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!
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.
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!