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My kids have been asking for a pet for a long time now, but the timing is just not right to bring a dog or cat into the house. Between full-time jobs, school, sports teams, homework, and playing with friends, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to devote to training, caring for, and spending time with a new puppy or kitten. Still, I do think every kid should have some pet in his or her life because of the great lessons to be learned from such an experience. So we’re making a compromise and starting with some goldfish in a simple hexagon fish tank.
Goldfish are a classic children’s pet because they are notoriously easy to care for. You don’t need a fancy aquarium with all sorts of pumps and filters to keep these tiny creatures happy. They’re the very definition of a low-cost, low-maintenance pet. While not as fun or as a cuddly puppy, goldfish make great starter pets for kids and shouldn’t be ruled out too quickly.
Anyway, before bringing home our new pets, we had to get a small area set up to receive them. We started by buying a hexagon fish tank, some gravel for the bottom, a net/scoop, and some food. There was no particular reason that we chose a hexagon fish tank over a standard aquarium; everyone in the family just thought these looked nice and decorative compared to the traditional rectangular models. All told, we spent less than $50 on supplies and accessories and then spent a whopping $2 on several the goldfish themselves. Seriously, what another kind of pet can claim such low start-up costs for the family? This was very easy on our budget, which is much appreciated since things are a bit tight right now.
Our new goldfish seem to be thriving in their environment. They’re very active at this point, and the kids enjoy watching them swim around in the beautiful hexagon fish tank they now call home. I’ve been checking out other people’s aquarium setups on the Internet, and am impressed at how great some of these tanks look. Later on, I might start purchasing more accessories for our hexagon fish tanks, such as a stand, some lights, or decorations and props that can be placed in the water. I guess it all depends on how long the children can sustain interest in the whole thing. Here’s hoping this entire exercise doesn’t turn into a fad they’ll grow bored within a couple of weeks!
Overall, I think the decision to go with goldfish as a starter pet was a good one. The price for the hexagon fish tank, food, and accessories was very reasonable, there’s hardly any maintenance to speak of, and the kids seem to enjoy having some pet here at home. We can’t ask for anything more!