We should have a Veterans’ Day for fish who have died in the “wars” against them - 99% of the time it’s unwittingly - from neglect. This neglect is usually from lack of knowledge about how to take care of the particular kind of fish brought home from the pet store. We love our fishy pets - we just need to arm ourselves with knowledge of fish care first. If we don’t, then the poor fishy kids end up looking like they have been discharged from military duty due to injuries sustained in battle - or worse. It’s true what they say about how “Knowledge is power.” in this case.
It’s advisable to be the most knowledgeable person you can be about the type of fish you love and want to bring home and love. First, read up on different types of fish: their behavior, their characteristics, their care, their breeding, what’s required to take care of them, the cost of keeping that type of fish, the maintenance involved, whether it’s a fish for beginning, intermediate, or advanced level of aquarium keeping, and if that type of fish fits into your budget and lifestyle. Of course, adopt the fish you love because then you will have the impetus and passion to carry you through all the water changes, the consistent and proper feedings, the diagnosis and cure of illnesses, the cleaning of the aquarium equipment, and everything your fish needs to live a long, healthy, and happy life!
Fish are not just decorations - you will soon discover that they get to know you and love you, but that they may as well be living beings from another planet because they live under the water and each type of fish requires specific living conditions to survive and especially to thrive. We’d all love to do more than just survive - we’d all like to thrive - and as your bond with your wet pets grows - you’ll realize that your pets have the same natural urge to flourish in life. They love to return your love; it’s just a little difficult to do if their fins are tattered from polluted water and their gills are infested with flukes - usually from lack of changing the water for clean water, and they can barely breathe or swim or eat because their swim bladder is infected from a level of ammonia that is too high for their health.
All too often, these conditions exist - even unbeknownst to the loving eyes of the pet parent because they only need to read up on that species of fish to be aware of dangers that could lie ahead that can normally be easily avoided. Once you have read about your type of fish and how to care for him, though, you will need to calendar yourself a schedule to follow in the maintenance of your tank and feeding schedules for your fish. They love the security of a schedule. Security gives them less stress in their little lives - as does the clean, conditioned water at the appropriate water temperature and that meets all the requirements of preparation for that specific type of fishy.
Following this schedule will mean a certain amount of commitment on your part to follow it consistently. Imagine if your parents didn’t feed you breakfast or lunch every day when you were a little child - or if they rarely changed your diaper - it’s neglect that will effect your health eventually if not sooner. It’s the same with your fish. They are living beings - not just a pretty decoration for your living room. The more you follow your daily routines of caring for your fish in the proper way, the more you see how they are aware of you and are a part of your life in a state of awareness beyond any sculpture or vase or knick-knack. They consider themselves part of your family - please give them the same regard. They are waiting for you and depend on your good and kind care and love. You are everything to them and it is up to you to take care of them and provide for them thoughtfully and they will bring joy to your life. Don’t leave them tattered and suffering from neglect and your own lack of information. They need and love you.