Hi! I’m Rob and Aquariphiles is my hobby site about aquariums and fish keeping in general. I have been having and maintaining fish tanks since I was just 9 years old, and I’ve bred some of the most difficult-to-breed fishes at home, like Cichlids. I started out this site rather casually to connect with and help fellow aquarium lovers (whom I like to call aquariphiles) with my experience.
In addition to blog posts, you’ll find detailed guides like this one on self-cleaning fish tanks. In addition to that, we also publish fish tank suggestions, and reviews of various types of equipment needed for fish keeping (obviously including fish tanks themselves).
No matter if you’re a first time aquarium owner or a veteran fish enthusiast, you’ll likely be benefited by the the content here. Especially if you are a first timer, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as I did when I first started out. So, I’ve got you covered with tips ranging from what aquarium size you should start with, how you should maintain it, and which fishes are a good bet for first timers. Below are a few publications that I’m proud of:
- How to Choose the Right Aquarium Filtration System
- A Complete Guide to Fish Tank Decorations
- Best Betta Tanks – Give Your Betta Fish a Perfect Home
- A Guide to Finding the Best 10 Gallon Fish Tank for You
- Best 55 Gallon Fish Tanks for the Money
Why do I like fish keeping?
I find fish keeping pretty attractive because fishes are one of the most beautiful creatures on earth. Coupled with that, the hobby of fish keeping isn’t a cruel hobby unlike bird keeping (which involves keeping birds in cages and ripping them off their fundamental right to fly). Most fishes that are sold here in the United States and are usually purchased by aquarium enthusiasts are tropical fishes that live in a small area under water, even in their natural habitats. Coupled with the fact that they still get to move by their preferred means, which is swimming, that birds or even dogs (when chained) are sometimes deprived of moving freely.
Like I already said, I have been taking care of fishes since I was a child. So, I can safely say that over all these years, I’ve grown a strong bond with all kinds of aquarium fishes. I can judge the mood of a fish by analyzing their movements and behaviors. I get a special feeling when all my fishes are happy which no other activity or hobby could give me. So, it’s also a big reason why I like keeping fishes and maintain so many different aquariums even today.
What kind of fishes are the best when starting off?
I get this question a lot. To answer it in a simple way, I’d say buy fishes that are:
- Highly tolerant in key areas like water temperature & pH, type of food offered, etc.
- Not prone to easy death. Kind of related to the earlier point because most fishes that can tolerate a good amount of diversity in key areas tend not to be prone to death easily.
- Calm, and can live with other species of fishes without disturbing them.
There are a few popular fishes that fall in these categories, but not all of them are super attractive. I’d still recommend you to go for them as they make up great first time fishes as pets. I’ll list a few of these fishes:
- Black Molly
- Sword Tail
- Betta – also known as the ‘Fighter Fish’
What is the single most important thing a beginner should keep in mind?
I get asked this a lot, too. The answer to this would be: don’t feed your fish as long as they keep eating. The reason being – many fish species tend to eat way more than they need, and have very little control over this. As a direct result, many such fishes die within a short time span. Though it may seem like natural death, in reality, it is not. Over time, your fishes’ health deteriorates as you keep on overfeeding them.
In my experience, the fish species that are mostly prone to overfeeding are Goldfishes. They tend to get extremely bulky after consistently over-eating and over time reduce their movements, only to die consequently. So, if you are starting with mostly or only Goldfishes in your tank, you should definitely keep this in your mind.
Which fish(es) is ideal to be kept in a really small tank or bowl?
I don’t really recommend keeping fishes in really small bowls or containers – so I would not answer directly to that. But, if you’re willing to purchase a 5 Gallon Fish Tank or bigger, I can recommend the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta) with full confidence. These fishes tend to be really rugged, and can tolerate a wide range of pH and temperature. They don’t even need additional equipment like air pumps because they can intake oxygen directly from the air over your fish tank due to being labyrinth fishes, thanks to their labyrinth organ which has similar functionalities like a mammal lung.
The most important thing that you should keep in mind when you’re dealing with Bettas is that you simply can’t keep two male Bettas in the same tank. They’ll fight until one of them is dead. So, if you prefer to keep more than one Bettas, you either have to keep them in separate tanks or in the same tank only after creating separate compartments within it for each of these fishes. You can buy some of these custom tanks suitable for Bettas directly online at some stores. You can find out more about them in my guide about Betta tanks.
Female Betta fishes are however not like their male counterparts and while they’re not usually as beautiful in fin style or color as their male equivalents, they don’t fight among themselves. So, you can keep numerous female Bettas in the same tank. Or, perhaps you can try placing 3-4 females in the same fish tank as a single male Betta.
You can either feed them dry fish food or live bloodworms, whatever is easier for you. But every once in a while, I recommend offering them live prey because they really enjoy it, as I’ve found in my experience with them.
If you have any questions at all, you can also get in touch with me directly by commenting on the respective posts or pages.
I hope to grow Aquariphiles further as an active community-focused site dedicated to helping aquarium fish keepers around the world.