Last semester, I really wanted to get an animal. I had a dog when I lived at home, and loved to take care of him and play with him. But since I was living in a dorm now, there weren’t many choices I had for pets, and none of them would be as bonding as a dog. A girl I knew kept a lizard once while she was going to school, much to the dismay of her roommate, so maybe I could do something too. However, getting a lizard wasn’t really my thing. I only could imagine it escaping from its cage, and maybe even my room to reek havoc on my floor.
A friend of mine heard my gripes over winter break, and bought me a fish for Christmas. His name is Steve.
He’s a baby betta fish from Petco. He doesn’t have his majestic fins yet, and he’s pretty puny compared to his adult counterparts. Depending how old he is right now, it’s going to take a few months for him to grow to full size. After that, he can live up to a year or so.
I keep him in a half-gallon tank on my desk so I can glance over at him while I do my homework. I’ve heard some people recommend 2 gallon or higher tanks to keep a single betta in, but I think that’s ridiculous. Steve is perfectly happy in his little tank, the same way I am living in my small dorm.
Initially, I thought I was just getting a desk decoration for Christmas. Just feed it once a day, clean the tank once a week, and let him be. But actually, they’re a more responsive fish than most people think. When I tap my fingers on the glass a few times, he flips his fins and swims over to where I’m tapping. It’s almost like when you whistle for a dog to come, and he wags his tail. He also has a thing for the colors red and orange, so if I drag an orange pen cap across his tank, it immediately grabs his attention more than with other colors.
It’s nice that I can have a pet that’s not just a nice decoration in my room. It definitely helps that he’s low-maintenance, especially with my 16-credit course load this semester. He’s even got a personality, to boot (which apparently quite a few bettas do). It definitely beats your average goldfish.