Preparing For Your Scaly Friend

Preparing For Your Scaly Friend

Mason Mitchell and Ryan Lofton


Would you ever get a fish? While preparing for your fishy friend, you need to know some key concepts including fish tank maintenance, and obviously, the types of fish that would be good to get. If you are a brand new, or soon to be fish owner, please read on so that you beginners do not make the same mistakes that Ryan did with his guppies (who have died).

You need certain materials for your fish to live in. Water is a good start, but you also need a tank, fish tank filter, a heater if your fish is from tropical areas, fish food, little tiny pebbles, decor, and lastly, a fish. The tank filter will be extra useful because it cleans the algae and fecal matter, or you can just buy two cleaning snails to maintain the tank to save money. A heater is necessary to maintain water temperature, especially for tropical fish. You don’t want your fish to die when it’s wintertime. Food is very important as well. A good brand is TetraMin. For a filter, you should buy one that can support a few more gallons than your actual tank. Optional items are decors, such as pebbles and an LED light, which will cause your fish’s happiness levels to shoot through the roof.                                                                                                                                   

Your fish can live a long life if you treat them with care. First, you should clean the fish tank about every two weeks to make sure the fish is not swimming in his own juices. Replace 25% of the water weekly, and replace the filter pad when cleaning the tank. Next, be sure to research how often to feed the fish, as different fish need varying amounts of food. Last, care for your fish’s health. To check if your fish is sick, check if the stomach is bloated. This means that you may be overfeeding him/her, so you should definitely look into changing its diet if you see that. Also, if you have another pet who might be mischievous, make sure that they don’t try to kill the fish!

Betta fish are good for you if you are a first-time fish owner. They are simple and they don’t need much care except feeding. They generally live for 3-5 years and are beautiful. However, it wouldn’t be a good idea to put two tanks, as only one will survive!  Guppies are a little bit more complicated because they need a certain temperature tank. They live for 1-3 years. They also need a friend or else they won’t be happy. Also, be sure to get the same species of guppies for one tank because they will gang up on the other species and kill it (Ryan speaks from experience).  Goldfish are very simple. They live for 5-10 years and they don’t do much, but they are very cute. They can come in a few colors, such as black, white, orange and more. This fish would be good for beginners. Lastly, Koi fish are good for a long-term investment. They live for about 25 years and love sleeping. They are also cleaning fish so they will clean tanks. The Koi can feed itself by eating other fishes’ fecal waste. These fish are insanely adaptable so this will be a good fish for a long-time owner.

Fish are awesome, but they can be very tricky to take care of. However, with the right information, the job is easy. Fish are incredible and are one of the best pets in the world. Would you consider getting one?


Works Cited

Braaten, Paige. “The Koi Lifespan and Why Japanese Koi Live Longer.” Koi Story, Koi Story, 15 June 2017,

Craig. “Guppy Lifespan: Factors & How To Increase It.” Craig,

Sadie, et al. “How Long Do Betta Fish Live? Average Lifespan of a Betta Fish.” Aquarium Adviser, 26 July 2019,