Freshwater Fish Tank: Care Taking Tips

Owning and taking care of a fish tank is both a fun and therapeutic addition to any household. There are a few key tips you need to know about taking care of a fish tank full of freshwater pet fish. Tips such as what kind of fish make the best pet fish and how to best care for the tank. 

For instance, knowing which fish are freshwater or saltwater fish and how to create an environment that is perfect for whichever one you choose to own, is crucial. Freshwater fish can sometimes become sick, either something is wrong with them or with their environment. When owning a freshwater fish tank, it’s important to know or at least anticipate these things. 

Freshwater versus Saltwater Tank

The care needed for maintaining a freshwater fish tank or a saltwater aquarium are both incredibly different from one another. Each holds their own positive and negative points, which are all important to understand before making a final decision. Fresh water tanks are far cheaper to start as well as maintain, while saltwater tanks do tend to have more vibrant options for fish and plant life. However, there are plenty of beautiful and colorful freshwater fish that can be kept as a pet as well. 

Fresh Water Tanks

First, freshwater tanks are a great place to start when first getting into fish keeping. Freshwater tanks as well as freshwater fish are both cheaper than keeping a saltwater aquarium. Fresh water tanks are also easier overall to care for. 


Since freshwater fish originate in areas such as ponds or rivers, the components in your freshwater tank’s water needs to be treated appropriately. For instance, most water that we have access to has some degree of chlorine or other additives included in it. Such as tap water. 

There are water treatment supplements that you can buy at the pet store to add to your freshwater tank. These products will help to treat the water and make it suitable for your fish to live in. Water treatment includes adding certain things or taking away unnecessary components such as chlorine. 

Tank Care

It’s also important that the water in your freshwater tank has movement. Usually, a filter or bubble wand does the trick. These items provide water movement to allow oxygen to be added to the water. This is important for the vitality of your fish. 

As far as setting up your tank, you will want to be sure to get one with a hood over the top and maybe even a light. Although, the light would be more so for your viewing pleasure than for the fish. At the bottom of the tank, sand or small rocks are necessary as well. 

In terms of cleaning your tank, there isn’t too much in the way of manual cleaning that you will need to do. Between having a filter and scavenger fish, a lot of the cleaning work is already being done. 

Fish need a somewhat “dirty” environment to live in, so over cleaning should never be something you do. Over cleaning or even under cleaning (to an extreme) can cause your fish to become sick and possibly die. Fish tank cleanliness is a sort of balancing act, but after some time you will see the kind of environment that your fish do best in. Most pet stores will test your fish tank water and give advice if you feel that there is a problem.

Freshwater Fish 

Fish aren’t the only inhabitants that you can keep in a freshwater tank. There are also snails or crabs that can be added to bring a little more variety to your freshwater tank.

Those who are just beginning their fish tank journey may be wise to start with community fish such as guppies, mollies, and tetras. These are great starter fish breeds, as they are all friendly community fish that are very easy to care for. There are also scavenger fish that can be introduced into your tank to help keep it clean. Scavengers such as corey cats and snails will keep up with much of the debris that sinks to the bottom of the tank.

There are other, more vibrant or eye-catching fish that can be brought to live in a freshwater tank such as different varieties of goldfish or angelfish. Just keep in mind that some species of goldfish and angelfish can grow to be rather large. You will want to account for this if you have a small tank with a lot of fish in it already. 


Freshwater fish tanks are relatively cheap and easy to maintain. Not to mention, they make a great family project or even personal hobby to take part in. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into when beginning to put together a freshwater fish tank is important. That way you don’t waste any time or money trying to put together a fish tank before you are certain about what you’re doing.

How much does a fish cost?

Fish tanks can be purchased for any price between $25-$200. The price depends on the size and style of the tank that you want to buy. Some tanks are as small as five to ten gallons, or much much larger. Some tanks may even come with a stand with storage, as well as the filter and lights.

How to take care of a fish?

There’s quite a bit of work that goes into taking care of a fish tank. Between cleaning and changing the water and keeping up with the filter maintenance, there’s work to be done to care for a fish tank on a weekly basis normally. One thing that not many fish owners realize is that when you clean or change the water of your fish tank, you only want to empty and change 25% of the water at a time. Doing more than that can cause the fish to become ill or even die.

How to set up a fish tank?

When setting up a fish tank for the first time, one of the most important things you need to keep in mind is to not put your fish into it too quickly. If you don’t prepare the water in the tank a specific way, your fish could end up shocked by the state of the untreated water and become sick and die very quickly. Often you must condition the water a certain way before adding your fish to their new home.

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Written by Leo Roux

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