Giving an Aquarium as a Gift
Thoughts to Keep in Mind when Considering a Fish Tank as a Gift
(The First Tank Guide)
Fish can make great pets, and sometimes are considered as a gift idea for someone. You may be thinking of a fish tank as a birthday gift for a friend, a Christmas gift for a loved one, or maybe even as a wedding gift or an anniversary gift. Fish tanks are sometimes also considered as gifts for other occasions.
If you are considering getting an aquarium as a gift, or getting fish as a gift for someone who already has a fish tank, or even if you are considering getting some other pet as a gift for someone, there are a few things you should have in mind before making your purcahse.
Considerations for Giving an Aquarium as a Gift
When giving an aquarium, fish, or any other pet as a gift, you need to remember that you are giving a gift of living things. With this comes responsibility on the part of the recipient. The aquarium will require care such as cycling and regular water changes to remain healthy. The fish will also require feeding and regular monitoring for illness, aggression, stress, or diseases and proper action will need to be taken.
Before giving a gift of an aquarium, make sure that the recipient is ready to take on the care of these living animals and the responsibility of caring for them - or that you are ready to (and able to) take on this responsibility on their behalf. For example, if you are preparing to get your cousin who lives 300 miles away a fish tank for her birthday, you won't be able to care for the fish, so she should be ready, willing, and able to do so. On the other hand, if you are getting your 4 year old son a fish tank that will be in your home, you should be ready to take on the responsibility for the majority of the care of the fish.
Also consider the size of the aquarium you are purchasing before purchasing an aquarium as a gift. Review the information on getting started with your aquarium before making a purchase and make sure that you get a large enough aquarium that the tank can reasonably be expected to stabilize and that they can get a few fish of the varieties they are interested in. Though often promoted, especially during the holiday season, as great gift ideas, small fish tanks and fish bowls are very bad choices, often leading to your gift being a source of frustration, not pleasure.
To help you determine what size of tank to purchase, and maybe some of the additional equipment your gift recipient may need, it is helpful to know what kind of fish the person you're giving the fish tank to wishes to keep.
In addition, you want to consider the added expenses of purchasing a fish tank. You may not want to get gravel or decorations as part of your gift, as you may not choose items that are to the taste of the person your giving the fish tank to, or you may not choose items that are appropriate to the kind of fish they want to keep. You want to either provide a gift certificate for purchase of decorations or supplemental equipment, or keep in mind this extra expense that your recipient will need to address before they can make use of your gift.
You should also keep in mind furnishing and decor. When you give the aquarium as a gift, will the recipient have something to use as a stand, or will they have to buy one? Aquarium stands can be expensive. If you get a stand, will it match their furniture and decor and appeal to their tastes? And, of course, do they have room in their home for a tank the size of the one you are purchasing?
Make sure you are aware of these things before purchasing an aquarium as a gift.
Giving Fish as a Gift for Someone's Existing Aquarium
On the surface, it may seem less of an issue to get a fish as a gift for someone who already has a fish tank. however, this is not always as simple as it seems.
An established aquarium may be populated just the way the owner wants it, so they may not be interested in additional fish, even if you think their tank looks vacant.
There are also a number of issues with fish compatibility to keep in mind, some of which may not be obvious to the inexperienced aquariist.
The big issue to address when purchasing a fish as a gift for someone who already has an aquarium is making sure you know what fish they want, and make sure that that is what you are actually getting.
Remember, when purchasing any pet or pet equipment for someone as a gift, whether it is an aquarium or something else, you need to make sure that the animals will be going into a safe and loving home, and that the animals will receive the care they require and deserve.