Can You Pet A Fish?

Fish can be really good companions if you are someone who does not want the extra effort that comes with owning a dog or a cat. Fish can have a tranquil, calming effect on anyone who watches them glide serenely through the water. Before getting a fish, you might ask, can you touch and pet your fish? 

Yes, you can pet fish. Some fish like to be gently stroked. They may even become accustomed to it and come up to the water’s surface to be petted. But it’s not like giving your cat or dog a pet. Petting a fish is an entirely different experience. While it is okay to pet your fish sometimes, you should not touch or hold it too often. 

Find out more about petting fish below.

How To Pet Your Fish? 

While there are no set rules or procedures to pet your fish, you can follow certain dos and don’ts to do it safely. 

Always start by washing your hands. Your hands should be cleaned. If you don’t wash your hands and germs become dissolve in the tank, fish can become infected because they breathe through that water.

Once your hands are clean, gently grasp the fish. Don’t put any pressure on it because fish dislike it. They’ll be content if you hold them lightly. Gently pet your fish now. 

Talk to your fish while petting them, and when you’re finished, give them a pellet or two of food. Giving them food afterward would make them feel good about themselves. They will then wait for this petting.

You should never be harsh with them. Make sure you’re gentle enough not to damage their slimy upper skin layer. If that layer becomes damaged, your fish will be vulnerable to a variety of infections.

Stop petting your fish if it becomes stressed or aggressive. Either your fish dislikes being petted, or your pet is a little rough on them. You can figure out why, but don’t pet them if they appear stressed after being petted.

What Aquarium To Get For Your Fish? 

Different types of fish require different aquarium environments. You should build your aquarium around the needs of your fish rather than on the aesthetics of the aquarium itself. 

Focusing on the needs of the fish you want to keep will ensure they will be healthy and happy in their environment.

With that said, for practical reasons, you’ll also need to consider what size aquarium you can afford and have the space for and where you’ll set it up in your home. 

Aquariums aren’t just large fishbowls — even the most basic models come equipped with filtration systems, artificial lighting systems, often a heater or chiller, and some have hoods.

Here’s something on maintenance you should watch before coming to a decision:

Do Fish Recognize Their Owners?

Fish do recognize their owners. Fish are capable of seeing and remembering you. Although a fish’s brain structure is very small and simple, it appears that they do! They can recognize and remember patterns, so we can conclude that fish are smarter than we think.

Every human face has two eyes, a nose, and lips. We recognize each other by recalling minor differences. However, the brain of a fish is not that complex. 

Nonetheless, it records and remembers the patterns. It’s quite significant that fish in water not only observe but also remember you.

This is supported by studies and experiments that show fish recognize a human face and can distinguish between two faces.

Why Fish Make Good Pets

There are many reasons for you to want a pet fish. For instance; 

  1. Fish Are Easy To Keep

Fish do not require a lot of space and are easy to maintain. They are independent pets in this sense, as they do not need to be walked or groomed much. 

The only major maintenance is feeding them a few times daily and changing the aquarium’s water.

  1. Fish Are Fun To Watch

Watching fish as they swim in the aquarium is fun to watch. Fish are active pets, they spend their day interacting with their tank mates, digging the aquarium’s substrate, or swimming from one end of the aquarium to the other in pure curiosity. 

Sometimes, the fish interact with the people near the tank.

  1. They Can Be Good For Your Health

The major health benefits of watching fish include reducing blood pressure, heart rate, stress, disruptive behaviors, and improving eating habits. 

Watching fish brings and restores a state of mental calmness and brings a form of serenity. 

  1. So Many Varieties To Choose From

Fish are available in different varieties, species, shapes, sizes, and colors. You can choose a fish pet that you like from the different available varieties. You can also choose to keep different species in your aquarium to add more color and vibrancy. 

However, ensure the fish are compatible to avoid bullying and aggression in the aquarium. 

  1. Fish Are Playful

Fish are also playful, and some have very interesting personalities, such as the ability to recognize their owner. Because a glass wall separates people and fish, it is difficult to tell if a fish is friendly or just going about its business. 

However, you can teach your fish to do some fun basic fish tricks such as playing soccer, following your finger, swimming in a loop, eating from your hand, jumping out of the water, or coming to the aquarium’s surface to be petted.

  1. Fish Are Quiet

Fish are quiet pets. There will be no day they will make any sound, ever. 

Unlike other pets such as cats and dogs, that can be loud at an inconvenient time, such as at night disrupting your sleep, fish will always remain quiet in the aquarium.


Fish can be petted gently by their owners, but it is important to keep the caresses soft so that their outer scales are not damaged. Fish can be very good pets; experiments have shown that your pet fish can recognize you too. 

They can also develop a bond with their owners. Of course, not like other pet animals, but in their own way, they love their owners, which is quite amazing.

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