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Water and Welfare for fish

It might sound silly to say, but it can be easily forgotten – the most important thing to a fish is water! Water quality has the ability to influence your pet’s physical health, behavioural health and overall welfare. Salinity, chlorine, pH levels, hardness, temperature and nitrogenous compounds impact the quality of your fish’s water. Using tap water to fill your aquarium is OK, however, chlorine is extremely toxic to fish, so to make it safe let it sit for at least 24 hours.

Dr Richmond Loh, also known as The Fish Vet, has some excellent advice on looking after your pet fish. Click one of the 4 links below to download an informational PDF:

Beginner’s Guide to fish keeping
How to look after your Goldfish
The Nitrogen Cycle
Filtration and Aeration explained

Training

You can train fish too!

Watch one of our members train her fish to swim through a hoop, below!

End of life

Sadly, there are times when euthanasia is the only humane course of action for our sick fish. Dr Caraguel of the University of Adelaide, an expert on fish behaviour and disease provides some dos and don’ts when euthanising fish at home.

Do not:

  • Flush fish down the toilet or drain – even if they are dead. This can introduce diseases into our native fish populations and negatively impact the ecological balance of the local environment.
  • Slow chilling or freezing of unanaesthetised fish. Ice crystals form in the flesh of the fish before they become unconscious which causes extreme pain.
  • Removing them from water to suffocate.
  • Expose them to caustic chemicals.
Recommended methods for euthanasia of aquarium fish include:
  • Overdose of anaesthetic using prolonged immersion in AQUI-S (or clove oil) for longer than 10 minutes after the cessation of eye movements
  • Mechanical methods – piercing the brain with a sharp instrument then cutting the gills to bleed the fish



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