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Aquatic Pets and Aquariums

What’s the best freshwater aquarium fish combination? What size tank does a pet puffer fish need? Does an aquarium need to have plants? Uncle Bill’s can answer these questions and help you find the right aquatic pet, along with all the supplies you need to give it a comfortable home.

Best Aquatic Pets for Beginners

Fish habitats can range from a simple desktop tank to a saltwater aquarium holding 100 gallons or more. Uncle Bill’s generally recommends that people who are new to maintaining an aquarium choose a fish that’s low-maintenance – Guppies, Mollies, or Platies, for example. These are three types of freshwater fish that get along well with each other – in a large enough tank, they can live peacefully (in same-sex groups).

Looking for a Betta for sale? These smart and showy fish are also suitable for beginners. Female Bettas can share a tank, but male Bettas are aggressive and should not be housed together. A male Betta may be able to share a tank with Neon Tetras, because these small fish can outswim and hide from a Betta, should it show aggression.

Aquarium Care

Uncle Bill’s has everything you’d expect in an aquatic pet store: aquariums, filtration systems, fish food, and more. Our friendly associates can help you choose an appropriately sized saltwater or freshwater aquarium for your pet and provide tips on aquatic plants and fish tank accessories.

When you set up your freshwater aquarium at home, make sure it’s not in direct sunlight, as sunlight promotes algae growth. Once a week, change about 10-20% (depending on the tank size and number of fish) of the tank water, using a siphon hose to slowly remove water. Set that water aside and use it to clean the filter. Add pre-treated or R/O water to the tank.

Other Aquatic Pets

In addition to fish, Uncle Bill’s has a wide variety of water-loving animals: Fire-Bellied Toads, Sideneck Turtles – even Axolotls! Our inventory varies by location, so please contact us if you’re looking for a specific type of aquatic pets, or stop by one of our stores. Some popular benefits of aquatic pets include:


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Aquariums are great learning tools.

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Whether you’re an adult hobbyist or have kids interested in science, building and perfecting an aquarium habitat is a fun and exciting way to learn about nature and ecology.

Aquariums promote responsibility, but need not be demanding projects.

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Kids of all ages can participate in various tasks related to keeping their aquarium running, and often become deeply invested in the saltwater fish or freshwater fish they select. However, keeping an aquarium can also be a relatively low-maintenance hobby, making it perfect for busy pet owners.

Aquariums reduce stress and anxiety.

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Have you noticed how many doctors’ offices have aquariums? That is not a coincidence! Experts including the former Surgeon General of the United States advocate aquariums for their proven health benefits, including reducing blood pressure!

Read more on our Aquatics blog!

Fantail Goldfish!

| Nov 13, 2018

Fantail Goldfish (Carassius auratus of the Cyprinidae family)

A happy accidental discovery stemming from the breeding of multitudes of carp for food, the ancestor for this domesticated version of wild carp from east Asia was a "silver-grey" carp known as "chi" and was one of the most commonly eaten fish in China at the time.  Fantail goldfish are specifically western versions of the Japanese Ryukin, another fancy goldfish, which also has an egg-shaped body and long quadruple tail fins.
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Typically, in the wild red, yellow, or orange fish would stick out too much and get eaten by their predators, but in the ninth century Buddhist monks began keeping the colorful chi fish in ponds so as not to become prey. Over time, as it was a good deed to set an animal free in Buddhist tradition, the colorful carp were also released into public "Pond(s) of Mercy" which spared them from getting eaten by predators and humans alike.  They then also became a symbol of wealth and good luck to the imperial royals and wealthy families as their popularity grew.

fantail-goldfish-no-backgroundBetween the 1200's and 1500's it slowly became common to keep these goldfish in ponds, bowls, and to be bred for their distinct color patterns.  Fantail goldfish were the basis for all modern fancy goldfish species, originating in the 1400's during the Ming dynasty in China.  By the 1500's, China began trading goldfish to Japan.  The goldfish was then domestically distributed to Europe in the 1600's and America in the 1800's.  Eventually we wound up with the domestic fantail goldfish we keep today in all their variations and different characteristics.

Fantail goldfish are fairly hardy in the correct conditions, easy to care for, and can make a great choice for first time fish keepers.  Along with basic aquarium requirements, they need a temperature range of 60-78 degrees, but do best between 73-74 degrees F. goldfish-uncle-bills-650x500 They can grow up to 6-10 inches long and can live up to 10-15 years of age and even longer with the right care and environment.  They can come in a few scale types: solid color; metallicmatte; and nacreous, which is speckled pattern.

Fun Fact: Goldfish are one of the most studied creatures in the scientific field for their visual perception and level of cognition.  They can actually perceive all of the same colors as humans do, with the addition of even seeing ultraviolet light!  They are very social fish and thrive in a community tank full of similarly friendly fish. Fantail goldfish are also quite interactive with their pet parents, even to go as far as anticipating their pet parent's arrival at home or to show excitement over their company!
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Right now until December 10th, you can get your very own fancy Fantail Goldfish for only $1.99 each at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers!



To learn more about how to get started with an aquarium, or to view our amazing selection of freshwater fish and saltwater fish, as well as other aquatic animals and accessories, visit Uncle Bill’s Pet Center today!

Uncle Bill’s Pet Center is an ethical, humane source for a wide variety of pets, including Dogs, Cats, Fish, Birds, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Reptiles, Amphibians, and other small and exotic animals. We are the premier pet store in the Indianapolis area, with locations on the east, northeast, and west sides of Indianapolis, as well as in Fishers, Greenwood, and Ft. Wayne. Uncle Bill’s Pet Center carries a large inventory of pet supplies, and is committed to helping our customers understand and care for their animals throughout their lives.