"Just keep swimming" -Dory

Fish for Beginners

When someone is thinking about getting a fish that is good for a beginner, and easy to clean and take care of, the one we usually suggest is the Betta Fish.



Basic Information

Name: Betta Fish aka Fighting Fish

Description: Males are flashier than females.  Come in a variety of colors and fin shapes.

Lifespan: average 2-3 years up to 5 years

Food: Betta Fish Pellets

Set-up: minimum 2 gallon bowl or tank

Temperature: Subtropical.  If water gets too cold, they stop moving.  If that happens, get a Betta heater.

Maintenance: We suggest a 10% change once a week.

I don't have alot of space.  What kind of enclosure should I get?

In the wild, Bettas can live within the small nooks of rice paddies as well as an open river!  Just because they're capable of living in tiny quarters, doesn't mean they should. A small 2 gallon tank is the minimum tank size we suggest! Going bigger is always encouraged.


I don't want to do a lot of cleaning.  Does this fish need a lot of maintenance?

No it doesn't.  If you take 10-20% of the bottom dirty water out and replenish it once a week, the fish will be happy.  The benefit to having a tank with a filter is that you will be able to clean the water once every two weeks.


Can my Betta get along with other fish?

Bettas do NOT get along with other fish. Male bettas kept in close quarters typically fight to the death. On rare occasions, the bettas will not fight, but they'll get so stressed out that their immune system drops and they get sick.


My Betta isn't moving a lot.  Why?
Most often Bettas slow down because he is too cold.  In that case, we suggest getting a small Betta Heater for the bowl or tank.  If it's not the temperature, check the water quality.  If you aren't doing regular water changes, the ammonia level could be making him sick. 


F.A.Q.s About Bettas and Their Set-ups

Why a Goldfish May Not Be the Right Fish for You

Basic Information

Name: Goldfish

Description: They come in a variety of colors, mainly oranges, whites, golds, but black too.  They come in different body shapes as well.

Lifespan: up to 10 years

Food: Gold Fish Food Flakes

Set-up: Large tank or pond (10 gallons per inch of fish)

Temperature: 65-70 degrees Farenheit

Maintenance: Generally we suggest doing a water change once a week.



F.A.Q.s About Goldfish and Their Set-ups

I don't have a lot of space.  What kind of set-up should I have?

Goldfish need a LOT of space.  Because they naturally give off high levels of ammonia, our rule of thumb is: for every inch of Goldfish, 5-10 gallons of water is necessary.  So, for a one inch comet goldfish, a 5-10 gallon tank with filter is necessary.  But remember, as the fish grows, in order to thrive, the tank size will need to grow as well.  Many people put goldfish in ponds because they need so much room. 


I have a 10-gallon tank.  What else do I need?

You will NEED a filter.  Because Goldfish make more of a mess than Tropical fish, a filter helps pull big pieces of waste out of the water making it easier for you to clean.  It also helps aerate the water by circulating it around.


I don't want to do a lot of cleaning. Does this fish need a lot of maintenance?

No it doesn't.  If you take out 20-30% of the bottom dirty water and replenish it once a week the fish will be happy. 


Can my goldfish get along with other fish?

Your Goldfish can only be with other Goldfish.  If you attempt to put a tropical fish in with a coldwater Goldfish, the tropical fish will not survive because of the cooler temperature as well as the high ammonia levels.  So just remember, the more goldfish you have, the larger amount of water you will need to keep them alive. 


Is there a difference between fancy goldfish and the goldfish my child won at the fair? Is this different than tropical freshwater fish?

The maintenance is generally the same for both tropical fish and goldfish.  The main difference is that Goldfish require such a big living space and most parents are just not up for the task.  Thousands of goldfish die at these fairs every year, because goldfish are not meant to be prizes. All pets deserve lots of preparation. Tell schools not to give away Goldfish.



If you interested in purchasing a fish, please come into our store and we will help you get everything you need in order to be a successful fish keeper. 

The Animal Connection

2550 Judah St. 

(corner of 31st & Judah)

San Francisco, CA 94122



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