Wouldn't it just be the cutest thing in the world to have a goldfish swimming around in a glass bowl, with some river rocks and maybe one tasteful ornament? Well, no, it wouldn't, because that fish is going to die in about a week, after you spend a surprising amount of time staring into the bowl and agonizing over his suffering until he finally kicks off.
(Whereby your son will look up at you, eyes brimming with tears, and say "You killed him?" and then need to take a half day off school to recover. At which point, one of your friends will laugh when she signs her child into school following a dentist's appointment and sees your excuse on the line above. "Dead fish.")
Maybe everybody knows this but me, but a single goldfish requires a 20-gallon tank. We found this out after purchasing the above fish from a small pet shop whose employees knew even less about goldfish than we did. We (I) changed the water in the bowl three or four times in that one week, before we (I) began to suspect that the bowl was too small.
We stopped into PetSmart and asked for advice from a young woman who actually seemed to know something about fish, disproving my long-held theory that small businesses are better than big ones. (I'm actually a little worried about all those baby bunnies the little pet shop has. Where do they go when they're not babies anymore? Are they fed to the snakes?) Alas, our visit wasn't timely enough, as our fish died that very night.
So now we own a proper aquarium and a new fish, but we're waiting with baited (no pun intended) breath to see if the new guy makes it. Our tank is merely 10 gallons, but the "expert" we talked to felt confident the fish would live. We're not so sure. My son is so nervous he rejected my suggestion to name the new guy Sashimi (the first one was Sushi), saying, "No more food names!"
It's not like me to buy a pet without doing research first. (All 85 of my other pets were carefully researched.) But really, how hard can a goldfish be? Harder than I thought. Because what I'd really like to warn you about is that even an aquarium—with a light, a pump filter and dechlorination drops—requires WEEKLY WATER CHANGES! There's no way in heck I would have invested (financially and emotionally) in an aquarium if I'd known how much work was involved. If this fish dies, I say we make the tank into a Lego diorama. With the light and the dragon bubbler, wouldn't that be cool?
What do you think? Post or read comments here: Comments