Year 7 student, Benjamin L, has advocated for a fish tank to be placed in Carmel School’s library for the wellbeing of over 40 baby guppies. Passionate for fishkeeping, Benjamin has also taken on the responsibility for monitoring the fish and is striving to raise awareness of healthy practices in doing so.

Reflecting on the biggest mistake marine pet owners make, Benjamin stated that movies and media are equally responsible for driving the concept behind keeping fish in a fishbowl. Doing the latter results in fish surviving for 5 years, when they can have a lifespan of 20 years if raised correctly.

Commenting on this unethical practice, Benjamin advised: “In theory, you want the biggest tank for your fish. Keep as less fish as you can in a single tank and fill it with plants. I even have 2 goldfish kept in a 250L tank!”.

The idea relies on The Nitrogen Cycle, which proposes a healthy environment for aquatic pets by keeping a balance of ammonia (toxic), nitrite (toxic) and nitrate (non-toxic) levels. In essence, the bigger the tank, the more nitrate it will hold, allowing for the fish to be kept safely.

Benjamin, himself, is the owner of about 120 fish spread throughout 14 fish tanks and remarked: “Having a piece of nature in your room creates happiness!”.

The biggest task includes examining the tanks daily, which can take up to 15 minutes. Food should be given every 2 days, to ensure that pet fish mimic the habits of wild fish, which best stay fit by receiving food in small amounts.

Receiving ongoing support from his family, Benjamin aspires to be a marine biologist in the future, or at the very least, continue his zeal for owning and nurturing a variety of fish.