When your child is begging for a pet, it is easy to look at something like a fish to help make their wishes come true. They seem easy to clean up after and take care of compared to a dog or a cat and maybe just enough to make your kid happy without having to get something more expensive or high maintenance.
Before you run out and choose to get a fish as the family pet, it is important to know both sides of the story. Some of the benefits and negatives of having a fish as a pet include:
The Pros of Having Fish as Pets
1. Great Learning Experience
Having a fish tank with some fish inside is a great learning experience for your children. It is like a big science experiment that you can do together. You need to learn about the nitrogen cycle, how to help the fish acclimate, why plants are important, how to notice the changes in water, and more.
When a fish starts to act strange, you can research and find out why. It can even be fun to learn about the different personalities of each breed of fish you decide to keep. For those looking for a quick and easy learning experience, fish are great options.
Fishkeeping can be a relaxing thing to do. If you stock the tank correctly, you can sit back and watch those little fish swim around all day long. For beginners ocellaris clownfish is the most popular and common saltwater fish you can choose as a pet. This is a great way to help calm the mind down, especially for those who may be a little stressed out.
This can be a great way for the whole family to sit back and relax with one another. When everyone is feeling stressed or just needs to calm down before bed, looking at the fish in the tank can help with this.
3. Fewer Needs Than Other Pets
When compared to cats and dogs, other pets that are popular with kids, fish are less needy. Once you have set up the fish tank well, you only need to worry about an occasional cleaning of the tank and water and then simple feeding instructions.
Outside of this, your fish will entertain themselves, they do not need to be let out to go to the bathroom, and they are easy to keep as a pet. This can be a good place to start for most children.
4. Add Them to Your Home Décor
If you pick out the right kind of aquarium and stock with the right plants and fish, this can really add to the look of your home. Many times the fish can be colorful and beautiful and with so many species out there, you have your choice on what would be best.
You also have some choices when it comes to the way you would like the inside of the tank to look. From backdrops to different types of pebbles, to the plants and other things you add inside, it is easy to stock up the tank to add to the appeal of your home. Center it around the décor you already have so the tank doesn’t look so out of place.
The Cons of Having Fish as Pets
1. Steep Learning Curve
The biggest issue when you bring home a fish tank is the initial learning curve. It isn’t enough to just add the fish to the water. You need to remove chlorine from it if you use tap water, build up the right bacteria, and make sure that the temperature range of the tank is safe.
Without doing all this, the fish may die out. You should take a look at some of the beginner guides on how to take fish to make this process easier before you start.
2. Regular Maintenance
While keeping the fish is going to be less work compared to other animals, you still need to provide some level of care along the way. Cleaning the tank will include a few steps and missing one may mean the fish will not make it.
You must test the water to see if bacteria has built up, remove any old water, add the right new water, clean the filter, and make sure that both the live plants and the fish are not suffering from illness. This is more upkeep than many are used to.
3. Can Get Expensive
Many families do not realize how expensive this process can get. They think a little fish with a tank should not cost as much, but soon the costs will add up as you get everything. Having a list of all the items you need and estimating the costs can help you decide if this is the right pet for you.
In addition to purchasing the fish itself, you also need to get an aquarium. This is just the start. You will need a water conditioner, a filter, a heater, and anything that you plan to add to the tank. Other things to consider are the usage of electricity, water usage, fish food and medicine, and the other essential equipment to keep the fish.
As you can imagine, these costs can add up quite quickly when you get a fish. It may be a good idea to visit a fish or pet store to see what the costs will be ahead of time. Then decide if you have the budget to handle this or not.
Should I Get a Fish?
For many families, having a fish is a great way to get a pet without all the mess and work that comes with bringing home a cat or a dog. But many are not used to some of the costs and maintenance that will come with a fish. They think this is easier than it is and may be surprised along the way.
Take both the benefits and negatives that come with having a fish as a pet and then decide whether this is the best pet for your family to get.