Fishes make great companions for people who are occupied with their busy lives since they are usually low maintenance. Fishes can also be used as good starter pets for pet parents who’re learning the art of keeping and maintaining pets, thereby giving responsibility to both parents and the children. Not to forget, they require care and nurturing as any other pet, but in comparison, slightly lesser.
Demand for fishes has increased over the years as people have now shifted to smaller homes and rentals where keeping other pets is not an option. Over the last few years, demand for fishes has increased by almost 17%, with 12 million fishes living indoors and another 18 million living in ponds.
Here’s few of the reasons why fishes make great pets for you-
- The calming effect- Fishes are known to have an extremely calming effect on people. When you walk through an aquarium or a pond, you can almost feel the calmness and the tranquility when you see them gliding through the water. Bringing an aquarium home is like bringing nature into your home. The sound of water is known to be soothing on people and there are actually emotional benefits that come from having an aquarium or a fish tank. In our hectic lives and busy schedules, keeping a low maintenance pet such as a fish is a good idea. It provides a way to the entire family to release their emotional stress and anxiety. When you give it a thought, it is actually a really good investment in your emotional well being.
- Easy to keep– Fishes are easy and less expensive to keep as compared to other pets. However, they do require a friendly environment along with proper caretakers. Therefore, it is very important to be knowledgeable before you decide to keep a fish as your pet.
Here are a few steps that would help you take care of your fish-
- Buying a fish– Fishes can be found in pet stores in a wide variety of colours and specifications. Aquarium stores are another option, they keep educated employees to guide you through the entire process and help you get the right fish and equipment. Fish breeders also provide a wide range of fishes according to your own specifications.
- Equipment- Food, water, filtration and heat are the most common equipment your fish will need. However, this depends on the type of fish you choose to buy and their size. Depending upon the size of the fish, an aquarium which is large enough to support the fish’s growth, along with an air pump and a submersible heater. Tropical fishes require heating elements in their environment, but some fishes like goldfish require cooler temperatures and may not need a heater. A quick research before buying a fish would be preferable.
- Feeding a fish- While feeding your fish, keep in mind that they should only be fed as much as they can eat in a minute or two, once or twice a day. The good thing is that there are automatic feeders inside your aquariums which are helpful while you are away.
- Cleaning the fish tank- An aquarium requires regular cleaning, water changing and a PH testing. Although it usually depends on the size of the aquarium and the filtration system set up by you, performing weekly partial water replacement would be a good start. Some fishes like the goldfish are known to be messy, therefore may require extra cleanings.
- Extra equipment– You can decorate your aquarium as much as you want, keeping in mind that all the equipment are cleaned and tested regularly. Fishes are fond of plants, live and plastic both. Choosing live plants may require you to add a bit of gravel at the bottom of the tank. Other tank decorations include treasure chests that provides additional benefits like oxygen-rich bubbles.
3) No separation anxiety or destructive behaviours– As we know that pets like dogs and cats come with certain emotional drawbacks such as separation anxiety or destructive behaviours. Separation anxiety usually occurs when you leave your pet alone for hours or sometimes even days. They start to fear and get panicky if left alone. This separation anxiety further leads to destructive behaviours. Destructive behaviours include excessive barking, chewing on things, digging, or being overly protective or territorial. Pets like dogs show other signs of separation anxiety such as barking, whining, pacing, restlessness etc. Whereas other pets like cats show signs such as fabric chewing and sucking, houseplant chewing, scratching etc. However, fishes are not faced with any such problems, they do not show any signs of separation anxieties or destructive behaviours. This is often because fishes live in a habitat way different from ours i.e water. There are less fears and emotional drawbacks that come with choosing a fish as your pet. Fishes tend to make the calmest pets if they’re well kept in their environment and do not require extra care as other pets.
4) Quiet pets- Fishes tend to make one of the most quiet pets as you never have to worry about them making any noises such as barking or meowing. Their quietness will never worry you about waking up a sleeping baby or a neighbour and cause any inconvenience. Yes, it’s true that dogs and cats make the most popular household pets, but fishes remain silent and could be convenient for you if you’re living in a family with children.
5) Unique colours and sizes– Before keeping a fish as your pet, there is a wide assortment of colours and sizes which you may have to choose. Fishes come in a variety of colours and sizes, each unique in their own way.
