My 4-year-old wants a fish for Christmas, so I was just thinking "ok, so I get a bowl and a fish and some rocks, right?" But then my neighbor told me they need a filter to really thrive, or they just die in the bowl. I am scared to go into the pet store with this question as I feel like they will sell me the moon. But is that the consensus? A tank with a filter, and also use only distilled water and a special sponge to clean? I have never had a fish before.
Equally you could find the address and meeting times of the local fish fanciers group and go along. Not only will they be able to help, but you will be in contact with an excellent resource and source of advice to have happy healthy fish.
Ian - Pagan Editor
"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves."
"With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world. "
Sorry - I have seen Mary-betta-fish's postings, I never thought to contact her directly! But thanks for the advice - I never knew there would be a fish-fanciers group, but I bet there is - we have a lot of fish specialty shops in our area, so there must be a big interest. I am about to enter a new world I know nothing about, and I will really be the one getting the fish, not my 4-yr-old!!!
I saw an ad for a petstore that I thought was so true. It said "What do you need to know about taking care of your new pet? Everything." If you get a betta fish, he will need a water filter, but many betta parents start with a betta marina. It has a lid that snaps on. They don't always start with a filter, but you will need to do water changes often. This will keep the water clean until you get a little larger tank for your betta fish and with a small water filter - the kind that doesn't create too much of a water flow. This is because betta fish have long, flowing fins that they need for swimming well and the water current can hinder this and even cause damage to the fins. Betta fish are actually one of the easiest fish to keep. Very beautiful and fun and personable. You can only have one normally because they are territorial with other male bettas and cannot be in the same tank together because they will fight to the death for their territory. You can see these little fish in cups at Pet stores and aquairium stores. The lid on the betta marina is because betta fish (also known as Siamese fighting fish - please do not let them fight - this is inhumane of course.)are also jumpers. They can jump right out of a fish bowl. This has to do with the history of their origins and how their ancestors survived by jumping from mud puddle to puddle of water in rice fields in Thailand to survive. This instinct is still hard-wired into their brains. They are fascinating wonderful fish to have as a pet. I highly recommend them.
Of course, the key word is "4-year-old". So, you will really be the person in charge of taking care of your little fish who is the newest member of your family. Your little child can learn to love and take care of a pet through your example.
I know what you mean about the pet store. The best first thing you can buy at the petstore is a book on fish care. Read up. You'll understand more and get confidence. Ask me as you read. I have a little book on the importance of clean water for Betta fish. You can see it in the e-books here at Bellaonline.com. This principle applies to all fish - the importance of clean water. It's just that, as you can begin to see from these posts to you about the betta fish, there are a few specific fun facts to know about betta fish first before you become a new betta fish pet parent.