Aquarium Fish

Wayde and Brett’s Tips for Rookie Aquarists Tanked

posted: 05/15/12
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Wayde and Brett's Top Five Tips for Rookie Aquarists
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Instead of skimming a fish manual for tips on how to start an aquarium, learn from Animal Planet's finest, Wayde King and Brett Raymer, stars of Tanked. Not only do these guys shed an entertaining light on tanks and aquatic life, but they head Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM), a family-owned company boasting over 100 years of collective experience in the aquarium industry. Here are some of their recommendations for beginning a new tank.

Love Your Fish!

These days, keeping an aquarium can be a status symbol, as evidenced by the myriad celebrities who have enlisted the help of Wayde and Brett and the ATM family. From Sea World to David Blaine, Wayde and Brett have created custom tanks for a wide variety of famous faces. More important than the glitz and glam of the tank, though, are the organisms inhabiting it. "Fish are amazing animals," said Brett. "You can't just leave them in an aquarium. You have to be caring and nurturing and dedicate time." Caring for fish is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. In the United States alone, there are 170 million freshwater fish kept as pets and each of these fish needs love. So, tip number one is to dedicate time and attention to your gilled friends.

The "Lobster" of Fish Food

Frozen and freeze-dried foods, what Brett considers the lobster of fish food, will ensure your fish has a balanced diet. These foods include black worms and brine shrimp and will help make up for any deficiencies in your fish's diet.

Compatibility is Key!

Many variables contribute to the compatibility of your fish. According to Wayde and Brett, the size and color of the fish are big indicators of compatibility. Your fish will get along better if they do not look alike and cannot fit in each other's mouths. Aquarists must also be aware of the temperament of their fish and the size of the tank. "If you put two aggressive fish in a 2,000 gallon tank instead of a 50 gallon tank, you won't have any problems," said Brett. "Another option is to put more hiding places into your tank so your fish can have its own space."

Two Fish Are Better Than One

Another way to improve compatibility is to introduce fish in groups or schools. "Certain fish do better in groups, like humans. Put them in a group and they shine," said Brett. So, if you were thinking about adding another male betta fish later, think again.

Someone's Gotta Do It!

Cleaning a fish tank can be rough, but you have to do it! However, if you find yourself short on time, Brett suggests hiring some help. Hiring tank cleaners can cost upwards of a $70 per visit depending on the size of your tank. But it can help save time and ensure a safe environment for your fish.

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