Acquired: Fish / pet store
Denver, Colorado, United States
Posted Aug 30, 2016
Leopold was not the average fish, at least not in my mind but maybe that's what many fish owners believe. I'd owned betta fish when I was younger but had little success with bonding them or even keeping them alive. Leopold on the other hand was about as simple a fish to care for as anything I'd ever witnessed. I kept him in a literal fish bowl the entire time I had him and changed his water once every two weeks. He ate the fish food I had found at the local supermarket even though it wasn't proper betta grub. He had no visible health issues while I owned him, as opposed to many bettas who get the fuzzy fungus that they succumb to. He did pass away, but strangely enough it coincided with the same week I was going to give him away to my friend as I was graduating from college and moving away. I don't know the science behind fish and stress all that much, but I do know they don't do well when stressed. I believe he may have been stressed by the moving of furniture and this had something to do with his passing. It's hard to say.
But I can say Leopold was the most social fish I've ever seen. I would walk into my room and he would swim up to me, and then follow me around as I did things. Even when I lay in bed he would drift and watch me for hours. He enjoyed pecking at my finger if I dipped it into the bowl and would sometimes even chase it around. I remember telling my mother about this and she laughed, clearly not believing me. But when she came to visit, she was shocked to find that Leopold did not only express interest in her and swam socially up to the glass but he also expressed a higher interest in me, as though he recognized my form better. Again, it's hard to know with fish what is something we see because we want to or what is something that is true but I do believe Leopold enjoyed company.
I would not suggest getting a fish to anyone who does not deal well with death. Fish are hard to care for since you can't take them to a vet when they start to get sick. A lot of treatments are more guesses and testing than anything. I would definitely get another betta as they are very hardy (I'm sure you've seen them stuck in tiny fish bowls at the pet store). They're also cheap compared to fish that require big tanks and lots of toys/shelters. The only problem is that betta can't be together, so don't get this fish if you're trying to put together an enormous aquarium.