7 ways that having pet fish can improve your health.
Too many people can not have dogs, cats, or other cuddly critters as pets, for a wide variety of reasons. This list is to help them understand that they can still experience all the fun and many of the benefits of pet ownership through fishkeeping and the maintenance of an aquarium.
1. Reduce stress
The act of watching fish swimming around can reduce your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone that also causes belly fat.
2. Improve insomnia
The flickering of the light on an aquarium can cause the brain to think it is seeing a campfire and trigger melatonin, which helps you sleep.
There are anti-aging properties in fish collagen.
4. Improved memory
Oysters are considered brain food but there are many other types of fish that have similar benefits. This is an example of the combining of fishkeeping pets and aquaculture. No rules say you can't be friends with your food.
5. Improved focus and creativity
Creativity is often thought to be related to dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine triggers novelty seeking behavior so we want new experiences and rewards for those experiences. Fish are novel experiences and rewards when you feed them so they help with focus and creativity since dopamine is released when feeding them.
6. Bonding! (but not with all creatures) - note this may be similar to Bonsai artistry but I am not sure yet. Maybe a future post!
I've never had a pet whale or dolphin (not fish) but I've heard stories about how they form bonds with humans like no other creature can do (with dolphins, for instance, they will actually go into mourning if their human friend dies). But I have had goldfish and here's what happened: Within 24 hours of buying my first goldfish, he was swimming around his bowl trying to figure out where "home" was (his name was Home). Within 48 hours he was following me around the kitchen countertop as I was making dinner. Within 72 hours he would swim up to me when I walked into the room, headbutt my hand, then swim back down to his bowl until I fed him again (which I did every 4 hours). Within 96 hours he would start swimming up whenever he saw me come into view in order to get fed sooner (since it took time for me to walk across the room). He lived 3 years before dying from old age. It's hard not having a pet now because it's such a fun experience bonding with them so quickly. Note that any creature would probably have this same experience if kept properly in an aquarium environment but certain creatures will bond faster than others depending on their natural environment (for instance, tropical fish versus cold water fish).
7. Other Aquarium Pets that might be good for bonding include
again, not sure but perhaps a future post; Hermit Crabs, snails, maybe crayfish? smaller fish like guppies or tetras or mollys maybe turtles, lizards, frogs perhaps even larger fish like koi or giant catfish or carp Again, not sure yet but maybe a future article could be written on this subject since there seems to be so much interest in aquariums right now!