Finding Dory: A Cautionary Tail into Responsible Fishkeeping

With the upcoming movie release of Pixar and Disney’s ‘Finding Dory’ on 29th July later this summer, consumers are warned not to buy fish on a whim after watching the film by OATA, the UK trade body that represents the ornamental aquatic industry. The membership association are concerned that filmgoers may make impulse purchases of fish made popular in Finding Dory, and are advising first-time fishkeepers to avoid marine fish, which require greater care and experience to keep successfully.

 “Ornamental fish are beautiful, delightful, breath-taking animals. And like any pet they deserve respect and a lot of research before you take the plunge into ownership. Do it right and we’re sure people will be hooked by this hobby for life! But don’t just buy a regal tang like Dory or clownfish like Nemo from an online site on a whim and hope it will all work out. It won’t,” cautions OATA’s Chief Executive, Keith Davenport.

At All Pond Solutions, whilst we are excited by the growing interest in fish sparked by the movie’s release, we agree for people new to the hobby, there are a wide variety of cold water and tropical fish species that are easier to keep and look after. For customers looking for where to begin, we have a guide to the top 5 fish for beginners.

Research and Being a Responsible Fishkeeper

We advise customers looking to buy fish that it is a decision that should be well considered and researched – different species of fish will require different conditions and levels of care, and compatibility is key – both in terms of the environments they require but also in their temperaments and affinity as tank mates. All of our fish for sale are listed with detailed information on the care that they require, and our compatibility chart below provides customers with an easy to use guide when selecting their fish. For those looking for a bit more assistance, our hand picked aquarium fish bundles offer new fish keepers the option of selecting their fish safe in the knowledge they are suitable tank mates, or for more guidance our specialist livestock team are available to discuss and advise customers on suitable species and tank requirements.

Keeping fish can initially be deemed as a cheaper and easier alternative to owning a dog, cat or other pet, but in order to maintain a healthy tank and environment that your fish will flourish in, it is essential to identify the type and size of fish tank suitable for your fish and the additional aquarium equipment needed.

We would advise all customers setting up a tank to include:       

  • A fish tank filter – this helps to keep the water clean is crucial to the wellbeing of your fish. An aquarium filter will remove fish waste, excess food, decaying organic matter, free-floating particles and hazardous chemicals from the water.

  • Aquarium lighting and a timer  – this will help regulate your fish’s night and day cycle. Lighting requirements vary between species, where some fish can become listless, stop eating or become ill without the correct amount of light. We advise that you research this carefully.

  • An in-water thermometer  maintaining your tank temperature is important, as sharp temperature fluctuations can cause physical stress to fish that often leads to disease.

  • Substrate for the bottom of the tank, e.g.  gravel – not only will this create a more pleasant environment for your fish, it will also act as a surface to house bacteria necessary to eliminate fish waste products.

  • Water conditioner – this product is necessary to make the water from your tap safe to use in your fish tank by neutralising chlorine and metal ion traces.

  • Fish tank ornaments – plants and ornaments help provide a sense of security for your fish by creating hiding places, consequently lowering their stress levels.

  • Cleaning materials, including a siphon, buckets, and sponges – we advise our customers to carry out a weekly 10-15% water change and remove algae build up.

  • A small fish net – ideal to have on hand for moving fish from one tank to another safely, or for basic tank maintenance tasks.

You may need extra items for use in tropical and marine tanks, such a heater or wave maker.

Timeframes: Set Up and Delivery

We would also advise potential fish owners to consider the timeframes involved. Before any fish can be introduced into your aquarium, we would recommend that the tank is set up and running for three weeks, in order to establish to the correct salinity, pH level, water hardness and temperature to enable a stress-free acclimatisation to the fish tank.

For additional information please visit our guide to setting up your first fish tank

The source of your fish is also something that needs to be researched carefully, not only in the information and guidance that they can provide, but to ensure the quality and welfare of your fish. At AllPondSolutions, we treat our fish livestock with the same care and expertise that our customers have come to expect from our other aquarium products. We source all our livestock from high-grade ethical breeders who we know and trust, and all our fish are quarantined onsite and rigorously monitored for any signs of distress or ill health. Our video below provides more detail on how we pack and ship our fish for delivery.