If you’re still in school and feeling a little lonely, a fish can be a perfect idea; If you know how to take care of them of course. Before taking any live animal under your care, be sure to do extremely thorough research in order to give your new pet the best life possible. Even if you are just getting a small 10cent goldfish, they require so much more care and attention than you’d think. Before buying my fish, I researched for about two weeks in order to know exactly what I wanted and needed. Living in a small studio apartment narrowed down most of my choices since only a few store-bought fish can live in smaller tanks. After consulting Petsmart’s fish expert and many online sources, I was able to make my decision.
The first thing I knew I wanted with my new tank was more than one fish. I know there are certain species of fish that thrive living alone, but I couldn’t help but think a single fish would get lonely every once and a while. Betta’s are always a good starter fish since they can live by themselves and only need a minimum of 2.5 gallons. Even though pet stores sell tanks down to .5 gallons, absolutely no fish can live happily in a tank that small. Most resources I found said 2.5 gallons per Betta fish is perfect, especially since most of them live such horrible lives in small bowls otherwise.
Betta fish can live alone happily, but I still wanted to add something else, just in case they really do get lonely. I ready online that aquatic snails are perfect tankmates for Betta fish if there is enough space. Although Bettas are inherently aggressive, there are certain subspecies that are more docile towards snails or other tankmates if you choose to add them. These subspecies include Crowntail and Fancy Bettas. While looking for more docile Bettas, females are also known to be less aggressive than the males. You can test aggression and anxiety of store Bettas by placing your finger along their cups and observing their reactions. If they start swimming violently or moving away, that Betta may end up being more aggressive. When picking out my Betta, I already had two aquatic snails sharing a 5 gallon tank, so choosing the best Betta was extremely important. Luckily, I found a female Black Crowntail Betta that was not phased the tiniest bit by my aggression test. After bringing her home and acclimating her to my tank, she was a little shy for the first 24 hours or so. After a day or two, I could see her moving freely throughout the tank and has paid little to no attention to my two snails.
If you would like to start a little aquatic family of your own, be sure to research and ask all questions you may have. The questions you have could result in improving your fish’s life by a longshot.