Of course, the age at which any child can be deemed ready to take on a large amount of responsibility for caring for a fish tank will vary greatly from one child to another, ultimately, only you can make that decision.
Of all the main types of fish that you can keep: tropical, cold water and marine fish, tropical fish tend to be the easiest to look after and consequently are generally recommended for those who are new to the hobby.
While maintaining a tropical aquarium is fairly inexpensive, the initial outlay for setting up a small tank is between £60 and £120. Of course this is not a small sum of money, so it is best to do your research and ensure that you select a tank that is not only good value, but high quality and includes everything that you need to get up and running.
Tropical tank starter kits utilise new technology to make fish keeping accessible to everyone. An example of which is the Tetra AquaArt Explorer Tropical Tank 60l. This kit comes complete with everything that you need, meaning that minimal effort is required to set up a stunning tropical aquarium. It includes a 60 litre tank, a Tetra HT aquarium heater, 8.5 watt LED lighting for low energy consumption, 100ml of TetraMin feed, 100ml of water balance, 100ml of water conditioner and a transparent acrylic resin cover with built in feeding hatch.
Long before you invest in a tank however, it is imperative to involve both yourself and your child in researching how to set up and care for tropical fish. This will help improve their understanding of the hobby from the outset and will also help improve your own understanding so that you can step in and help out when needed.
Some of the topics that you will need to research include the type of fish and plants that can be kept together, basic water chemistry and knowing the importance of not overcrowding the tank.
Also bear in mind that planning to keep tropical fish is also a test of patience, particularly for children, as after setting up and planting the tank, they will have to wait a couple of weeks for the water to settle down before adding their first fish.
Of course, maintaining the aquarium also means cleaning it out, which is one of those chores that goes hand in hand with keeping any pet.
Finally, both you and your child will need to gain an understanding of what to do when things go wrong. Being able to keep a tank healthy as well as understanding the problems that can lead to ill health in fish can vastly minimise the chance of the fish becoming sick in the first place.
Fish keeping is a fantastic hobby to get children involved in, it offers the opportunity not just for them to gain experience of caring for pets, but also provides an excellent opportunity for them to learn about aquatic life. This is something that could also be particularly important further down the line as careers in marine biology and fishery management are on the increase. For further information about tropical fish keeping as well as tropical fish keeping products visit Swell UK.