The surprising Beauty and Benefits of Owning a Fish.

Post written by Carina Spring, and her son.  

What kind of animals have been part of your family?

Our animal friends have a way of making a house feel more like a home. Don’t you think?

There have been a few periods in my life when I didn’t have a pet, but over the years so far, I’ve had dogs, cats, budgies (they were my brothers’), and a baby bird that we rescued after a storm, and eventually released. I have so many stories about these animals!

Currently, we have a 20 year old Tortoiseshell cat, as well as a new addition to our family!

Fishy Facts

Have you ever owned a fish?

For the longest time, my son wanted a Betta fish.  I hate to admit this, but I kept thinking, “A fish?  Really?  How boring.”  I didn’t get the point of owning a fish. All that work of cleaning a tank, and no cuddles?

Nonetheless, last spring, we got one.  And you know, I was wrong. I still can’t believe how friendly and interactive this animal is. A lot of people believe fish only come toward you because they think it’s meal time.  It’s not true: Our fish’s behaviour at meal  times is very specific, and very different from other interactions he seems to enjoy with us.

Fish are beautiful and endearing, but that is not all. There are documented, scientifically proven health benefits to owning an aquarium.

The Health Benefits

Fish have been shown to improve our mood,  reduce blood pressure, and calm children. When looking at fish, our pulse slows, muscle tension relaxes, and our skin temperature warms.

Studies with Alzheimers patients have shown that, when an aquarium is placed in the dining room, patients eat more, need less supplements, and even exhibit less aggressive behaviour.

A study even showed that dental patients needed less pain-killers after looking at an aquarium.

A Soothing room-mate

An aquarium in the bedroom can add beauty to the space, and help you sleep better. Our Betta is in my son’s bedroom, and the soft sound of the water and gentle glow of the light help my son relax and sleep well.

Fun Fish Tales

My son wanted to share a few fun anecdotes about Mr. Betta.  Does anyone reading know if this is typical of a Betta?

~When my husband pours (special, treated) water into the tank, Mr. betta swims through the stream, rather than away From it!

~Mr. betta likes to use the soft current of the filter (kept on minimum for a Betta!) as a “water slide”. He will go up to the filter, let the current push him down, and then repeat until he gets tired.

~He will chase my son’s wiggling finger with remarkable speed!

~Turns out cats aren’t the only ones who get the “evening friskies”!  Mr. betta seems to have a lot of energy right before bed-time. 

Mr.Betta’s Home

Originally, we had him in a 3 gallon tank. We’ve since upgraded him to a 10 gallon tank. Having seen the difference in his behaviour and colouring, I recommend anyone with a Beta consider getting a 10 gallon tank with a filter and heater. Lots of plants, too!  Your pet will be much happier, and live longer.  We’ve also found it easier to maintain.

The neatest thing is that my son has taken on the responsibility of caring for the fish, and unfailingly follows through!

Interested in getting a Betta?  Check out the following link to learn more: http://www.firsttankguide.net/betta.php

 Mr Betta is now a part of the family!

Well, we’d love to hear about your pets!  And let us know if you’ve ever owned fish!

 

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION! Be sure that your fish was sourced responsibly. Avoid buying fish that were taken from their natural habitat. More info on that in a future post!

*Editor’s Note: In the first comment, AncientMariner explains how using fish from their natural habitats might actually help protect that habitat. A good point!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by

Carina Spring

Hi! So glad you stopped by my little blog, where I joyfully embrace creativity. Here, at Home... hurrah!, I celebrate the beauty and depth of everyday moments, explore what life has to teach us, and share some of the interesting things I see and learn along the way. Thanks for the visit!

8 thoughts on “The surprising Beauty and Benefits of Owning a Fish.”

  1. What an interesting piece, particularly about the alzheimers patients. How amazing – and wonderful is that? And what a wise son you have to know the betta would be such a wonderful friend. Sounds wonderful. We’ve had not fish for a very long tome, but indeed they do have their own personalities, I’m sure.

    1. I agree: I am glad my son convinced us to get a fish, and I think owning a fish has been good for him. He has tapped into something he really loves. Isn’t it wonderful that sharing time with animals can enrich our lives, and even improve our health. 🙂 Thanks for the visit, Bekki.

    1. Who knew, right? I didn’t either. They are interesting animals. Glad you like the pictures. Many of the pics in this site are from Alicia and Neil’s photography (Used with permission) – a link to their web-site is provided when I use their photos. My son says he likes to play with his fish and that Mr.Betta likes it, too. Thanks for the comment, Susanna!

      1. It’s interesting how different species of fish vary not only in appearance, but also in their personalities and instincts. Do you have a favourite species of fish?

  2. Interesting article. For many, many years, I had an aquarium. I probably will again, when I have more time to properly dedicate to it (read: retirement). I found watching my little friends going about their business very relaxing.

    First, to answer some of your questions:
    – When pouring in the new water, all fish will instinctively swim into the current it generates.
    – I’ve had bettas that like to do laps in the current of the filter, but I’ve seen other fish do it as well. I think it’s an instinctual behaviour, related to the above.
    – Most fish will follow your finger, especially around feeding time. They do learn that the hand approaching the tank = food. Further, with Betta’s highly territorial behaviour, they can sometimes even give a threat display against an innocent finger.

    Some warnings: be careful if you mix other species with your Betta. Others will nip at his tail until he dies of stress. And DO NOT ADD MALE GUPPIES, he will kill them all. Hard-learned lessons.

    Regarding sourcing of fish, you should consider that some wild caught livestock can have a counter intuitive positive side-benefit: it makes the fish and their habitat valuable, providing locals a reason to preserve a natural resource that may otherwise be destroyed.

    1. Thanks for the comment AncientMariner. Interesting facts! We appreciate that information. Sorry to hear about the Guppies. Hard lesson indeed. Excellent point about the sourcing of the fish!
      Take care!

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