I never used to understand why people kept fish as pets. When I was a kid my dad had a huge aquarium in our living room full of different fish and back then I thought they were cool, but as I got older I found them to be boring. You can't snuggle them, you can't pet them, you can't play fetch with them. I just didn't see the point of fish as pets. But now I get it. Now I understand.
I've had my betta Shadynasty (shuh-dynasty) for about 3 years now. He is our office fish. We've had a couple of rough patches (co worker dropped him on the floor while cleaning his tank, suffered through an ammonia spike, cleaned the tank too much, cleaned the tank too little) When I first adopted him (he originally belonged to a co-worker who left the company and left Shady behind) I was like most people and very uneducated about proper betta care. For the longest time we kept him in an unfiltered, unheated half gallon bowl. We eventually upgraded him to a 3 gallon heated and filtered tank, added some plants, got better quality food and generally took better care of him as time went on and as I learned more and more. And he's been a happy little fish, which makes me happy.
I've learned so much about him and bettas in general over the last couple of months, and I finally understand now why people keep fish. Although they can't cuddle, they do have personalities and they do interact with you. Not only are they beautiful but they are fascinating animals. Learning about everything from substrates to plants to filtration systems to bacteria processes and different fish diseases, etc. etc. has also been really fun and interesting and eye-opening. I had no idea keeping a betta would seem so complicated at times!
But as we've gone through our rough patches, we've each come out better than before; he was healthier and happier and I became a more informed fish guardian. It sounds crazy but I feel like we've bonded over the years and he has absolutely stolen my heart. It makes me feel really good that I am able to provide a good home for him and that he is happy and comfortable. Ha I sound like a crazy person! I'm a proud fish mama.
I just really love my Shady! I hate to say it, but when he is no longer around I do look forward to keeping other bettas in the future because they are really fun! <3