We've been throwing around the idea of getting a fish for little man for quite some time. One of his favorite words to say is fish. He loves to watch the fish swim at the aquarium. He loves to watch the fish in the tank at our daycare provider's home. We have to stop at the animal section every time we're in the grocery store so he can watch the fish for a few minutes. It is definitely something he enjoys, and DH & I thought it would be fun to have a fish at home.
So the other day, we went over to our local pet store to "look" at fish. Now, I'm not typically a "looking" kind of shopper. If we're not actually going to buy something on the trip, I usually see it as pretty pointless and don't want to go, as I figure we can do research online and it is just a waste of gas and time. (I'm not a huge shopper apparently- I'm just a buyer. But, in this instance, I know nothing about fish and thought this might be kind of informative for me.) I went into it thinking, okay, small tank, even smaller fish, something that could fit into little man's bigger little man rowboat room once we finish it, on the top of a dresser or something like that.
Um, that isn't exactly what happened.
I knew it was going to be a rough trip from the start, as DH walks straight over to the tanks that are built on their own furniture pieces, and starts asking me what color of wood is going to go into little man's room. What? No.
I redirect him over to the fish, and little man oohs and ahs and points for a little while, but then all of a sudden DH is gone again and is nowhere near any of the fish tanks. When I find him, he is looking at the table top fish tanks. I see one in a 3 gallon size that I think would be great for little man's bedroom. DH then starts asking me a ton of questions about tank plants, water conditioner, and a whole host of other items of which I have never heard.
Thankfully, or so I thought, a salesgirl comes over to help us out. (Insert flashing red warning lights here!) I tell her we want to get a small fish for our son to keep in his bedroom, and ask if basically all we need is the tank and the fish, thinking she's going to get where I'm leading the question and answer appropriately.
She then goes into this long winded explanation that even though fish are small now, they get much bigger, and that your average goldfish can actually turn out to be huge. And by huge, I mean she held out her hands wide enough that I'm pretty sure it was a longer length than little man was when he was born, or the size that fishermen come home and say, "I caught a fish today that was this big!!!" She also goes on to say that buying a fish isn't just plopping them in a bowl and having a little happy swimmy creature.
All the while, I'm thinking in the back of my head, when I was a kid, we used to win fish (goldfish, to be precise) at the school's yearly fair, by throwing a ping pong ball into a cup. We took those fish home, put them into the small but respectable 2-3 gallon tank my parents bought for us, and they lived happily ever after. Heck, I even know a girl who took one of those fair fish home and it lived for 3 years! I'm pretty sure those fish did just fine.
As I start paying attention again, I realize that she and DH are talking about a 10 gallon tank. Wait, what? For one fish? Yep, 12 year old salesgirl confirms, one small fish needs at least 10 gallons, otherwise it isn't humane, because, you know, they need to have new stuff to look at, right? Seriously.
After vehemently disagreeing with her & DH and then also saying that we need to leave and reconsider this another day, I see that look in DH's eye that I know means no good for me and my cause. At that point, I realize resistance is futile, and I give up and take little man back to walk around so he can point at all the fish and say, "iss! iss! iss!" every few seconds in glee.
DH goes ahead and loads up our cart with a 10 gallon tank, rock (not of the color I chose, he of course picked that out too), and assorted plants/rock/decorations (which he did let me have a little say in). Then we get to the point where I ask DH about what fish we're going to bring home. He then informs me that the salesgirl told him that we have to take the tank home, set it up, treat the water, and let the filter run for 4 days before we can come back and actually get a fish.
But, not to worry, the girl said we can bring a water sample back in from home and they will test it for us, just to make sure our water is safe and fitting for our new fish. So, if they deem it unfit, then we can go home, again without a fish, and re-treat the water all over again. Great.
You all know we have dogs, right? I'm pretty darn sure that, at this point, we're going to be doing more for this fish than we did to bring home our dogs. No, I'm 100% sure of that. I also realize as we're heading over to the checkout that this is going to be almost just as expensive as when we adopted our dogs from the humane society.