That’s My Pet: Freshwater Fish


“Mom, Dad, can I have a pet?” Is this a familiar question in your house? It certainly is in mine, and we are in good company. It’s estimated that over 60% of American households have at least one pet.

In this new DealDash Blog series we will highlight different pets, give some basic facts about pet ownership, and hopefully help you make informed decisions about your new furry, feathered, or finned family member. Let’s get started!

Today’s pet is the Freshwater Fish. As a person who spent a few years working at a pet store, and also as a pet owner I would say one of the best pets to start a younger child out with is a freshwater fish aquarium. You can spend less than $40 to get a basic freshwater fish aquarium going with everything you need, or you can go as big and as fancy as you would like for more money.


There are a huge variety of different aquariums that you can get for your first set-up, most people find that the easiest thing to do is to get a kit that is already pre-assembled. However, if you would prefer to pick up the pieces yourself, here are the very basics that are recommended for a freshwater fish aquarium:

  • Fish tank or aquarium
  • Gravel
  • Light source
  • Filter
  • Water conditioner
  • Air pump with airstone
  • Thermometer
  • Fish food
  • Heater (perhaps not needed if you are getting goldfish)
  •  Plants, rocks, decorations (optional)

Other than those items everything else such as a background, live plant, or pirate chest decoration is completely and totally optional and can be added at a later time if you so choose.

The size and type of aquarium that you purchase can determine the type and quantity of fish that you choose to put in your new aquarium. When people first start out with keeping freshwater fish they usually go 1 of 3 ways – Betta fish in a tiny aquarium, community fish in a medium-sized aquarium, or goldfish in a medium to large aquarium. Of course, there are many many many more types of freshwater fish to choose from, but these are the most popular options for beginners.


My personal favorite of these 3 options is the community tank. Most people use a 10-29 gallon aquarium for their community tank, and stock it with fish such as Mollies, Guppies, Platys, Tetras, and algae eaters. There are SO many more community fish to choose from, but those are some of the most popular options that should be easy to find in your local pet store.

Setting up your aquarium can be a easy or complicated as you would like to make it, depending on what look you are trying to achieve. Here are the basic steps:

  • Put your aquarium on whatever surface that you will be keeping it on long term, be it an actual aquarium stand, a dresser, table, desk, etc.
  • Rinse your gravel and put it in the aquarium sloping it a little bit up towards the back
  • Treat your tap water with a water conditioner and add it to the aquarium, leaving a few inches unfilled at the top
  • Install your heater, filter, and thermometer
  • Add any decorations that you would like
  • Finish filling the water to the top
  • Plug in heater and filter
  • Wait 24-48 hours before adding any fish


As a general rule you can add about 1″ of (Full Grown fish length) per gallon of water. For instance if you have a 10 gallon aquarium you can add 10 fish that will be 1″ long when they are full grown. Don’t be fooled by the size the fish are when you buy them, make sure that you do your research to see how big your fish will be when they are full grown.

I hope that this article has helped you understand a little bit about setting up a freshwater fish aquarium. If you are in the market for an aquarium, pet store gift card, or any other pet-related items head on over to DealDash‘s “Other” section and see what they have up for bid today. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!