There are about 32,000 species of fish.
Here are a few common examples of fishes that can be kept in an aquarium-
- Goldfish– These fishes are known to have bubbly heads and fanned tails. These type of fishes require temperatures between 62-74 degrees Fahrenheit and are available in a variety of colours and sizes. 10% of the water should be cleaned for these fishes.
- Bloodfin Tetras– These fishes are peaceful in nature and are recognized by their silver bodies and striking red fins. An active fish, to be kept within 64-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- White Cloud– Another type of fish that can tolerate cold temperatures. They can be kept in outdoor ponds as well as aquariums and can live up to temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Danios– A type of fish which is active, small and make great first fishes. They have bright horizontal stripes which will catch your attention as they prefer to stay at the top of the tank or the aquarium.
- Black Molly– A type of fish that can adapt to fresh, brackish or even salter. Molly’s are peaceful fishes and would be a good choice if kept with several other fishes in a community tank. They can live in temperatures between 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit. A male and a female Black Molly, if kept together, could end up with babies.
- Black Skirt Tetra– A peaceful fish which is a great eater but unfortunately hates confrontations. They tend to swim in the middle of the tank and prefer to hide in either rocks or plants.
- Kuhli Loach– An eel fish that hides during the day time and is a unique bottom-dweller. They also help in keeping the tank clean by eating the leftover food at the bottom of the tank.
- Platies– These fishes come in a variety of colours and breed selectively to create new colour combinations. They also eat any algae that develops in the tank.
- Swordtails– These fishes are related to the platy. The male Swordtail has a long bottom fin that appears to be like a sword. These hardy and long lasting fishes come in a variety of colours and adds brightness to your tank or aquarium.
- Betta– These fishes are known to be one of the most extra amongst the fishes. These come with additional flash and colours and are sure to add colour to your tank. Males come with a bright long fin and make sure to not pair male betta’s with other fishes who might pick on their fins.
6) Cleanliness and hygiene– With fishes, you never have to worry about smells or additional equipment such as a bowl or a litter box. They’re easy to keep, don’t need to be walked, don’t make unnecessary sounds or create a mess. If you keep a fish as a pet, you never have to worry about them ruining your furniture or your favourite newly knitted sweater. No foul smells or mess will be found in the house and peacefulness will prevail, in your absence and presence both. A fish or a group of fishes can solely survive on clean water and timely meals.
7) No grooming efforts- Fishes are clean pets, as discussed before, and hardly require any grooming at all. You need not worry about their constant hair growth, or brushing their teeth everyday or even about fleas and ticks. They’re extremely clean and their cleanliness just depends on the quality of water they’re living in and the type of food they are being fed.
8) An eye-catching setup– An aquarium or a tank can make an additional setup in your house. Aquariums are also kept because they’re eye pleasing and are graceful to look at. They can actually be therapeutic and provides a fun activity for the entire family.
- It helps in teaching kids about nature and provides them a sense of responsibility.
- It is a great alternative to watching television or different social media platforms
- In a rental home, where dogs or cats can’t be kept, or aren’t permitted, aquariums make a great alternative.
- In an office or your workplace, aquariums can boost your morale and provide motivation.
- In a restaurant, an aquatic setup might help you attract customers.
- Health care providers such as pediatrics keep an aquarium to help you keep calm during the treatment or while waiting for your turn.
- Aquariums are used in classrooms by teachers to teach biology, physics, water chemistry, animal behaviour etc.
9) Interactive and playful– While fishes are exquisite and beautiful to look at, they are also very playful and active. They can be well trained by their owners to do and perform several fun tricks.
Fun tricks such as:
- Teaching your fish to follow your finger along the aquarium– Once you have caught your fish’s attention, treat them with a reward. If they refuse to respond, show your finger until they notice.
- Using a hoop– Getting a hoop for your fish to swim through is another trick which can be taught. Starting with a larger hoop would make it easier for your fish to swim through and learn the trick easily.
- Decorating your fish tank with a obstacle course– Using hoops, plants or arches is another trick to be taught. It’s important to be patient while teaching them this trick as it may take a while for them to learn.
- Teaching your fish to jump– This trick can be taught if you feed your fish by your hands everyday, making them work harder to reach their food.
Fishes can make wonderful pets, and aquarium gives your home a nature’s touch!