For years, I had asked my mother for a pet. I wanted a man’s best friend, a furry-eared companion, or a caring critter. I have probably asked my mother a million times if I could have a dog, but every single time I would ask, the answer would always be, “No.”

So what do you do when your mother denies your happiness by not buying a fuzzy friend?

Answer: buy a fish

When I was in middle school, a neighbor of ours was going away for vacation and asked us a very odd favor: if we could take care of her beloved Horacio for two weeks. He was a 2-year old betta fish and when my mom told me about this, I answered, “OMG YES!” It was the first time I could actually ‘feel responsible’ for another live creature. Heck, it was better than taking care of a rock!

Since then, I have had my fair share of Betta fish come and go. Jorge was my first official fish, and then we had Chloe, Camille, Colors, Kiddo, Corey (we had him for two years and there were many times where I thought he was dead, RIP), Philippe, Blue, and currently, I am the mother of Bob. Though I cannot take Bob on long walks on the beach or stroke his smooth scales, I still love him, just the way he is.

To honor Bob and the rest of my scaly friends, here are 5 reasons to why having a Betta Fish as a pet is great!

1.They are easy maintenance

Bob lives in his humble abode of a bowl. Some people really take care of their bettas and buy them a filter with a huge tank and with the whole nine yards; this is best way to take care of your fish. But, bettas can do fine in a decent-sized bowl with treated water. I change the water once every week and a half and BAM, easy family pet.

2. You don’t have to feed them all the time

This sounds terrible, I know, but in case you have to go on vacation for a week, you don’t have to hire a pet sitter or drop off your betta at your friend’s to take care of. But I also say this because once, there was a Beta fish in our university’s biology department that went a full month without food. Unbelievable! (*note: this happened not because we chose to ignore the fish, but because no one knew who the fish belonged to to begin with.)

3. They will never run away from you

You never have to worry about them running away! They will always be in their tank! (except for those instances where they occasionally jump out of the tank… nbd)

4. They look really pretty

Bettas are known for their exceptional color. So, you should coordinate your furniture with your Betta color.

5. You don’t need to buy them friends

Male Bettas are anti-social. If you mix a male betta with another male betta, the chance of them attempting to kill each other is very high. Therefore, male Bettas don’t need a friend; you are their only friend! Doesn’t that sound awesome!

But on the flip side, female bettas like chillin’ together. When you put a couple of them together, they’re called a sorority. But beware, some female bettas don’t belong in a sorority… so in reality, it’s kind of like a real sorority.