Buying a new fish 

Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.

Always consider contacting an animal rescue/rehoming centre first – to check have they a suitable animal you might offer a home to. 


Good water quality is essential. Getting the water quality right in your aquarium is one of the most important factors in keeping fish healthy. This means finding out how many fish your aquarium can support, as well as researching equipment such as filters and air pumps.

Tap water should always be treated before being added to an aquarium, as chlorine is harmful to fish.

Get the right information

Ensure you buy from someone who has experience in keeping fish.

If any paperwork is unavailable and has to be sent on, obtain a written commitment as to when it will be delivered. 

Seek advice from an experienced aquarist to establish your aquarium. Advice is also available from books, websites and specialist shops.

Ensure you provide adequate facilities to transport your fish home and ensure water temperatures are the same when transferring them to their new environment. 

Fish health

Ensure that the fish you buy are healthy and free from any sign of injury or disease.

Remember, fish require specialist veterinary care which could involve referral to a specialist and be expensive.

Never over-stock your aquarium.

If different species are to be mixed, ensure that they have compatible environmental requirements and will not fight.  

Five basic rights

Fish, like all animals, need five things to be healthy and happy; these are called ‘The Five Freedoms’ or animal welfare needs.

Environment – a suitable living environment

Diet – a suitable diet

Behaviour – to be able to behave normally

Companionship – to have appropriate companionship

Health – to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease


Information on this page was first published by IPAAG, of which DoneDeal is a member. Source text: