10 Reasons Why Fish Make Great First Pets

Thinking about getting a pet but don’t want something too high maintenance? Perhaps your apartment building has a strict no pet policy, but you still want something around to keep you company. While dogs, cats, bunnies, and other furry little animals may be the first thing to come to mind when you think about pets, they certainly shouldn’t be the only thing.

Fish make some of the best first pets no matter how old you are. They’re easy to take care of and even if you live somewhere that isn’t pet friendly, they’re typically allowed to stick around. If you’re thinking about getting a first pet and you’ve considered getting a fish, you’re heading in the right direction.

Why Fish Make Great First Pets

#1. Low Maintenance

Fish are notoriously low maintenance. Even saltwater fish that tend to need a bit more care are considered low-maintenance pets. You’ll need to put time and effort into maintaining the aquarium and ensuring that everything is habitable for your little fishy friends, but you won’t need to do nearly as much as if you owned a dog or even a cat.

#2. Less Expensive

Some furry pets can incur hefty vet bills. From getting your new kitten neutered to keeping your pet bunny up to date on its shots, fuzzy pets tend to cost a lot. Not to mention the price of food, litter, toys, and other common necessities.

While you’ll have to buy quite a few things upfront, fish don’t tend to be expensive. The tank, filter, and decorations can be expensive, but they’re generally a one-time fee. You won’t find yourself at the store every week to restock on fish supplies and your credit card bill won’t double unexpectedly if your fish gets sick.

Fish are such a budget-friendly house pet that of all the typical household pets in America, they tend to be the least expensive, yet still, one of the most popular pets to have around.

#3. They’re Quiet

Unlike dogs or cats, fish don’t make much noise. The tank filter might hum and gurgle, but this is considerably quieter than most other pets. Fish won’t bother the neighbors or keep you up at night. They’ll just keep doing their thing and let you do yours.

#4. You Can Own As Many As You Want

Unlike dogs, cats, and even rabbits, you can own as many fish as you want fairly easily. Owning ten fish is much more doable than owning ten dogs. You’ll have to know when to upgrade the tank for a bigger size, but in general, you can own quite a few beautiful fish and keep them all in one easy place.

It is important to remember that you can’t put freshwater fish in with your saltwater fish. You will have to keep the two separate, so it’s easiest to just stick with one type of fish or the other. 

#5. There Are All Different Kinds

You can argue that there are just as many different kinds of cats and dogs and mice, but when it comes to fish, there is an almost limitless number of kinds you can choose from. Better yet, you can mix them together and have all sorts of fish in one space. 

When it comes to saltwater fish, you have dozens of choices available to you. There are colorful fish, dark fish, large fish, and teeny tiny fish. You may have a favorite kind, or you may choose all sorts of fish. However you decide to set up your aquarium, you have a lot more freedom with what kind of fish you get than when you decide to get a cat or bunny.

#6. They Can Be Trained to do Tricks

Think this is a joke? It’s not! Fish can be trained to do basic tricks and they don’t have to be babies when you train them. You can get some inspiration on YouTube for what to teach your fish, but if you don’t believe the video, you can also look on WikiHow for a step-by-step tutorial on how to train your fish

It’s very important to remember that you clean your hands before you touch the water of your aquarium. If your saltwater fish have a particularly fragile ecosystem, you may even consider wearing gloves to ensure that they stay safe whenever you handle them or touch their water.

#7. Less Burdensome 

Fish are incredibly independent. As long as you remember to feed them and keep their tank in good condition, they won’t demand much from you. You can install an automatic filter and even purchase cleaner shrimp to keep it clean in a more hands-off way. You don’t have to clean their little box, take them for a walk, or give them regular vaccinations. 

These days, there are automatic fish feeders if you need to go on a last-minute trip. With dogs or cats or other pets, you’d need to arrange for someone to come every day and take care of your pet. With fish, however, just drop in an automatic feeder and you’re good to go. Even if you do need someone to check on them, the work is much easier.

#8. They’re Safe

Some people are afraid of dogs, bunnies may bite, and cats often scratch. Fish, though, won’t accidentally hurt a visitor or family member. They’ll be safe to watch from their tank and can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Unless you decide to invest in large saltwater fish, just about everyone will find your first pet adorable and fun to watch.

#9. Take Up Minimal Space

While it’s true that you can buy big fish tanks and own dozens of fish, you don’t need to. If you only have a little bit of free space, you can get a small tank that will only use up a little space. This is a great option for smaller homes where you don’t have the space for a little box, food bowls, and toys.

#10. They’re Peaceful

Fish are very peaceful to watch. If you ever need a distraction, your pet fish are sure to do a good job just by swimming. Colorful saltwater fish are fun and beautiful to watch swim, especially if your tank has some fun coral that your fish can play in.

A Great Starting Point

Fish are great for first-time pet owners simply because they’re easy to take care of and you can adjust how much space they take up pretty easily. Whether you have lots of space for a huge tank or just an empty shelf for a small tank, fish are a great first pet for anyone.


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