This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Mars Fishcare and the API brand.
I don’t know about you, but we must have been one of the only families who, over the past few months, hasn’t considered getting a puppy. The recent time spent at home has seemingly sparked an urge in people to get outside twice a day and walk in the wind and rain with dogs who pull on a lead and push their noses into piles of grossness and demand that you clean up their poop.
Not us! We love spending time at home with our tortoise and cat, and really enjoy pets that we can take care of indoors. I had always wanted tropical fish but was too nervous to get them due to how fragile and high maintenance they seemed. That is, until Mars Fishcare got in touch and asked if we would like to set up a beautiful fish tank at home with full guidance on how to get things absolutely perfect for our fish.
The idea of being able to finally keep some tropical fish with some serious hand-holding from fish experts was too good an offer to refuse, and we happily took delivery of a gorgeous aquarium a couple of weeks ago.
At first I was a bit overwhelmed at how much was in the package; along with the 60 litre aquarium, heater, filter and lights was a variety of treatments to ensure the water was optimum condition for the fish, and it reminded me a bit of science class at school- eek!
There was API Stress Coat, API Quick Start, API Stress Zyme, API Accu Clear, API Aquarium Salt, API 5-in-1 Test Strips and of course Aquarian Tropical Fish Food. I was nervous about getting the set up wrong, but before getting our new pets there was a virtual fishcare event to ensure that we were confident in what we were doing and to ask any questions we might have.
I learned a lot from a MARS fishcare expert, including that you only have to change 25% of the water at a time (I definitely changed all of the water with my goldfish as a kid so I’m glad I learned this!) and that PH levels are exceptionally important in an aquarium. I was also thankful to hear about which fish are happy together and which are the best ‘starter’ fish for a fish tank. It was a lovely surprise that some of the most pretty fish (tetras and guppies) are ideal residents to start a tropical aquarium, so we decided to get those species to start.
Before we picked up our fish we had to prepare the tank, which the girls loved helping with. They fell in love with tropical fish during our year-long trip to Thailand, Bali and Sri Lanka, as there were plenty of snorkelling opportunities. Having tropical fish is a lovely way to remember those experiences so they were very excited! We filled the tank with water and added cleaned gravel and faux plants, as well as the correct treatments to ensure that the water was perfect when we brought the fish home.
The first lot of treatment dosages were higher than usual, and we were pleased to see that API Quick Start helped to prep the tap water very quickly so that fish could be added soon; no waiting around for 2 weeks like other aquariums! The Stress Coat ensured that the fish would be calm and keep their protective slime when they were added to the fish tank, and the test strips gave us peace of mind that the chemical balance in the aquarium would be ideal. This was a great science lesson for the girls!
We then brought our fish home- 10 vivid blue neon tetras, 2 zebra tetras and 4 beautiful guppies. They have all settled into their new home very well and are enjoying their Aquarian flake food once a day.
This experience has been brilliant for both the children and I; they have learned a huge amount of biology and chemistry in the process, and I have gained confidence and realised that keeping tropical fish is very accessible with the right support, such as from API and MARS fish care.