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common myths

Common Myths when Keeping Fish

reading time: 3 minutes

Here are some common myths when keeping fish for beginners

These are recommendations from our store assistants, and your own research should be conducted before starting into an aquatic hobby.

Fish will only grow to the size of their enclosure

This is a common misbelief when purchasing fish from a retail store or breeder. In many cases, a fish will die before it can physically outgrow its aquarium. Most commonly goldfish are in the line of fire when it comes to Incorrectly sized aquariums.

The common goldfish can grow to 10 – 15 inches in length and live for more than 10 – 15 years if kept in optimal conditions.

Smaller tanks are better for beginners

Smaller fish tanks can be harder to balance than larger ones. Therefore, a slightly larger tank could be better suited for beginners. Conditions tend to be more stable in larger aquariums, and if things start to go wrong you have longer to correct them.

You can add fish straight away

People often walk into pet stores to buy a fish tank and fish on the same day. DON’T walk away disappointed!

If you are starting up in an aquatic hobby, always remember to cycle your fish tank before adding fish to allow the beneficial bacteria to build up within the aquarium. This can take anywhere from 1-6weeks.

Washing sponges and filters under tap water.

When cleaning your fish tank many people believe washing your fish tank sponges and filters under tap water will make them spotless.  Tap water is made safe for human consumption by adding chlorine and other chemicals during the treatment process. This kills harmful bacteria and makes the water safe to consume.

Chlorine in high levels, however, is harmful to aquatic life and kills the helpful bacteria within your fish tank. This can cause bacteria to die and create complications within your aquarium.

Adding plants to sort out chemicals

Adding plants to your aquarium can be beneficial. Plants can get rid of nitrates and phosphate which in high levels are harmful to fish. Be aware that plants will need looking after as well. Providing the right environment for plants is an additional task so please consider this before exploring the live plant option. Adding fish to an already established fish tank is always recommended.

For more information check out these videos of our fish experts.

Common myths:

Recommended fish for beginners:


Fishkeeping is a hobby with many varying opinions, but with our help you should have a healthy and sustainable aquarium in no time. For any questions, queries or concerns, contact us on Facebook.