Fish as Pets
The beauty of a well-maintained aquarium is something everyone in the family can benefit from and a good solution for those that are allergic to other varieties of pets. Fish are an endlessly entertaining pet for kids with the right mindset and are very soothing to watch, a relaxing and esthetically pleasing addition to the family. One of the best ways to determine if your child is a good match for an aquatic companion is to ponder over what his or her favourite pastimes tend to be. If a kid’s favourite toy is a junior science set, if they lean towards the technical side of life and love to take things apart and put them back together again, you’ve probably got a good match.
Lifespan: A few years (except goldfish, who can live several decades)
Level of Responsibility: Low
Messiness Factor: None
Estimated Yearly Cost: Low
The BenefitsFish are quiet, low maintenance pets that are relaxing and absorbing to watch without placing any demands on you. Watching fish has been scientifically proven to be a great stress reliever and has excellent health benefits because of that. Maintaining an aquarium is a bit of an art form and fish work very well for those with a scientific/technical kind of mindset, encouraging kid’s interests into the fascinating world of marine biology. Besides the initial cost of the aquarium, fish are very cheap to feed and maintain and all but the rarest are cheap to purchase.
The DownsidesFish are fascinating for some but they can be quite a disappointment for those who want an active, furry playmate to hug and play with for hours. If your child spends most of the time outdoors, you may have a mismatch. The PH balance and temperature of an aquarium needs to be carefully maintained, otherwise all the fish will die. It’s far too easy to kill a fish through negligence, forgetfulness or a miscalculation. Disease also spreads quickly among fish in a tank, which will kill them as well. All these things can be confidence draining for kids, at which point the parent needs to help the child rebuild their confidence level. This can happen either by starting over with new fish and more research, or switching to a different kind of pet and explaining the difficulties of fish maintenance in a way that helps the child feel better.
Newborns- Age 5Having an aquatic life form around during a child’s first years can be immensely rewarding and beneficial to a child’s mental state, creating a sense of peace in the environment. Just be sure the aquarium is well out of reach once they reach that curious, explorative period or the fish may very well end up down the child’s throat.
Age 5 – Age 10The challenge of maintaining a proper aquatic environment can be thrilling for children at this age. Kids get a thrill out of creating their own little underwater world and get great pleasure out of decorating and designing the aquarium their fish live in. This is an excellent confidence builder and can really shape a child’s young life.
Age 10 and upYou might just have a budding microbiologist on your hands at this age! Children who experiment with different types of fish and how they interact together will learn a lot of valuable lessons at this age. If they continue on with their experiments successfully, kids will develop skills that will benefit them greatly out in the world as well. And it won’t cost parents that much to encourage their children, either, which is always a nice benefit.
For more information about keeping fish as pets, why not visit www.tropicalfishexpert.co.uk.