In reality, owning a fish seems like the least interesting pet to own. You can’t pet a fish; You can hurt their pretty scales. You can’t exactly cuddle a fish like you can a cat or dog. Taking a betta fish to the park to have a romp through the fields is a big no. So why would anyone want to get a pet fish to begin with?

Well, as a current owner of two betta fish, I can tell you that there are definitely some advantages to owning a little scaly and fishy friend.

1. They are beautiful pets

Betta fish are well known for their vibrant colors and beautiful fins. They can come in a variety of colors and types, ranging from the Paradise Betta to the Koi Betta. When you place them in their tank or bowl, they can be very pleasing to the eye. Personally, I like those that have an interesting color combination like my Paradise Betta (Adam) or vibrant colors like my bright red Halfmoon Double-Tail Betta Fish (Baron). No matter the type or color scheme, betta fish are beautiful pets to own.

2. They're relaxing

Some would get bored by watching a Betta Fish swim around its tank. However, I find it very relaxing. There seems to be something peaceful about watching a little fish swim around at its own pace. When I get stressed with college work, I find myself watching my fish in order to relax a little. Though you can’t go out and play fetch with a betta fish, they are very peaceful and relaxing pets.

3. They're low-maintenance

To be perfectly honest, betta fish are very low-maintenance pets. They are perfect for the busy person who doesn’t have the time to attend to the needs of a dog or a cat. You can feed a betta fish every other day, you don’t really want to feed them daily. It’s also not hard at all to clean a betta’s tank; You don’t use soap, just hot water and some water solution to make the water safe for your fish. In the end, owning a fish is an easy experience and doesn’t require much work.

4. They are acceptable pets for most dorms

Though pet policies for on-campus housing can vary depending on your university, most policies allow students to own a fish tank up to a certain size. Though I know most of you would prefer to bring your family dog or cat with you to college, a fish isn’t a bad alternative either. For me, there is something nice about owning and caring for a pet at college, it makes the dorm room feel more like a home. Fish are wonderful pets that are allowed in most campus living areas.

5. They have a colorful personality

Most people would believe that betta fish are boring pets to have because they don’t do much. Though they are limited by their space, betta fish are actually quite lively pets to own. Bettas are surprisingly curious creatures and love to watch the world. They investigate new things with open curiosity and like to socialize with the environments around them. I know one of my betta fish, Adam, likes to come and greet me and other things around his tank while my other betta, Baron, seems to like watching the TV (his favorite show so far seems to be Star Trek). Betta fish are very funny creatures with a lot of personality hidden under their scaly fins.

In the end, owning a betta fish can be an interesting experience. They have a lot more to offer than it appears at first glance. If you are looking for a pet that’s lovely to look at, relaxing, easy to care for, acceptable for a dorm room, and that has a personality I highly suggest getting a betta fish.