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More about
Fish for Kids
Your Comments and Our Replies
This page contains Customer Comments and our Replies about Fish for Kids.

Click here to go to the first page in this discussion.


Customer Comments

I have 2 small children and am attempting to start an aquarium. I was sold a 10-gallon tank , 6 tetra neons and a blue paradise. We were told to keep the water at about 78. The tetras have been dying one by one and I think they have been attacked by the blue paradise. Is this possible?
What I have read on your site seems quite contrary to what I have been told at the fish store. This is not the first time this kind of stuff has happened and we're getting frustrated. The last time they sold us 2 tiger barbs for the tank and one ended up killing the other. Not a good way to start little kids off on a hobby. Suggestions? If I order from you, how do I know you will be giving us better advice? thanks,
Charley K.
Freehold, NJ
Reply. Hi Charley, thank you for your email, which I read carefully and sensed your frustration. All the advice you got in that pet store was pretty bad.

Tiger Barbs should be kept in a group with at least six Tiger Barbs. This is explained on our website.

Click here for more about Tiger Barbs.

Blue Paradise are good fish but much too big and aggressive to be tank mates for Neon Tetras.

Click here for more about Neon Tetras and compatible tank mates for Neons.

Neon Tetras are not good fish for new aquariums. An aquarium should have fish in it for several weeks before you add Neons.

At our website we recommend that children start with cool water fish in a cool water aquarium.

Click here for more information about Cool Water Aquariums, including a list of good fish for getting started.

Just put your aquarium heater away, until you and your small children are more ready for the combination of electricity, glass, and water!

Click here and read the Seven Essentials of Keeping Fish for information that everyone with an aquarium should read and understand.

We think this material will help you and your children enjoy your aquarium. If you have another question, please email us back.


Customer Comments

On the FAQ page, one of the first questions is whether there is a good book to recommend for beginners. I'd like to suggest one for you to review and possibly recommend.
My 12 year old son is wanting to set up his first aquarium and I went looking for a beginner book for him. I didn't really find one that was both written for a young person and also complete and accurate. I did find and buy one that was written for adult beginners that I actually think is the best I've ever seen.
I heartily recommend "The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" by David E. Boruchowitz (2001, T.F.H.) The author's recommendations are in line with the recommendations given on your site. I actually didn't expect to learn anything from the book (as a 25 year veteran, I thought I knew it all, right?) but I've actually enjoyed reading this book and have learned a few things along the way.
The author does a great job in organizing material in the proper order (even advising that it is okay to skip ahead to the fourth section (about fish selection) early (since that's what everybody wants first) but then to return to the beginning and read through the rest of the material in order and then to read the final section again with the proper background to actually make fish selection decisions.
His sample suggestions for community tank stocking all seem very reasonable (though I've certainly not tried all of them). He does a great job of telling the beginner what they need to know without letting the discussion go off onto non-critical topics and gadgets that easily distract both beginner and experienced fish keepers.
I really do love this book! I probably would never have ordered it from Amazon but after actually thumbing through it on the Barnes & Noble shelf, I am glad I bought it even at full price. (The Amazon price was under $13 when I checked and left them a review.)
I've recommended that my favorite local fish store start carrying it along with all of the other "advanced" and specialty books. (Actually I've tried to talk her into bundling it with each "setup" she sells.)
I hope you'll take a look at this book and, if you agree, recommend it to your visitors. I have no financial interest in the book, don't know the author, don't own stock in T.F.H. or have any other connection except really believing that if every beginner read and followed these guidelines, there'd be a lot fewer failures in our wonderful hobby! ...
Gary D.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
Reply. Hello Gary. Thank you very much for your advice. You talked me into ordering a copy from, and I added a link to this book just below. Thanks again.
Books for Beginners
The books shown below are listed on

You can click on the image or the title of a book to go to the page at, where that book is listed and discussed.

In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.

Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   The Simple Guide to Fresh Water  Aquariums
By David E. Boruchowitz
256 pages

Customer Comments

I just found your website today - I've spent the last 4 hours gobbling the pages. I have two daughters (ages 7 and 5). My oldest daughter won a gold fish at the fair two years ago and we set up a 10-gallon tank in their room.
We've had a terrible time trying to keep the kids from over feeding the goldfish (His name is "Two Tails"). I read your "Fish For Kids" and LOVE the idea of putting the fish food in the lid first - seems like such a simple thing - but oh my - this is going to save us a LOT of trouble - no more gold fish crumble disasters.
Tomorrow morning we'll do it your way! I loved that you put together lists of critters that will go together. That helps to no end! No one I've ever talked to seemed very sure. Two Tails is about 2 years old now. We had to treat him (I'm guessing he's a he ... ) for "Ick" about two weeks after he arrived.
It's MUCH bigger now (about 4" long) and I'm thinking that we're going to have to move him into one of the bigger tanks that we have. Right now we have a 15-gallon tank with one GORGEOUS male betta ...  (His name is Skye - guess what color ... ha!).
How can I move Skye into the 10-gallon tank and "Two Tails" into the 15-gallon tank without too much stress on either one? Skye seems to like being by himself and he's my "office fish". He takes messages. There is only about 6 tablespoons of gravel in his tank - but he seems to like it barren anyway.
I tried to put a plant in it - but he kept attacking it! Two Tails lives in the girls' room and terrifies the dog. I think we're going to get a few clams from you. I've never even heard of clams in an aquarium! How many clams would you put into a 20-gallon (long) tank that has 6 mollies (James, Ethel, The triplets, and Zoomer) and two tetras (Stripes and Bubbles) in it? (They live on top of the TV cabinet in the livingroom).
Thank you again for putting together such a fabulous site! Now I've got to get back and read up on Bettas ....
I bookmarked your site - TWICE!
A & K & K
Reply. Hello and thank you for your complimentary comments. We are glad to know that you are making good use of this website.
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