Another instalment of my pets for children, this time it’s fish.
When I was a child my father kept a tank of tropical fish in the living room
. We were delighted when the guppies had babies, we gathered around the tank to watch them being born which was magical to begin with, the baby fish popped out of their mother one at a time rolled up in a ball they then uncurled and swam away only to be eaten by the other fish including their mother we found this horrific to witness. The next time we had a pregnant fish dad purchased a small breeding tank which floated at the top of the tank
he put the mother-to-be inside then as the babies were born they dropped through a slot out of harms way, when they grew they were realised into the main tank.
A few years later dad decided to go a step further and made a fish pond in the back garden this was a huge success and as he also included a fountain and small waterfall it made quite a feature
. The goldfish loved this large expanse of water, he then added some golden orfe
which were his pride and joy, unfortunately my father then came across a product which claimed it would make the pond water clear enabling us to see our fish better, what he didn’t know was that it was not suitable for ponds containing golden orfe, we soon found out as the following day they were all floating upside down on the top.
On a similar subject my grandfather kept a goldfish in a small tank, one day while cleaning it he placed the tank complete with fish into the kitchen sink he then turned on the tap with the idea that the clean water would flow into the tank while the dirty water would over flow and run down the plug hole, the problem was my granddad had turned on the hot tap by mistake which killed his beloved fish.
Back to our fish pond, as children we went to a fun fair were we each won a goldfish from one of the side stalls.dad quarantined them for a while saying that they would be dead by morning as the fair staff don’t treat them well, he was wrong two of the three fish lived for many years in the pond.
As an adult my husband decided that he wanted to keep Oscars,
which are huge fish which I personally find ugly, he purchased an enormous tank which held 450 litres of water and stood 6′ high including the cabinet and stand he bought two Oscars one lived for a few months the other we had for about 18 months, my husband, Alec loved this fish and would prepare pieces of meat to feed it as well as spending time watching it swim, while cleaning the tank once, which was quite a task considering how large it was he placed his fish in a bucket which he put in the garage away from the cat while he cleaned the green alga from the glass inside. When the tank was clean he went to the garage to discover that his fish had commuted suicide by jumping out of the bucket onto the floor. To say that Alec was upset is an understatement he even said that he considered cooking and eating the fish as he had invested so much time and money into it!
If your child wants a fish as a pet, hopefully this won’t have put you off! but please DO NOT house it in a gold fish bowl, there is nothing sadder than seeing a fish swim round and round in boredom, get the largest tank you can afford and have room for and put in some plants which as well as looking attractive will enable the fish to hide, also buy a filter and a heater if you are keeping tropical fish, above all ensure that children are not tempted to overfeed their fish as this will lead to a premature death, keep fish out of direct sunlight and cover tank with a lid to keep out dust and cats
Above all enjoy and take care of all pets.
As always questions/comments are welcome