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Pet Fish: Are fish pets?

Can fish be pets? Yes, of course they can! I have over 1000 pets in my home. When I make that statement I get a lot of strange looks and then the subject is changed very quickly! But why? Is it because I can’t put a fish on a lead and take it for a walk? Or perhaps it’s because it doesn’t talk, bark, meow or chirp. It could be because it doesn’t come and sit on my lap or maybe it’s just because people don’t really understand what a pet is.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“A pet or companion animal is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic reasons.”

That is fairly descriptive and covers most of the arguments. So do fish make good companions? Well, I spend a lot of time talking to them, but it’s a one way conversation, and I spend a lot of time with them and they calm me, relax me and disperse my bad moods, so I would say that they are companions. As for enjoyment, I am sure that everyone who owns or has owned fish will agree with that comment! Many individual fish develop character and behaviour that is peculiar to them. I have friends that care for Oscars that will eat from their hand, recognize their owner when they enter the room and play in their hand when it’s in the water. I have betta splendens that will come and welcome me whenever I get near to the tank, will swim into my hand when I put it into the water and let me lift it out without a net. There are many accounts throughout the web of fish being companions, friends, comforters and pets, so let’s tell you about a few of mine:

My partner has a particular favorite among our pets. It’s a Leopard Plecostomus, which is now around 8”.

Spotted sailfin pleco, picture 1 Spotted sailfin pleco, picture 2 Spotted sailfin pleco, picture 3 Spotted sailfin pleco, picture 4 Sailfin pleco, picture 5 Sailfin pleco, picture 6 Sailfin pleco, picture 7

She makes a point of introducing her friends and visitors to “Ugly”. She loves this fish and spends hours admiring the creature.

My favorites have to be our angels, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

The below-shown pictures were bought by from

Angelfish picture Angelfish Black, picture 1 Angelfish Black, picture 2 Angelfish Black, picture 3 Angelfish marbled, picture 1 Angelfish marbled, picture 2

Angelfish marbled, picture 3 Angelfish bleeding heart picture Angelfish Gold, picture 1 Angelfish Gold, picture 2 Angelfish Gold, picture 3 Angelfish Gold, picture 4

Angelfish Golden Veiltail picture Angelfish Green Flame, picture 1 Angelfish Green Flame, picture 2 Angelfish Panda, picture 1 Angelfish Panda, picture 2 Angelfish Panda, picture 3

Angelfish redhead, picture 1 Angelfish redhead, picture 2 Angelfish redhead marbled, picture 1 Angelfish redhead marbled, picture 2

They are such characters and so moody! We tend to have moods as humans, but these two have real stinkers of moods! Sometimes they are quite placid and will let me do the essential maintenance without any problems, but other times, they will come storming up to the glass as I approach, jerking their bodies from side to side, as if to say, “Don’t bother me today!”

Mr Ching and Mr Chang, two male betta splendens are always playing, inquisitive and fun, they always come to see what I am doing whenever I go near the tanks.

My Goldfish are probably the funniest and most playful. They each have their own personality, temperament and they all react differently in similar situations. They can tell the difference between us and friends, always coming up to the front when we approach, but ignoring other people. They really do know the difference!

Our silver sharks are funny too, one minute chasing around the tank at high speed, the next, working together to extract a large pond snail from its shell.

They don’t go for walks, they don’t talk to me, they don’t sit on my lap or run around the floor, but they are still pets!

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