change or filter system that keeps the water purified at several intervals in a day, to make it healthy for the aquatic animals.
4. Overfeeding and Overpopulation
Another important aspect of caring for aquatic pets is feeding. Pets are creatures of habit, hence you need to make sure their routine does not change. In a quest to keep them fed, many aquatic pet owners end up overfeeding them, which produces a lot of waste and can mess up the nitrogen cycle of the water, making it harmful for them.
Also, when filling a tank with fish or turtles, understand that a 30, 50, or 150-gallon tank has its limit, do not overpopulate it which leads to an imbalance in the water condition and could make the species uncomfortable or cause sudden death, if they keep competing for nutrients to stay alive.
5. Constant Maintenance
This is a deal-breaker, you need to have a routine for on-ground maintenance of their habitat, remove shelled skin, keep water level balanced, adjust the sunlight filtering into the tank. Also, use the thermometers should find out water temperature after filtering to know if it is safe for the pets.
6. Exercising Patience
To have an aquatic pet requires that you are an embodiment of patience, so doctors advise that people having mental health issues could get aquatic pets, as caring for them requires you to be calm, which is a requisite for overcoming mental crisis period.
Aquatic pets are sweet creatures to have in a home, but you need to be able and willing to care for them, so they can feel happy and loved within the environment you have created for them. The above six tips will be of expert help if you go by them.