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What are the pros and cons of keeping pet fish

Although keeping aquarium fish can be extremely rewarding and satisfying, it does come with a few caveats. If you are deciding whether or not to get a fish tank, you can check out this guide at Aquarium Blueprints to see what the pros and cons are in the hobby.

Pros of having an aquarium

Great learning experience

In our opinion, the main reason of having a fish tank is that it provides a great learning experience for both you and your younger loved ones. By setting up an aquarium, you are basically setting up a science experiment as you have to study the nitrogen cycle, how to acclimate a fish, benefits of having live plants, how to breed fish, how to raise fry, the importance of water changes and a lot more. You will also find out a lot about the fish you are breeding and why they behave the way they do.

While that may be a lot to learn, you will most likely have a lot of fun doing so.


Fish keeping can also be very relaxing. If you stock your tank correctly with a peaceful community, you get to watch your fish swim around all day long without a care in the world. We find that watching our aquatic pets really calm our minds, especially when we are having a stressful time.

We also find that the water splashes made by our filter to be very calming to our ears as we can’t stand complete silence, especially when we are working on our desk. There’s a reason why a lot of office workers like to keep aquariums on their desk as the hobby is great for reliving stress in one way or another.

Less needy than other pets

Fish also make great pets as they are less needy when compared to dogs and cats. Once you set up your aquarium correctly (i.e. having a fully cycled tank), you really only have to worry about feeding your aquatic pets as well as occasional water changes and cleanings.

Otherwise, your fish will go off into their own world without the need of having any additional guidance from you. So, if you are looking for a relatively easy to keep pet, then you might want to consider getting fish.

Aquarium can look great as home decor

Last but not least, a great looking fish tank will really add to the aesthetics of your home. Of course, the fish themselves can be extremely beautiful and colorful. There are so many great looking species and variants in the hobby that it will be very hard to pick out what you want to stock your tank with. Using the right setup, you can also surround them with live plants, the right lighting, decorations and other elements that will make the rest of your aquarium stand out.

If you care about the interior looks of your home, then having a great looking tank will add a lot of its visuals.

Cons of having a fish tank

Steep learning curve

The biggest hurdle when it comes to getting a fish tank, in our opinion, is the initial learning curve. You can’t simply just add fish to water, for example, as you have to worry about removing chlorine (if you are using tap water), build up beneficial bacteria to break down fish wastes, make sure that the temperature is at a safe range and a lot more. It is very easy to quit the hobby if you see the fish you spent money buying quickly dying off.

Fortunately, we have a bunch of guides for beginners on our website designed for beginners to understand what it takes to keep your aquatic pets alive and happy.

Need to perform regular maintenance

While keeping fish is pretty much hands free when compared to raising pets like dogs and cats, you still have to take care of them. Performing regular maintenance is key to keeping your fish healthy. The cleaning includes testing your water to see if any toxins have been built up, removing old water, adding new water, cleaning the filter as well as making sure both your fish and live plants aren’t suffering from any ailments.

As you can see above, fish keeping still require some upkeep that you must commit some time to perform regularly.

Can be messy

The other major issue with tanks is that they can cause quite a bit of mess. For example, you will likely splash dirty water around when doing a water change. If you don’t have a top on your aquarium, water will also evaporate and may cause damage to your walls and/or electronics if you don’t have any way to dehumidify your room. Fish can also jump out and die on the floor.

If you want a fish tank, you should definitely think about where to place it. Its location is important, especially if you want to keep your house as clean as possible.

Can get expensive

The another potential hurdle that you have to overcome is the costs of setting up a fish tank. In addition to the aquarium itself, you most likely have to buy a water conditioner, filter, and heater. Not to mention you also have to buy the fish and live plants as well, which can be expensive depending of the specifics and variants.

Aside from the upfront costs, you also have to worry about the electricity usage, water usage, fish food, fish medicine and any other essential equipment. So it is best to have a budget set, as well as what you need to buy, before starting your hobby so that you won’t be shock with how much more expensive than fish keeping actually is.

Should you get a fish tank?

Our answer is obviously yes as long as you have to budget to afford one and all of its associated costs. You should also put aside a little bit of time, especially at the beginning when you have to make sure your aquarium is fully cycled.

We feel that, once you get through the initial hurdles and learning curves, you will find the fish keeping hobby incredibly relaxing and rewarding.