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Just Keep Swimming With These 6 Popular Pet Fish

Editing Team


8 March, 2023


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Humans usually have pets for the companionship they can get from them. A lick from a dog, a purr from a cat, or a song from a bird can instantly make them feel better. This is not the case for all pets, though, as some give their owner joy by just existing—and swimming!

Fish has also grown to be a popular pet among kids. You can keep them in a tank or aquarium at the right temperature, and with proper food intake, they can stay with you for years! 

First-time pet owners might first try it out with a pet fish. Here’s a list you can choose from! 

Swim in Fun With Your Favorite Pet Fish

The first step to being a fish parent is deciding which kind of fish you want to take care of. You should consider their size, eating patterns, and even how they fare with other kinds of fish!

Here’s a list to help you finally take that first step! 


Courtesy of Chait Goli

The goldfish is probably the most common pet fish among kids of various ages. You’d think they are always gold, but surprisingly, this is not the case! There are gray, brown, silver, and even white goldfish.

Their colorful, shiny scales don’t cover any eyelids, though, because they have none! Despite this, they’re still able to sleep, but they have to do that with both eyes open. So, turn off the lights if you want to give your pet goldfish some rest. It’s the only way they can sleep!

The chance of having less sleep because of the absence of eyelids does not affect a goldfish’s memory. They can still remember the objects they’ve seen even after some time. Generally, they also have strong senses of sight and smell. They can even see ultraviolet light.

Enticed to have a goldfish as a pet? Be prepared with easily digestible foods! They don’t have stomachs and should only be fed fewer foods at more frequent intervals. 


Courtesy of Senoaji1989

Also known as Siamese fighting fish, bettas are calm and gentle water creatures. Except when male bettas become territorial, the other male betta wouldn’t want to witness that. 

Bettas are known for colorful tails ranging from blue, turquoise, red, and even a tint of yellow! These color combinations are caused by layers of iridescent skin pigments. 

Their colors become even more attractive when they jump. They can leap out of their tanks if these are not appropriately covered. If this ever happens, they can also breathe air! 

But this is not an ideal scenario since they still breathe through their gills despite having “lungs” in the form of labyrinth organs. This allows them to survive even when there are fewer oxygen levels in the water. 

If you ever see bettas at the bottom of their tank with their fins spread out, you do not have to worry! This is their way of sleeping!


Courtesy of Denise H.

Do you prefer a unique kind of fish as a pet? With its long body, flat head, and noticeable whiskers, you can consider having a catfish. 

It is unique to have a catfish because catfish are unique themselves! They are used to living in the bottom of muddy waters, affecting their ability to see clearly. They make up for this lack of sight with many taste buds found all over its body. These can help them determine any nearby prey and detect chemicals in the water. 

If you think you can instantly see these taste buds, the actual scenario is the opposite. Catfish have smooth skin and no scales. Their bodies are covered with mucus instead! 


Courtesy of Marliese Zeidler

If you’re looking for an intelligent pet fish believed to have the ability to recognize its owner, adopt an angelfish. Don’t expect them to look like their names, though! Their wide bodies are paired with triangular snouts, dorsal, and anal fins, making them look more like arrowheads than angels.  

Given this body type, an angelfish can camouflage with aquatic plants. They can do this to feed themselves since they eat live foods and plants.

Angelfish also changes colors as time passes by. For instance, its black stripes might turn yellow when they are older. But their stripes are not the only changes they undergo when they get older. They also get more aggressive and protective of their space, especially during breeding. 

You cannot quickly tell the difference between a male and female angelfish. So, if you have one as a pet, you can say it doesn’t label itself! 


Courtesy of Basuka

Some fish enthusiasts prefer fish that can multiply at a faster rate. If this is the same for you, then you should have guppies! They are also known as rainbow fish from their colors, and million fish from the extraordinary rate at which they multiply.  

Space will not be a problem even if guppies rapidly give birth to little guppies. They are only 1.5 inches or 1.2 inches in size. You can keep a lot of them even in smaller aquariums.

Both male and female guppies have patterns in their scales, but males are more colorful and fancier-looking than their female counterparts. Their colors range from red and gold to black and blue!  


Courtesy of Congerdesign

You might have watched Finding Nemo and suddenly decided that you wanted a pet fish, which is a normal and understandable reaction to the movie. If that’s the case, go to the nearest fish store to get that clownfish!

It might be a little hard to process, but all clownfish are born as males. A dominant male can turn itself into a female, though, but only if the dominant female dies. 

What’s a little easier to understand is that other than the orange Nemo, clownfish can also be yellow, reddish, or even a little black. They all have stripes that can be likened to a clown’s makeup. Their movements are also bouncy and goofy, like a clown. Hence, the name clownfish! 

Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Fish

What do pet fish need to survive?

Besides providing them with food regularly, your pet fish will also need a safe and working habitat. This means the aquarium you will put them in must have enough water, filtration, and heat. Make sure that the water is also clean! You wouldn’t want your pet to be living in a contaminated environment. 

Need a little more guidance? Here’s a complete aquarium checklist by The Spruce Pets

Can fish know their owners?

If you want to have a pet fish but have reservations due to the perceived lack of connection between fish and their owner, we have good news for you! Studies show that some fish recognize their owner’s face behind the tank. They can develop an association with you since you are the one who always feeds them! 

How long do pet fish live?

Having a pet fish is a lifelong commitment. Common tropical fish live for as long as three to five years. There are also kinds of fish that can live longer. Goldfish can live for 30 years, while its cousin, the koi, can live up to 40!

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