Dispelling pet fish myths

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(KTVI) – Do you have a pet fish? Jim Lovins is a Petco aquatic specialist and talked with Tim Ezell about some of the misperceptions about owning a pet fish.

Myth #1: Fish need a lot of room to swim. Bettas may actually do better in a smaller bowl because they don`t like a current. They like stagnant water because their natural habitat is living in puddles in rice paddies.

Myth #2: Fish cannot breath oxygen. This is true for most fish, but Bettas have elaborate gills that allow them to breath oxygen, which is why they can be kept in smaller habitats. They can gulp air rather use their gills because they are labyrinth fish, which also helps them survive in dirty puddles.

Myth #3: Some fish cannot be kept with other fish in the same tank. Keeping more than one Betta in a fish tank should be avoided, but Bettas can actually be in the same tank with nonaggressive fish such as swords, platies, mollies and guppies.

Myth #4: Fish cannot be trained. Betta`s are smarter than you think! With proper training, Bettas can be trained to jump out of the water, flare on command, and even swim through a hoop.

Myth #5: Fish floating on their side is never a good thing. Not for Bettas! Bettas will often float on their side and lay motionless at times because they are native to puddles. In fact, they can even survive without water for short periods of time.

Myth #6: Fish require frequent tank cleanings. Some fish need fresh water more often than others. Bettas only need about 25-50 percent of new, fresh water added to its tank every week or so.

Myth #7: Goldfish are the perfect 'starter' fish. Actually, Bettas are known to be the best kinds of fish to start with. Many people see goldfish as the perfect starter fish, but a recent study shows that 85 percent of the people in the aquarium trade got started with a Betta.

Myth #8: Fish cannot show emotion. Betta fish have plenty of emotion to show off! In fact, they will make bubble nests on top of their water to show that they are happy. Some Betta fish owners even say they are greeted by their Betta fish as they are approach its fish bowl.