My track record with pet fishes has been terrible. I have adopted and lost to the toxic tap water of Calcutta a total of 4 goldfishes in the first 2 years that I took up a job there. My last aquarium based pet was a pink gorami who turned out to be quite a sturdy fellow. He was with me for nearly 3 months before I came to the USA and I hope an impossible hope that I will find it hale and hearty with my aunt in Calcutta who graciously offered to take charge of him. That is extreme optimism on my end but losing a pet hurts bad, even if it's a tiny little fish. I never give them names 'coz I never know when I'll find them belly-up in the water when I come back from work. It doesn't help that I only keep 1 or 2 fishes at a time restricted by the size of my fish bowl and I'd rather save myself the discomfort of burying a "Nemo" or a "Flounder". Goldfish 1, Goldfish 2 are a little impersonal but that's what works best for them and me.
Fishes are fairly unsociable as far as pets go. They can't be petted & cuddled and it is impossible to sense any kind of affection from their cold fish eyes. They'll swim right up to the surface when they sense that it is food pellet/worm time but apart from that they have a tendency to ignore their owner as they paddle around their limited little world - an aquarium or a bowl whatever may that be. However their lack of the need of any special attention except for regular supply of food and fresh supply of water is sometimes a boon as anyone (including yours truly) who has had a tiring day at work and a dog going crazy for a walk will testify.
The coolest thing about fishes apart from their flashy colours is the weird feeling that you get if you study them for a little while. They seem like alien creatures in a way only land-locked creatures like us can appreciate. The few deci-litres of water inside their aquarium is a section of deep outer space and their funny shapes are spaceships sleekly gliding through this watery sky. Put in the few customary bubbling divers, faux boat wrecks, moss covered submerged castles and wavy water plants to complement their fantastic world, and you can imagine that you are watching some kind of an extraterrestrial ballet routine. The quick darting, twists and turns, random chases without justification and the grace in the madness make for a great show irrespective of when you take some time to watch it. What is not a recommended course of action is to disturb a sleeping fish or a sick one as it'd lead to a rather rapid demise of the entertainer. They are indeed extraterrestrials in one sense of the word and trapped though they may be in our little glass prisons, I really treat them as honourable guests from another world and enjoy their quirky company.