10 Things People Get Wrong About Pet Fish - Pet Hub USA

10 Things People Get Wrong About Pet Fish

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Whether you’re an accomplished fish owner or a novice to the scene, there are a lot of myths about keeping our scaly friends that you might still believe. Here are ten damaging myths about keeping fish that need to be debunked!

Goldfish Need Only a Bowl to Survive

red and white fish in fish tank
Photo by Ahmed Hasan on Unsplash

Goldfish are ubiquitous. You can go to your local pet store and buy a plastic bag with a tiny goldfish in it right now for less than a dollar. However, this adorable little gold-finned friend you just bought needs more than a little spherical fishbowl. With a four-foot tank and a proper filtration system, your little goldfish can grow to be as long as a foot!

They Don’t Live Long

white and orange koi fish
Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

Some amateur fish owners think that their fish living short lifespans is par the course and to be expected. This isn’t true, though. Goldfish can live to be ten or fifteen years old, and some species of catfish can live to be thirty years old in captivity.

Growing to the Size of the Aquarium

two koi fish swimming
Photo by Evan McDougall on Unsplash

You’ll hear some people say that you can get whatever size aquarium you want for a young fish because “they’ll grow to fit the tank they’re in”. That’s extremely incorrect. Imagine a young human growing up in a cardboard box. They’d be pretty miserable, right? Your fish have an adult size they’re going to grow to, and if they’re kept in too small of an enclosure, they’ll simply become uncomfortable and malnourished.

Keeping Fish is Expensive

orange and white koi fish
Photo by Alejandro Aro on Unsplash

Keeping fish can become expensive if you want to keep exotic species with very particular care requirements. However, keeping goldfish, bettas, or other similar freshwater fish doesn’t need to be pricey. Shop for deals on tanks online and you can save money while providing your aquatic pals with a great life!

Releasing Them to the Water is Fine

person holding black and brown fish
Photo by Hunter Brumels on Unsplash

Some people think that if they’re incapable of providing proper care for a fish, the humane thing to do is just release them in a nearby stream. This isn’t usually a good idea. You could be introducing an invasive species to the water, or otherwise condemning a woefully underequipped fish to an inhospitable natural environment.

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Bettas are Easy to Care For

two Siamese fighting fishes
Photo by Worachat Sodsri on Unsplash

Bettas are not as easy to care for as some underinformed pet store employees would have you believe. In fact, they require somewhat advanced care. If you’re a beginner fish owner, you might want to follow thorough online guides before you try to adopt a betta as a pet.

Fish are Boring

silver fishes underwater
Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri on Unsplash

Some people claim that fish are boring pets just because they live in a different environment than humans do. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though. They’re fascinating animals and taking care of them can be very rewarding and relaxing!

They Don’t Feel Pain

orange and white fish in water
Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

Some people justify mistreatment of fish by claiming that they don’t feel pain. While scientists long thought fish couldn’t feel pain due to their difference in brain structure from humans, new research has proven they do, in fact, have the capacity to understand and process pain. However, just being logical, this was a given. How would a complex animal survive in a hostile environment full of predators and dangers without being able to feel pain?

Read More: Saltwater Fish Tank Tips for Beginners

They Don’t See You

yellow and white fish in water
Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

Your aquatic friends can see you outside the tank and they can even recognize your face if you spend enough time with them. In fact, research suggests that spending time feeding your fish or just hanging out near them can cause them to consider you a welcome sight when they see you coming.

Read More: Why You Should Not Buy a Betta Fish For Your Child


a yellow and red fish in an aquarium
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Fish are also not emotionless. This myth stems from a similar flawed approach as the idea that fish don’t feel pain. Again, fish are complex animals with a very different brain structure when compared to humans. That doesn’t mean they’re incapable of feeling emotions, though! They likely just process the world in a very different way than we do. Recent research shows that fish feel emotions ranging from fear, anger, and distress to happiness, curiosity, and anticipation.

Read More: The 5 Best Types of Fish for First-Time Owners

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