The story -
A couple of weeks ago, Sam and Henry accompanied me to the Farmer's Market and Wal-Mart to do our weekly grocery/toiletry shopping. I had had a great night's sleep and was feeling rather spry, so in Wal-Mart, when Henry asked to visit the fish, I decided to surprise him. I told him that he and Sam could actually pick out and take home two goldfish! We selected the perfect glass bowl and carefully chose the best color of rock...to accentuate our goldfish's best features, and grabbed two types of fish food. One for every day, and one for special occasions. Next, we asked the nice college student/Wal-Mart clerk to help us catch our fish. Henry picked out a big gold one. And Sam chose a white one w/ black and orange spots. We decided to name them "Pistol" and "Pete".
We got home, unloaded groceries, and laid all of our new treasures on the kitchen table. Henry helped me dump the gravel into the fish bowl, and daddy filled it with water. Sam kept the fish company while we prepared their new home. Finally, we introduced the fish to their bowl and oohed and awed for about 5 minutes. Until Henry got bored and was ready to move on to the next thing.
We left the fish bowl on the kitchen table for the rest of the day, and moved it to Henry's room that evening. By the next morning, the water was already FILTHY! Seriously, fish...that's a lot of poop in 24 hours! Did we over feed? Or, are goldfish really that disgusting? They're really that disgusting. Or, at least koi are. Which is what I soon discovered we purchased. Instead of goldfish. Ugh. Who knew? Certainly not the guy at Wal-Mart.
And then I have an idea. I'm definitely not game for cleaning a fish bowl every day, and lucky us have friends with a pond in their front yard. Full of koi. Jackpot. I text my friend Rebecca...tell her it's her lucky day. She and Kyle have just won two koi. They comply and welcome "Pistol" and "Pete" with open arms.
But before Rebecca and Kyle can officially adopt our koi, we need to find Henry and Sam two replacements. Not that they would notice...they'd already lost interest. But let's face it. Wade and I had caught the bug and wanted to create an aquatic oasis. So I head to Pet Co. Anxious to find all the answers and upgrade to an actual aquarium for "real" goldfish. The college student/Pet Co. clerk helping me was careful to point out how much he knew about fish. And that he used to work at Wal-Mart and any fish I bought there would most likely die. AND that only beta fish can live in a fish bowl. All other fish, especially goldfish, need a filter. He assured me a 2.5 gallon tank would be large enough for another "Pistol" and "Pete". An hour later I left Pet Co. with a 2.5 gallon aquarium, complete w/ filter and light, and instructions to fill and run the aquarium at least 3 - 4 days before adding fish. So me, being the rule follower that I am, did exactly that.
Then, 3.5 days later, I go back to Pet Co., ready to select the perfect goldfish for Henry and Sam (or, Michal and Wade). Pet Co.'s #1 fish guru wasn't working that particular evening, so another college student assisted me. I shared with him that I had just purchased my 2.5 gallon tank, which had been running for 3.5 days, and that I was ready to select two goldfish. "A 2.5 gallon tank isn't nearly large enough for goldfish" was his reply. WHAT?! The rest of the conversation went something like this...
Me: "But the guy four days ago told me a 2.5 gallon tank would be PERFECT for two goldfish."
New guy: "Do you remember his name?"
Me: "No, but he had glasses and used to work at Wal-mart".
New guy: "Yep. He's new. He doesn't know much about fish."
Me: "Super. Then what fish will fit into a 2.5 gallon tank?"
New guy: "Betas."
Me: (Deep sigh)
New guy: "You need at least a 10 gallon tank for anything other than betas and maybe guppies."
Me: "Guppies? Seriously? Where are the 10 gallon tanks?"
Needless to say, I fell victim (again) to Pet Co. and left w/ a 10 gallon tank (including a bigger filter and bigger, better light), more gravel, and water drops...the drops are supposed to keep the water safe for our fish. Which at this point I'm wondering if we'll ever have.
I should add that you now can hardly see "Pistol" and "Pete" in their glass bowl.
And 3.5 days later, we head back to Pet Co. Wade went with me this time...I think he was scared I'd come home with a 50 gallon tank. We select four fish. Three pretty ones (I think I wrote the name down somewhere?), and one bottom feeder for good measure. None were goldfish. New guy confirmed goldfish were dirty and that there were cleaner fish we should select to minimize maintenance. I followed his instruction. Duh.
Henry and Sam selected two dinosaurs for the tank, as well as some green and purple plants. The tank looks beautimous. After all our work, it had better.
And the original "Pistol" and "Pete" are now swimming with other koi friends in a clear pond at Rebecca and Kyle's.
We're now taking name suggestions for our new fish friends. Please offer your comments, fish wisdom, warnings, etc.