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  • Writer's pictureStewart Kessel

Frequent Fishkeeping Mistakes

Updated: Jan 8

Fishkeeping is one of the most rewarding hobbies, with positive health and wellbeing benefits. Many scientific studies prove that keeping an aquarium and watching fish can help reduce stress. But what about when things go wrong! Inevitably this can lead to the opposite effect. So, let us consider the most common mistakes by novice fish keepers. Although, to be honest, experienced aquarists can also ‘fall foul’ of the same errors.

Most common fishkeeping mistakes shown as fish jumping out of bowel

The most common aquarium mistakes and not just by fish keepers new to the hobby

  • Lack of background reading & research

  • Thinking a small aquarium will be easier than a large one

  • Poor location of the aquarium

  • Aquarium filter not matured (cycled)

  • Overfeeding

  • Lack of patience

  • Stocking with fish too fast

  • Overstocking

  • Choosing unsuitable fish for water conditions

  • Selecting incompatible tankmates

  • Underestimating the size that a fish species will grow to compared to tank size

  • Impulsive purchases

  • Unsuitable habitat for livestock

  • Insufficient water changes

  • Not treating tap water for chlorine/chloramine

  • Insufficient aquarium maintenance

  • Lack of understanding and measurement of water parameters

  • Cleaning of filter media in tap water

  • Lighting aquarium for too long

  • Incorrect use and mixing of disease treatments

Read our articles and guides at to better understand the processes involved in fishkeeping and help learn how to avoid common mistakes.

Author: Stewart Kessel CChem, MRSC

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