words Alexa Wang
Fish can make spectacular pets. They’re beautiful to look at, low maintenance, and their tanks look lovely in any room. Fish also make excellent introductions to responsibility for young children, as caring for a fish is something a child can learn to do relatively easily, which still produces a feeling of importance and value.
When it comes to choosing which type of fish you want to get there are a few considerations to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure that if you’re getting multiple types of fish, the different species get along with each other. A quick online search will let you know this. You also want to know what the fish requires for their environment, including the size of the tank they need and the temperature of the water, as well as their need for freshwater or saltwater. Again, if you are planning on getting multiple fish, and keeping them in the same tank, you need to make sure that all of the species you choose can thrive in the same environment.
Before beginning, it is important to note that not all popular fish make for ideal pets. It turns out that keeping tropical fish as pets may have far-reaching consequences. Many of these species are captured in the wild, despite being endangered due to overfishing in their natural habitats. Make certain the type of fish you are purchasing is not an endangered species.
Betta fish, sometimes also called Siamese fighting fish, are popular pets because they are low maintenance and stunning to look at. They do quite well in smaller tanks and require cold water. If you get a male betta fish, you need to keep him separate from other fish as they can be aggressive. It is also worth noting that, just like humans, betta fish need darkness at night to rest.
Part of the carp family, goldfish also thrive in cold water and are likely the fish that first came to mind when you were imagining a pet fish. These orange classic pets can grow to be quite large if they are given enough space, so it is advised that you avoid keeping them in smaller bowls like bettas. Because of their ability to grow with adequate support, caring for goldfish can be incredibly rewarding. There’s also a plethora of valuable life metaphors that children can learn when it comes to goldfish and their ability to grow and develop based on their environment.
Plecos are a particularly fantastic pet to have because these fish, which are in the catfish family, clean the tanks they live in. They are quite relaxed and so get along well with other species of fish. They prefer to spend their nights working their way along with the glass and pebbles below, getting rid of algae. They tend to keep to the bottom of bigger tanks and are nocturnal.
It is important to learn about the typical social life of the type of fish you are bringing home. Some fish are loners and enjoy being the only one of their kind as far as the eye can see. Other fish prefer to school together with their own kind. Make sure that if you purchase a schooling variety, you get them a friend (or several friends). This will greatly increase the life expectancy of the fish you choose as social and pack animals (humans included) do not often reach their full life expectancy when they are isolated.
When you’re on the lookout for fish to keep as pets, it is also worth learning about what makes a complete ecosystem for your pet. Most fish flourish when put in an environment that mirrors their natural habitats and contains the variety necessary for a “happy fish life.” Many people think that fish are not very clever, but it turns out that fish can recognize each other, eavesdrop and gather information, and remember previous social interactions they’ve had.
The above fish species all make for wonderful pets. Of course, no fish tank and no fish parent are the same, so there is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing a pet. Learn about the care required by the fish you are considering before you buy it. Some require far more work than you’d expect, while others are low maintenance. If the proper steps are not taken before you buy, when you’re acclimatizing your fish to its new home, and as you care for it, you can end up with a dead fish very quickly.