Fish

These can vary from coldwater fish kept in garden ponds, such as koi or goldfish, to indoor aquarium fish such as tropical freshwater favourites guppies, danios or tetras to marine (saltwater) fish like clownfish

Environment

a suitable living environment

Diet

a suitable diet

Behaviour

to be able to behave normally

Companionship

to have appropriate companionship

Health

to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

1

Environment

a suitable living environment

2

Diet

a suitable diet

3

Behaviour

to be able to behave normally

4

Companionship

to have appropriate companionship

5

Health

to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Did you know?

Goldfish can live for more than 20 years and need a large tank to feel really comfortable.

20+ years life expectancy

Extra space to feel comfortable

Check before you buy

Good water quality is essential

Getting the water quality right in your aquarium is one of the most important factors in keeping fish healthy. This means maturing your tank before you buy your first fish, finding out how many fish your aquarium can support, as well as researching equipment (like filters and pumps) and the right food you will need for the fish you are keeping. Seek advice from an experienced aquarist or retailer to establish your aquarium before you add your fish and how to maintain it. Advice is also available from books, websites, hobby magazines and specialist shops.

Test water quality regularly

Testing water quality and doing partial water changes will become a regular part of your ongoing tank maintenance. And remember tap water is toxic for fish so it must always be treated before being added to an aquarium.

Ensure you buy from someone who has experience in keeping fish

They should ask before you buy about your tank set-up and what fish you will be keeping to ensure any new fish you buy are compatible with your aquarium.

Ensure that the fish you buy are healthy and free from any sign of injury or disease

Never over-stock your aquarium and be aware of the size your fish will grow to

If different species are to be mixed, ensure that they have compatible environmental requirements and will not fight

Ensure you provide adequate facilities to transport your fish home and ensure water temperatures are the same when transferring them to their new environment

If any paperwork is unavailable and has to be sent on, obtain a written commitment as to when it will be delivered

Ensure that, as well as all the necessary technical provisions, you also provide appropriate environmental enrichment for the species that you buy

Remember, fish can sometimes require specialist veterinary care which could involve referral to a specialist and be expensive

Over the counter treatments are available in aquatic shops.

Key Tip

If you buy fish online remember live fish should not be sent by Royal Mail. Only approved couriers can carry live fish and no-one should buy fish from a seller who says they will send their fish through the normal post. A firm date and time for delivery should also be established and someone over the age of 16 should ALWAYS be in to take delivery of the parcel. This ensures fish spend no longer than necessary in transit packaging. Good after-care information should also be included with any fish you buy.