The Best Aquariums for kids and what Suitable fish to Keep

Fish are an ideal first pet for children, they do not require too much attentive care, are pretty and stimulating to watch and can even be educational in regards to animal care and basic biology. Here we have created an article that will help you to choose the best aquarium and the most suitable fish for your child’s first aquarium.

What are the best fish to keep?

Although goldfish are a popular choice, they are not the only species that are suitable for children. To keep their interest you will want something colourful, perhaps with a bit of a personality to keep your kids interested. There is a wide variety of tropical fish available, some for the more experienced keepers (cichlids for example) but many for new fish keepers and children alike. One example is the beautiful male Siamese fighter fish (Betta splendens), these beautiful males come in a variety of different colours and tail shapes, they also have great little personalities and often come to the glass when approached.   

Livebearers such as mollies (Poecilia sphenops) and guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are also a great choice, they come in different colours and varieties, stay relatively small and are highly compatible with many other community fish species. They are also very easy to breed in the home aquarium which is always interesting for children to watch the fry grow. Goldfish (Carassius auratus) being another popular choice, as they often have fun personalities and come in some weird and wonderful shapes such as the Pearlscale and Ranchus. However, goldfish can get quite large in size, with the average fancy goldfish reaching 8” – so a larger tank is required.

What Aquarium should I get?

There are many tank colours, shapes and sizes to choose from. We would first suggest researching the fish you and your children are most interested in keeping. For example, the goldfish will need a tank of at least 50+ litres, with the intentions of upgrading to a bigger tank depending on the species you choose. If you wanted just one male fighter fish, you would find that a simple 20+ litre tank would be suitable to meet your fish’ needs; these smaller tanks are often referred to as “nano” tanks. Nano tanks usually come as a complete set-up with the filter and lighting included and so are an ideal first aquarium for kids. 

Basic equipment needed

- Fish Tank

- Gravel or sand substrate

- Water Testing Kit

- Tap water conditioner

- Filter (if not included with the tank)

- Fish Food

- Heater (If you are wanting to keep tropical fish) 

Some simple tasks keep the tank running smoothly

- Feeding – fish should be fed once or twice daily

- Water changes. These should be done every 2 weeks once the aquarium is established. Simply siphon out 10-15% of the water and replace with new.

- Temperature checks, if keeping tropical fish you will need to keep an eye on the temperature.

- Filter clean – every 4-5 months you should change the filter media.

If you have any further questions or would like any further information on fish keeping, check out some of our other blogs or get in touch - we are always happy to help.