While most of us can agree that fish are not the most exciting pet out there, that doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing in other ways! You may think that they are “boring” and “pointless” because “you can’t do anything with them,” but does that make them any less of a companion animal? We don’t think so, and here’s why you should rethink your negative/indifferent opinion of fish:
- They are relatively low maintenance – There’s a reason why a goldfish was pretty much everyone’s first pet – because they are not difficult to care for and they make a great beginner’s pet (not to mention, they usually cost a quarter or less). If you had a bowl, water, and some fish food, you were good to go, right? Well, sort of; all aquarium fish (yes, even goldfish) require a water conditioner to drastically reduce the chlorine levels in the water, and balance the pH to levels that the fish can happily live in. Otherwise, if a fish is put into a bowl or tank with plain tap water, the fish will go into shock and its gills will burn due to the chlorine, resulting in a quick death. If your fish somehow survived the harsh, chlorinated water that you left untreated in the past, it was definitely a fluke (unintentional fish pun, sorry). Besides the main water treatment, once the aquarium is all filled with water, fish, plants, etc., all you have to do is make sure you feed your fish about once every other day, and clean the tank every few weeks depending on how big it is and what kind of filtration system you have. If the water is getting gross-looking, you can use some water clarifier to reduce the murkiness of it. That’s pretty much it; doesn’t sound too hard, does it?
- They are very affordable – Compared to other pets, they are extremely affordable to buy and maintain! An aquarium setup for beginning aquarium enthusiasts can be as affordable as $30 for a 10-gallon size, and the fish cost anywhere from $1 to $20 each depending on the type. The plants, decorations, gravel, and everything else are also pretty cheap; so in all, you’ll probably spend about $45 or $50 on everything combined. If you are more ambitious and want a larger aquarium setup, then it can get a bit costly. But, after your initial investment of setting everything up and getting your fish crew together, you’re pretty much set for a while. Your fish food supply will last a long time, as well as your water conditioner, plants, and gravel – and when you finally have to replace supplies, it’ll only cost a few bucks here and there. Sure beats the several hundred dollars that it takes to own other pets!
- They don’t need to go to the vet – Perhaps the biggest money-saver will be that your fish will not require vet visits like other pets do, which can usually add up into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. There are no vaccines for fish that you need to worry about, any spaying or neutering that needs to be done, and there are definitely no illnesses that need to be treated by a vet. In very rare cases, owners have taken their beloved fish to the vet for surgery (as pictured below), but this is obviously not the norm. Even if your fish does get sick, there are many things available to purchase that will treat your fish’s illness, like these fish antibiotics, which you do not need a prescription for!
- They are pretty to look at – Even if you do not think fish are cute, you have to admit that they are very beautiful creatures! There are thousands of variations of all different colors, sizes, shapes, and personalities. There are so many types of fish that it will actually be quite difficult choosing which ones you will have in your tank. Whether you want a specific color scheme, or fish with certain personality traits, there are endless possibilities of combinations to fit your aesthetic desires! All you have to do is just make sure that all your chosen species of fish can live together, otherwise you may have a mini fish fight on your hands.
- They are perfect for the office – Many offices have a large aquarium, complete with fancy fish, coral, plants, and other decorations. You may think that they are just “furniture” pieces, but there is actually mounting evidence that the swimming of a fish does wonders to alleviate anxiety and stress. Not only does that make them perfect for waiting rooms in medical offices (where people are extremely anxious and antsy), but they are great for the office to break up the monotonous and/or stressful workday. Especially if your fish are displayed in your line of sight (even if you can only see them out of the corner of your eye), the swimming will soothe you greatly, even on a subconscious level. Besides the tranquil nature of fish, it is also surprisingly entertaining to see how they behave and interact with each other!
- They don’t make any mess – Although we “die-hard” pet-lovers have no problem cleaning up after our wonderful pets, there are many people out there who just aren’t willing to pick up poop, wipe up pee puddles, clean out cages, or anything having to do with bodily fluids. House pets all come with their own potential to make quite a mess in your home, especially if the animal is very young and needs to be housebroken. Fish stay in their tank or bowl (literally for survival), so they aren’t splashing around the house, running amok, or making a mess. As stated earlier, you will have to definitely clean the water in your aquarium at least every few weeks, but it is a much less disgusting chore than it is to clean out a cat’s litter box – which I personally think is one of the worst smells ever to exist. You also will not have to clean your fish’s environment as often as you have to clean up any other pet’s mess; what kind of mischief is a fish going to get into?
- They aren’t noisy – Fish are definitely the quietest pet ever, so if you can’t deal with a bird chirping, dog barking, or any other random animal sound, then they are perfect for you! In fact, the only sound that they do make is the occasional “bloop” sound when they take food from the surface, or a little splash while they swim. The only other noise involved with owning fish is from the filter or pump system itself, which is a relaxing hum sometimes accompanied by a water trickling sound.
If you are one of those people that is either “too busy” or “too absent-minded” to keep a pet, a fish will definitely be a great choice for you. With other pets – especially dogs and cats – the initial investment of adopting the animal, vaccinating it, and spaying/neutering it, can already snowball into several hundred dollars worth of spending. After that, the time and energy involved in keeping your pet healthy (even small mammals, reptiles, birds, etc.) can be quite expensive, time-consuming, and overwhelming. Fish on the other hand only require a little bit of your time, an initial investment, and then little amounts of money spent in the years to follow due to the lack of vet visits, training, and supplies that they require. So before you write off fish as being the “most boring pet ever,” stop and think about all of the great things about them; you just may be inspired to start a little aquarium of your own!