What it Takes to Keep Fish Happy and Healthy - Dispatch Weekly

June 14, 2016 - Reading time: 2 minutes

With just days to go before “Finding Dory” hits the silver screen on June 17, there is an increased interest in saltwater fish and Petco is here with a few pointers.

For starters, those of you who are new to aquarium hobby, Petco urges to refrain from jumping straight to saltwater aquarium hobby for the hobby is more demanding considering the needs and requirements of saltwater fish. Petco says that first times should stick to freshwater aquarium and go for easily manageable fish like betta.

The tips come as part of Petco’s educational campaign aimed at anyone looking to enter the saltwater aquarium hobby. Through the campaign, Petco hopes to educate families and pet parents about the level of maintenance and commitment required for saltwater aquariums and hopefully steer those looking to enter the hobby for the first time to freshwater tanks as a more responsible introduction to fish-keeping.

“We expect interest in the saltwater aquarium hobby to increase with the release of ‘Finding Dory'” said Dr. Whitney Miller, director of veterinary medicine at Petco. “As a leader in the animal care community, it’s our duty to help educate consumers about the commitment necessary to keep saltwater fish happy and healthy. We’re here to be pet parents’ trusted source in responsibly keeping fish and learning all about freshwater and saltwater aquatic life.”

According to United Pet Group, one in four, or more than 220,000 first-time fish owners (in the 5-to 55-gallon tank size range) leave the hobby within the first 12 months.

“Many first-time fish hobbyist may not understand what it takes to have a saltwater aquarium at home, let alone how to care for and keep the vibrant, fragile fish swimming in it” said Miller, “At Petco we do not recommend saltwater fish like ‘Dory’ for any beginning aquarists. Saltwater fish require a large, well-balanced environment to thrive. We recommend beginning aquarists begin with a freshwater fish like a betta.”

That’s why Petco urges families to be well-informed on the commitment required to meet the health and safety needs of saltwater fish like blue tangs before taking the plunge. Saltwater fish typically require at least a 29-gallon saltwater tank and a higher average set-up cost than freshwater fish. The average cost for a new saltwater tank ranges from $300 to $500, according to peteducation.com.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.