Many people who want to get pets for their kids start off small with keeping fish. Before we go any further, here’s a little bit of insight – the joy you get out of a pet is usually measured by the amount of time you invest in a pet. While children may love watching fish swim around fish tanks, particularly the colorful tropical fish, they cannot take them out of the tank and play with them or take them for a walk around the block.
Actually, they can but the fish will die and people will talk.
Getting started with keeping fish, however, is a good idea to see just how responsible your kids really are. Once you get a pet, it should be forever. It is not fair to the animal to bring it home and then get rid of it once you are tired of it. By getting fish, you can see just how far your children are willing to go when it comes to taking care of a pet.
There are two different types of fish tanks that you can get. Most people get fresh water tanks because they are much easier to care for. Others prefer salt water tanks because you can get the more exotic fish and sea creatures in your tank. Taking care of a fish tank is a job for an adult or an older child as it is very involved and can be quite costly. If you want to get started with a small pet for your child, think about getting it a goldfish.
Goldfish can swim in fresh water and do not need a water filter. You can get a small tank and get your child to change the water every other day. It will be important to make sure that the temperature of the water is the same for the fish when the water is changed as a sudden change in temperature will most likely kill the fish.
By starting out slow with goldfish, your child can see if he or she likes the idea of caring for the fish. Your child will also have to experience the death of the fish, and this can be a valuable life lesson as well. Unlike a cat or a dog, the fish does not have a long life span and will not form a bond with your child, however, the death of the fish can be very traumatic for a child.
While starting out with a goldfish as a pet can give your child a good indication of what it is like to care for another creature, it is really only advised for older children who understand the concept of death and the child should be advised early on that the fish does not live a long time. You do not want to make the child feel that he or she somehow caused the death of the fish, as this would do more harm than good when it comes to getting a pet for your child to raise his or her self esteem.
Your child may actually enjoy taking care of his or her fish to the point that you want to invest in a fish tank. This can be a great hobby for both young and old alike and a clean fish tank can be a beautiful focal point in any room. People who learn to care for fish often have a hobby that they can enjoy throughout their lives.
Taking care of fish and learning about their lives can be a great way for your child to explore the world of pets as well as teach them a bit about oceanography. The care of the fish tanks and the fish will give your child a sense of self worth and raise their self esteem. Your child may not be able to play with the fish or take them out for walks, but the sound of a fish tank is very soothing and has been recommended for people who have trouble going to sleep.
To get your child set up with a goldfish, you can get a large goldfish bowl, a net, a container where the fish can be put when the water is being changed and goldfish food. You can get more than one goldfish in the bowl as it will be more interesting for your child and the fish. The goldfish should be fed a little every day and allowed to frolic. The water must be changed every other day or the fish will die.
When it comes to keeping fish goldfish are very inexpensive as most of them are simply feeders for other fish. You will not only be teaching your child a lesson on how to care for a pet, you will be saving the life, temporarily, of goldfish who are doomed to be lunch for a bigger fish.
Goldfish do not live very long lives. With care, the fish may last a few years. The reason they do not live long lives is because of natural selection – they are designed to be food for other bigger fish and do not need a long life span. Like other creatures with a short life span, they tend to breed quite a bit during their short life span, although it is unlikely that your child will have any fish eggs in their fishbowl.
In addition to the feeder goldfish, which usually cost pennies at a fish store, you can also get large, exotic goldfish. These fish will live a longer life, but should be kept in a tank with a filter. A filter in a fish tank suctions out the waste and replenishes the oxygen in the water so that the fish can survive. Fish breathe in the oxygen in the water through their gills and when the oxygen is all used up, the fish dies. This is why it is important to have a filter on a fish tank. However, when caring for feeder type fish that have a typically short life span, it might not be wise to invest in a filter right away.
When starting out with keeping fish, starting off small with goldfish will give your child a chance to learn how to care for another creature and may open a whole new world for your child. Or, it may be a gateway to caring for bigger pets.
Be sure to check back soon when next time we have a look at beginner pets-hamsters and gerbils