Years of misrepresentation have granted fish the status of “low-effort” pets. Don’t have time to walk a dog? Get a goldfish. Love furry kitties but hate having cat hair all over your carpet? Pick up a betta in a plastic cup from your local pet shop. However, it turns out that we have been sold a lie for all these years: fish actually do require quite a bit of attention. What’s more, certain types of fish may need even more care than other household furry friends. Hamsters imply a costly first-shop, as you need to pick out a cage, a water bottle, a food dish, and accessories; however, their food and bedding are pretty cheap. And hamsters are not exactly social creatures anyway, so they’re happy to just be left alone and observed from afar. Parrots, on the other hand, are extremely sociable little creatures – they love being around people! They also live a very long life – about 25 years on average – so maybe they wouldn’t make the best companions for small children. Dogs and cats make extraordinary sidekicks for both kids and young teenagers, but they do involve a lot of responsibility. Dogs must be walked three times a day, they enjoy being around other doggies and they need to get the exercise in so that they stay in great shape. Cats are more reserved, but they still need to be brushed and groomed fairly often. Cute as they are, conventional pets like these might not be the best choice for your family.
If you’re looking for a wonderful little animal with a bold and bright personality, then a betta fish could be the right choice for you! Bettas, or siamese fighting fish, are a relatively small species of fish native to South-East Asia. They are especially popular with fish-owners due to their impressive wide-flared fins and vibrant colors. Why are they called fighting fish? Because they are extremely territorial: you can’t house two adults together in the same tank. It’s all good, you’ll only have to buy a tiny fish-bowl-for-one, right? Well, it’s more complicated than that. While they can definitely survive in tiny aquariums, they are highly intelligent critters, and they won’t thrive if they aren’t placed in the right environment. They need a big tank, complete with an air filter and a heater, as well as a lot of plants. Their native habitat gives them plenty of opportunities to hide, so they need to be surrounded by plants in order to feel safe. I know buying a tank is a huge purchase for a beginner, and it can get quite confusing, so if you need advice make sure to check out the best tank for betta fish here! Temperature is another thing that can make a world of difference in your betta’s setup. They come from tropical climates so they’re used to having warmer water. Warmer water means they get to show off their stunning coloration and pearlescent scales. If you’re looking to keep your little friend nice and toasty, have a look at the best aquarium heater according to Pets Ami!