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Goldfish : A simple to care for, inexpensive pet .
Member Name: thehonesttruth
About six months ago now, my mum won a tenner on the thunderball, and for some reason she decided the perfect thing to spend her money on would be a goldfish for my daughter. Now, I wouldn't have minded if she wanted to keep it at her house, but oh no - she purchased a tank, gravel, weed, food, and fish and dragged it all round to my house. This bundle cost her a little over £12, due to a special offer the shop had on .
I tried to look delighted , I really did, and I think she believed I was impressed by her wonderful gift to my daughter - a gift that I would have to clean, feed, and generally look after.
My daughter was happy enough to have a fish, and cycled through six or seven different names for the fish, before finally settling on pebbles.
Now, my fish came with a simple circular plastic tank - certainly big enough for him. He also came with some pink gravel, and a little plant. He came from the shop in a little plastic bag, and what we did was fill his tank with water, and place him in the tank still inside his plastic bag, so that the who temperatures would slowly come together, and not shock him to much when we let him out . We just snipped the back and poured him out after about 30 minutes of him getting used to the tank
Feeding him was a doddle, simply a case of sprinkling a pinch of goldfish flakes into the tank each day . And cleaning him out is very simple too - although, again, you need to not shock him by taking him out of room temperature water and plunging him into cold stuff right out of the tap. I fill a clean bucket with water the night before, so it has time to get to the same temperature, and then use a little net to scoop him into the bucket. I then rinse his little plant, and pop that into the bucket with him, before rinsing out all the gravel (and the marbles we've gradually added to it) in a colander until the water runs clear and there is no smell .
Then, I use a clean cloth to wash all the inside and outside of his tank, and then replace the gravel, and tip my fish and the water gently out of the bucket back into the tank. I never use any detergents when washing this, just good hot water and a bit of elbow grease . It's easy, but it needs doing quite often. For a fish so small, Pebbles seems to poo a lot, and it only takes a week for the tank to become a little murky, and a little smelly if you get up close.
Pebbles might be an easy pet to care for, but he's not the most interesting. He doesn't make any noise, or chase his tail, or do tricks for treats . He occasionally tries to fight his own reflection though, which is quite sweet , and if you put your fingers into his tank he will come up and give you a little nibble out of curiosity. He gets excited at food time like any other animal, and races around his tank gobbling up the flakes before they even have a chance to settle.
A lot of people say goldfish are one of the easiest pets to care for, and I think really that's true . They would make great pets for slightly older children who are old enough to clean and feed them themselves . My daughter is six, and can't even reach the kitchen taps to wash the gravel yet, so it ends up being me doing it, but a child of eight or nine could easily look after a goldfish, provided you show them the right amount of food to give and how to wash the tank out properly.
Would I recommend a goldfish ? Well, I've grown quite fond of my little fellow, even if he is a bit dull at times. And he really is dirt cheap to look after - all he needs is a good clean every so often and a pinch of goldfish food each day (goldfish food is incredibly cheap, a biggish tub costs around £1.50 and lasts around 6 months) and he's happy. And yes, I would recommend him .
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