Do Fish Make Good Pets?
Sound Off: Do You Own Fish, and What Makes Them Good Pets?
When I asked my husband to explain the appeal of pet fish again, he replied, “Just 'cause.”
I was driving, and turning to see me unmoved, he added, “'Cause they're fun to look at. And they're entertaining. And they're somethinge else to get interested in.”
(He's been wanting to get a tank for years.)
For someone who grew up with fish in the house — zebras, angels, guppies, all kinds of little lesser-names — I don't know why I've rejected the idea of adding fish to our household for so long. The cats would absolutely eat them up. (Ahem, not literally.)
The tank I had in college was minimal, though large for its occupants: Mei Ling the betta fish, Ping the big snail, and an ever-growing pleco I never named because he creeped me out. And, yes, he ended up outliving them all.
The operation was overall worthwhile, as I recall. Mei Ling and Ping justified their names with huge personalities, responding to my input and otherwise occupying themselves with entertaining fish games and activities.
Once Sistercat (my literally named feline) knocked Ping out of his temporary holding tank, leaving him to suck his slimy body into his shell and dry the rest of himself out like a rock on the carpet. I was devastated. But imagine my relief when Ping, resubmerged, revived!
I vowed to be a better fish mommy from then on, and I was.
But I don't know, though, nowadays what's the point? Regularly cleaning a fish tank seems like unnecessary work when there's a yard to be landscaped, assembling a whole community that can coexist peacefully seems difficult and stressful, and fishes' life cycles never sync, so multiples are a long-term investment. Plus the constant slaughter of baby snails eats away at the soul. I'll never forget putting my conscience aside to keep the population under control.
I'll certainly cave once we have a child who becomes desperate for something more expensive, high maintenance or smelly. There are some types I might like to try out in my home. Glass fish: wouldn't it be fun to look through them?
Fantail goldfish, it's said that sometimes you feel like you can read their minds. And above all, it'd really bring me joy to see Muppet (Sistercat's sibling) as excited as she was then, watching then swim around, getting special close-up peeks while the tank is being cleaned.
Yes, I think I'll find it easy to get behind fish ownership one day when the time is right. Just not for the good of this girl, unless one of you can convince me otherwise. Or unless my husband wants to keep the tank nice and clean. I do think I'd like to look at them sometimes.