Updated May 4th, 2024 at 15:15 IST

Busting The Most Common Myths About Keeping Fish As Pets

Fish make delightful and low-maintenance pets, but unfortunately, there are many misconceptions surrounding their care and keeping.

Busting Common Myths About Keeping Fish As Pets | Image:Unsplash

Becoming a pet parent is a huge responsibility. Compared to more high maintenance pets like dogs, fish-keeping is considered to be easy. Fish make delightful and low-maintenance pets, but unfortunately, there are many misconceptions surrounding their care and keeping. From misconceptions about tank size to myths about lifespan, let's debunk some common myths about fish as pets and set the record straight.

Fish have short lifespans

One of the most pervasive myths about fish is that they have short lifespans. While it's true that some fish species have shorter lifespans, many can live for several years or even decades with proper care. Goldfish, for example, can live for 10 to 15 years or more, and some species of tropical fish can live for 5 to 10 years or longer. With adequate nutrition, a clean environment, and attentive care, fish can enjoy long and healthy lives.

Some fish have longer lifespan | Image: Unsplash

Fish can live in small bowls

Contrary to popular belief, fish cannot thrive in small bowls or cramped containers. While it's true that some species of fish, such as bettas, can survive in small spaces for short periods, they require larger tanks with proper filtration and water quality to thrive. A larger tank provides more space for swimming, better water circulation, and a more stable environment for fish to thrive. It's essential to research the specific needs of your fish species and provide an appropriately sized tank for their well-being.

Fish don't need much care

Fish are often perceived as low-maintenance pets that require minimal care and attention. While they may not require walks or daily interaction like dogs or cats, fish still need regular care and maintenance to thrive. This includes feeding them a balanced diet, monitoring water quality, performing regular water changes, and ensuring their tank environment is clean and suitable for their species. Neglecting these responsibilities can lead to stress, illness, and shortened life spans for your fish.

All fish can live together

Another common misconception is that all fish can live together peacefully in the same tank. In reality, fish have specific social behaviours, territorial instincts, and compatibility requirements that must be considered when selecting tankmates. Some species may be aggressive towards others, while others may have specific dietary or environmental needs that must be met. Researching the compatibility of different fish species and providing adequate space and hiding places can help prevent conflicts and promote harmony in your aquarium.

Fish need as much enrichment as other pets | Image: Unsplash

Fish don't need enrichment

While fish may not engage in play or interaction in the same way as mammals, they still benefit from environmental enrichment to keep them mentally stimulated and engaged. Providing a variety of plants, decorations, and hiding places in their tank can create a more interesting and dynamic environment for fish to explore. Additionally, offering occasional treats or toys, such as floating plants or live food, can provide mental stimulation and encourage natural behaviours.


Published May 4th, 2024 at 15:10 IST