Keeping your fish healthy and happy can be a bit tricky. Sometimes illness and sickness are just a part of the cycle that occurs with many pets but with a few simple tips you may be able to avoid it.
1. Buy Healthy Fish - I generally pick out fish that look lively, are a bit larger than the others in the tank and that have all of their fins intact.
2. Prevent Overcrowding - Buy a tank that will accommodate all the fish you want to purchase and introduce them slowly, maybe even one at a time.
3. Acclimate New Fish Properly - float the bag in the aquarium for about 20 minutes, add about 20 percent of the tank water to the bag and then let it float another 20 minutes before you release the fish into the tank.
4. Condition Water - Never add plain tap water without conditioning the water. Use a de-chlorinating product whenever you add tap water and test your water. Many pet stores will do this for you if you bring them a sample or you can purchase your own kit.
5. Regular Tank Cleanings - It's a good idea to clean your tank regularly. Replace 25% of the tanks water about once a month. Use a gravel vacuum to siphon out water and debris from the rocks.
6. Regular Feeding Schedule - Try to feed your fish around the same time each day or night.
7. Maintain Proper pH Levels - Proper pH levels will help your fish thrive.
8. Remove Deceased Fish Immediately - A dead fish left to decompose may cause ammonia and nitrite spikes which will make for an unhealthy environment for the rest of the fish in your tank.
9. Don't Overfeed - Overfeeding can cause a whole plethora of problems which leads to a very unhealthy environment for fish.
10. Spot and Treat Illness and Disease Quickly - The quicker you can treat the fish the better the outcome. Treating quickly may also prevent the spread to other fish.
Petco.com also has amazing resources and even offers the Petco Community where pet owners can come together to ask each other questions or read useful pet care tips and articles such as...