My Fish Story

by Tamara Iwanchyshyn 2 months ago in fish

What I have learned from my mistakes keeping fish.

My Fish Story
One of my oldest fish structure

So I was moving out of the house, and going to college. This meant that I was getting my own place, and I was so excited. I wanted my own fish tank to have a couple of fish, and be able to watch them grow and be happy. We went to a local pet store that wasn’t one of the big ones and got a small tank and two fish. The tank was small and seamed easy to care for, as well the fish were small so that made it easier to think that they fit into a small tank.

my small tank

The fish seemed very happy and ate the large quantity of food I gave them. After the next week of housing them, I went and got two new fish, and added them to my tank. All seemed well for a couple of days, and my fish seemed like happy campers.

my happy fish

Then everything changed, my fish became lethargic and stopped eating. One of them died. I went to the nearest pet store as I couldn’t drive all the way home on a school night. I ended up at a big pet store, PetSmart. They told me some facts about keeping fish that stick with me to this day and that I am forever grateful to the sales associate for. She said “ one inch of fish per gallon of water”. Which is what I have been using as a bibble ever since. You are supposed to use the finished/adult size of the fish to calculate.

my new set up

I immediately bought a ten-gallon tank and then had to do the next step in the process, cycling my tank. Cycling your tanks is the process of setting up a tank and making it habitable for fish. When you cycle a tank you are growing the bacteria that eat fish poop and turn it into nitrites and nitrates. This prevents the growth of ammonia, which can kill your fish. But in the first couple of days of starting a new aquarium, you don’t have any of this good bacteria, and if you don’t have an established aquarium to take filter media from then you have to cycle your new tank. In the first couple of days, there will be a huge spike in ammonia that could kill any fish that you put in.

So I cycled my new tank and all three that survived thrived in their new bigger Diggs. I even had babies from one of my fish and had plans to put all the males in one tank and females in another, until an unfortunate accident killed my fish stock. That being said I have since bought more fish and learned from my mistakes. Keeping fish is both a hobby and an understanding that you will do right by them. You are their caretakers as much as you are for a cat or dog. So remember when you by a fish that you are responsible for them for their whole lives, however long or short that is, and however many babies you have. So before you buy the goldfish for your little ones, think about how big they can get and what they need and maybe go for a betta first.

I now have a 30-gallon tank with two axolotls, who you can find a care guide and why they make amazing pets here:

As well as a 90-gallon with a betta sorority that you can find out about here. As well as a betta fish care guide.

Happy fish keeping and I hope that this story helps you understand two things. Always cycle your tank before you add fish to it. And never have more inches of fish then gallons of water. With that in mind, enjoy your fish, and I look forward to more happy fish keeping stories.

Tamara Iwanchyshyn
Tamara Iwanchyshyn
Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
Tamara Iwanchyshyn

Hello I am an aspiring film maker and writer who is trying to get my things out there. Thank you so much for reading, enjoy.

See all posts by Tamara Iwanchyshyn