Monday, February 13, 2012

Impulse Pets

We have tried various types of pets, and most of them just don't mix well with us. Our favorite was a chihuahua named Goliath. He was a wonderful pet back when we only had Ava. But then he got hit by a car, and it was a very sad moment for me. We also had a cat, but when our basement flooded she started peeing all over the house, and so we had to get rid of her. (We also had a sunfish from a lake, and a salamander)

Since we now have 5 kidlets, we have decided that pets probably aren't a good mix with this many kids and the fact that we don't have oodles of land. But on Saturday we were at Walmart and my kids always like to look at the fish, and while there I managed to convince Chris to impulse purchase 5 goldfish and 2 crabs for our kids. Okay, so it's not a humongous dollar amount, and we already had the tank and all the stuff necessary, but still, the fact that he "Mr. Always Needs a Plan Ahead of Time" agreed was great and my kids proudly carried those fish around Walmart telling him to hurry up because the fish and crabs were running out of air.

Fast forward to Saturday night. We set up the tank, didn't have enough rock, and put the fish and crabs in it. Then I got thinking that at the store the crabs had this tall thing so they could get out of the water and I am thinking our crabs are going to die unless they have something like that too. So I start googling, and as we all know I should just stay away from Google.

Turns out our crabs are not freshwater crabs but brackish water crabs meaning they need aquarium salt, and guess what? Goldfish don't like salt. And the crabs do need access to air or they will die. Plus, pet stores generally sell the crabs as freshwater, but then you get them home and they only live for a few months because basically from day one you put them in their new home you are essentially killing them. Awesome. Now, I am not a humongous tree hugger, but I have enough of it in me to feel bad that I would knowingly be killing these poor crabs by not giving them the right type of home. Plus, they were $3 a piece and the goldfish were 38 cents, so really I am going to save the more expensive thing first, oh, and the fact that the kids bought the crabs with their own money added to my "save the crabs first" plan.

So yesterday, I went back to Walmart with the kids and we looked at crab tank options. After spending probably close to an hour in the fish aisle trying to figure out the cheapest way to get another set up, I came to the conclusion that this was going to cost me like $50 for a stupid crab tank. So Ava and Owen and I had a little chat. It went something like this "You guys bought the crabs with your own money and they are way cooler than the goldfish. It's really expensive to get all the stuff we need for a separate cage for the crabs, and we don't really have room for another cage. How would you feel if we kept them in the same cage with the goldfish and got something for the crabs to have air, and we put the salt in, which will probably kill the goldfish eventually, but then we can get a puffer fish and some other fish who like that environment as the goldfish die?" And they said okay. So we left with a puffer fish to put in until the other goldfish die and rock for the bottom of the tank. So far, the goldfish are doing okay, and maybe they will live because the amount of salt needed for the puffer and the crabs is so low. Kembia and Moyz are enthralled by these fish and crabs. Had I known how much it would have fascinated them I would have done this a long time ago!

I am exhausted about all this fish stuff, really all I wanted was an easy, cheap, fun thing for my kids and it evolved into something way more than I had imagined. But now that we just added the salt and will let whatever happens happen, it is much less stressful for me and I can now enjoy it again. Although my kids keep saying that they think the puffer fish is "bored", and are wondering when the crabs are going to have babies since we have a male and a female. Plus they always think they are starving and want to feed them At least they're not torturing a cat or dog to death with their "love".

1 comment:

  1. Lol... this sounds exactly like something I would do!

    If memory serves me - goldfish will do just fine in brackish water. In fact, we put small amounts of salt in our ponds and tanks anyway.. as it 'medicates' the water... to keep them healthy.

    I wish Walmart (and most other pet stores) did not sell living things for this exact reason!