Some people consider fish to be “boring” pets with no personality. They want to bond and play with their animal friend and don’t see that happening with a fishy buddy. While you can’t blame them for feeling that way, they are missing out. Having a fish can be really fun and bring happiness to your daily life. This is especially true when it comes to betta fish.
What are betta fish, you ask?
Betta fish are gorgeous and come in a wide rainbow of colors. They are beautifully elegant and their fins look like delicate feathers. These Southeast Asian natives are sometimes referred to as “Siamese Fighting Fish.”
There are over 70 recognized species. Unfortunately, many of these species are endangered in the wild. This wide array of species makes for beautiful creatures. There are so many color combination possibilities that no two betta fish look just alike.
Their natural habitats are typically brackish environments – shallow pools, small streams, roadside ditches and anywhere where the water is sluggish and warm and often low in dissolved oxygen. That’s why they have evolved the unique ability to breathe air at the surface using a labyrinth organ. This is also why they are such keen jumpers but we will talk about that a bit later.
An easy-peasy pet
Are you looking for a pet to enjoy that will not require a lot of time, money or work on your part but also bring happiness to your days? Well, betta fish may be the perfect pet for your lifestyle. They can be left alone for extended periods of time and often have amazing personalities. Yes, you read that right – personalities.
Bettas make great pets for beginning fish owners because they don’t require much special care and they are so beautiful. Betta fish tanks are typically small and affordable and bettas live 3 to 5 years meaning that they have a pretty good lifespan compared to other fishy friends. In addition, unlike many other fish species, they are interactive with their owners. This might sound crazy but you can “bond” with your betta buddy.
Bettas love to jump and are also quick at picking up new tricks. While they won’t answer to voice commands, you can easily train a betta fish to do tricks and play with you. Let’s talk about how. Teach them to swim to you and even to jump for food with this simple lesson:
- Move your finger slowly across the outside of the aquarium or along the water surface
- Drop a live blackworm, bloodworm, or food pellet in when your betta acknowledges your finger. This way, your fish will associate your hand with food.
- Next, see if you can get him to eat straight from your fingers by holding a live blackworm below the surface of the water.
- With consistent training, you can expand upon the hand feeding and teach your fish to jump out of the water for a treat.
You can also teach your fish to play “ball” with a ping pong ball and even jump through hoops. A little research will reveal that there are many games you can play with your rainbow-colored pet.
If you want a pet that is low-maintenance but still a lot of fun, check out the bettas at your local pet store. They live a long time, like to interact with their owners and will respond to training over time. But, on the flip side, you can leave them alone for days and they require very little care. They just might be the perfect pet.