Steve is awesome and surprised me with a lovely fish tank for Christmas and on Sunday we went on the Great Fish Accoutrement Hunt.
We started at Petco and after determining that yes, this was indeed the best tank, I read several pamphlets on fish care, bought a net and thermometer and left*. Next we hit up a Petsmart where we bought NOTHING because nothing met my stringent standards for fish décor. Finally we went to The Fish Store on Roosevelt where I found gravel (disco style), and a color coordinating castle (every fish needs a castle), and a fake plant (that matches both the castle and plant, because why the hell not if you’re buying a fake plant anyway).
Then I got home and read the book that came with the aquarium and realized I needed 2 buckets, maybe a timer for the light, the tank did not come with tap water purifier (though the box said it did), the plant is probably too tall, and I may or may not have enough gravel.
So I went to Petsmart and bought a new plant and a bottle of tap water purifier. Then went to Lowe’s for buckets.
Yesterday my roommate went to The Fish Store and picked up more rocks for me because he is awesome. After dinner I started setting up the aquarium and realized I needed an additional plant to make the whole thing look less sparse.
So we went to go to Petco again but got sidetracked at Pier 1 where the roommate bought a lamp, which almost did not fit in my car and necessitated that I’m-driving-a-car-with-a-lamp-shoved-through-it-at-a-jaunty-angle sort of driving. Then went to a different Pier 1 for additional lamps and ended up at the Petco in Everett, where I bought a new plant and checked out all of their accouterments (and fish, which BTW looked really healthy and clean- more than at any store I have been in before). At home Jim and I rearranged the furniture and set up the aquarium in the best possible location as noted in the now numerous sources I had researched. After rearranging the contents of the tank a few times while it was full of water, it is finally ready for fish.
Next I researched fish and determined that I can probably fit between 3 and 5 fish in there or a whole bunch of little guys. I also looked at very expensive bettas on the internet, but I shouldn’t pay 30 for a single fish that will kill any other fish I put with it leaving only smooshy fish bits.**
So now all I have to do is find a reputable dealer to assist me in finding 3-5 roughly equally sized, aggression compatible fish that eat the same food, and can live in water roughly between 64-68 degrees. And I should buy an extra filter (JIC), a water testing kit to balance ammonia and nitrites, and food. Fish probably would like food most of all.
This is why people with OCD should not own aquariums. Or perhaps the reverse is exactly the case as I assume that my obsessing will greatly increase the joy and lifespan of my finned friends.
Although, when I was 5 or so I pitched a quarter into a glass at the fair and won a tiny goldfish that grew to 4 inches and lived nearly 6 years, in a glass bowl with nothing but neon pink rocks. I cannot testify to this but I assume that 5 year Quiana was not terribly diligent at feeding him and cleaning the bowl, so perhaps fish keeping is not rocket science.
* I should mention at this juncture that Steve and I found a koi that looks as much like Hitler as a fish could possibly look. A dark black patch on his head and a perfect little mustache. I am terribly disappointed to find out that my tank isn’t large enough to even keep a baby koi. So no Fishler for me.
**Every resource I have checked suggests getting a fragile cheap fish and placing it in the tank to make sure that the tank is ok for the other fish. Does this seem unethical to anyone else? While I eat meat, and happily wear leather, I can’t in good conscience kill any animal unless I have good reason. (Except spiders. Spiders can kiss it.) So maybe I should just get one fish to start with. But a keeper fish. Not some disposable fish. And just keep my fingers crossed?