When the Family Pets Begin

We have entered family pet land.

I know many of you are already in this land, but so far we have avoided it. The girls never seemed to understand that they could have animals in the house, or they weren’t interested.

So this is why it comes as a surprise. It was me…yes ME, who wanted the animal. Knowing full-well that it would also be me…yes ME, who gets to clean and look after them. What was I thinking?!

We started a bit of a step up for the beginner animal of goldfish or beta in a bowl, and got a full-on 30 gallon aquarium.

I spent my weekends doing research or nitrate, and nitrite cycles. Reading up on freshwater fish. Googling filters, water pumps, heaters and thermostats. And then we took the leap.

Buying a used tank was a no-brainer for me. I wasn’t willing to invest a lot of money into something I wasn’t sure we would actually enjoy or want to do for a long time.

Our first bump along the road was that it didn’t come with a stand, and our typical Ikea furniture wouldn’t hold a 300lb tank. (Yup, that’s how much they weigh once the water is in!) So we had to find a solution, a handy-man to make that solution viable and then get a piece of furniture that would hold up to the weight.

While we were waiting for our stand to be finished, I did research on different fish options. I got out my excel spreadsheet and documented which fish would be best with which fish in relation to community, food and water temperature.

And then we went to the pet store, where I soon realized the only fish they sell are the ones that everyone recommends. So, you don’t really have to be an expert or make a spreadsheet – ha!

We started with two, a Dalmation Mollie and a Mickey Mouse Platy…followed up 2 days later with some Neon Tetras, another Platy and then Uncle Dave brought us 4 Plecos 2 days after that. So we are good to go!

We are one week in and I feel this could have gone one of a few ways:

a) Dread – Why did we do this?

b) Excitement – Let’s start breeding fish?

c) Get the ball rolling – next up Guinea Pigs and Cats!

d) Satisfaction – Everyone is happy with our family pet!

We are definitely in the d) Satisfaction zone.  We all love the tank and the fish. The girls have named most of them (that they can tell apart) and Byron and I find it relaxing.  I might be leaning towards the b) Excitement and let’s start breeding, but will hold my horses a bit longer. Not to mention I haven’t enjoyed the adventure of cleaning the tank yet.

I think we will keep fish as our family pet for quite some time – they are pretty fun to watch and actually quite relaxing!

Until next time,


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