My first aquarium was set up in my teens and comprised the normal cold water gold-fish. They didn’t survive long for some reason and the exercise of keeping fish as pets was soon abandoned. Years later, however, when my shop opened it was the tropical fish that took my fancy. They made a great addition to the flowers and other things that were retailed as part of my landscaping designing and florist business.
As an importer of these gorgeous creatures it wasn’t long before my keen mind had learned enough about them to be able to advise purchasers of their needs. With all the accessories they require on hand the display units made a wonderful display at the rear of the plants and other outdoor products.
With the lights on most of the time and the tanks decorated with weeds and rocks it was a lovely experience. The fish were lively and colourful. Along with the bubbles floating to the surface it could not help but draw people’s eyes.
As the large boxes arrived fresh off the aircraft the trick was to help them adjust to the new environment. That meant leaving their bags on the surface of the water for some time until the temperature inside the bag was the same as that of the tank. Even then other things had to be checked out.
The pH of the water is important and as most tap water contains chemicals, such as chlorine and, in Australia, fluorine the tanks have to be left for some time before the fish can be placed in them. As they had come from Asia and the water they were used to does not contain chemicals of this nature they could get sick if introduced too quickly.
It is these factors that make the keeping of tropical species a risky business. It takes time, effort, and a lot of money to set up a home aquarium and, unless one knows the correct procedure, the chances of survival is decreased. It took a lot of research before my knowledge was sufficient to deal with the many problems and anyone contemplating taking on keeping an aquarium needs to know how to keep the fish healthy.