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On a whim, my boyfriend and I decided that we should get a fish. We were going to get a betta fish (aka siamese fighting fish) and name him Jimmy. “Jimmy” is a betta fish kind of name, you know? Jimmy¬†was going to be vibrant, lively, and most importantly, love me endlessly.

I guess it wasn’t really a whim because it took us a week to get around to actually acquiring a fish, but nevertheless, meet Patrick! (We decided that “Patrick” suited him more than “Jimmy”.)


In case you were wondering, Patrick loves me and I, him. He told me that he loved me after I turned the heat up to make him more comfortable. That’s how you know I love you: I change the temperature in the room for you. So why a fish? Why not a hamster or a bird? Well fish, and betta fish in particular, are the perfect pet for a college student.

1. They’re easy to take care of and inexpensive.

Unless you’re starting an aquarium, most of your care is done at the time of initial purchase. A tank, a heater, a light, a filter, food, water conditioner tablets…and once everything is set up, all you have to do is feed your fish and clean the tank every so often. Betta fish don’t even need a heater, light, or filter, as long as you keep them in a warm room and clean their tank once a week. Everything that my betta fish needed, including the tank, costed $50. Also, no health care costs! You won’t ever need to take this fish to the vet.


2. They’re unobtrusive.

Your fish will never jump up onto your lap and demand food. It will never make loud noises. You will always know where your fish is. You will never need to coax your fish out of dark corners. You don’t even need to take them for a walk. Really, you have total command over your fish, which means that they’re less distracting than other pet options. Your grades will approve of this pet.

3. They’re mesmerizing.

There’s something intriguing about watching a fish swim around for a while. Maybe I’m just easily amused, but Patrick is still discovering the ins and outs of his tank and I find it fascinating to watch. He also changes colours depending on the angle that you’re watching him at. It’s simply lovely to watch and the colors that you add to the tank actually make your room look more welcoming and warm.

Are you convinced yet? Get out there and pick your fish! Patrick sends his love.

Do you have a fish?


Photos courtesy of Vanessa Lam.