aibu or are fish a crap pet

(51 Posts)
whogrewoutoftheterribletwos Thu 14-Nov-13 17:04:00

For a 7yo? Been thinking about a pet for a while. considered lizards but worried we might kill them. Dh hates cats and a dog is a lot of work if you're lazy like me

Ds suggested fish but imo they're a bit crap then they die. what do other mumsnetters think?

WooWooOwl Thu 14-Nov-13 17:11:46

YABU, I love goldfish! They are so pretty to watch and I love how they recognise they are about to be fed when you stand near their tank and lift the lid.

It's true they don't make a very exciting pet, but then you can't do much with a lizard either.

It depends how much effort you want to put into a pet, and the space you have available. Y

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 14-Nov-13 17:20:10

Not a good pet if you value longevity!

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 14-Nov-13 17:24:31

You can't cuddle them.

SillyTilly123 Thu 14-Nov-13 17:25:46

Goldfish can live for up to 20 years, its usually negligence that kills them. Even tropical fish live ages. Guppies only live 1-2 years but corycats, angelfish etc all live for 5+ years. If you do decide to get fish please read up on the fishless cycle, its not just fill the tank add fish and away you go, theres loads of sciency stuff to look into. (Ph, nitrates, nitrites etc)
A siamese fighter fish may be a good choice for a child. They are beautiful fish but need to be kept solo.

I have just downgraded from a 350 litre tank to a 160 litre as I couldn't maintain the bigger one due to my back and also have a 20 litre with a siamese fighter fish in.

Chivetalking Thu 14-Nov-13 17:27:48

Not as crap as sea monkeys.

At least fish don't sppend their entire lives shagging grin

MuffCakes Thu 14-Nov-13 17:29:06

We have a goldfish, it's the third time we tried them, first lot died, second lot I killed off and this time one died but one has remained alive for about a year now.

I love him everytime I wash the dishes and he sees me he comes over and glob glob globs at me, it's like hes really talking. and I talk back

Shittest of the shittiest pets.

gordyslovesheep Thu 14-Nov-13 17:31:52

we had a goldfish who was lovely - now we have 2 small tropical tanks - they are ace - fish are funny and the kids love them

pigletmania Thu 14-Nov-13 17:32:11

My dd who has ASD loves them so calming

SilverApples Thu 14-Nov-13 17:36:09

DS wants a fish, so he obviously doesn't think they are crap. Perhaps if it's to be his pet, he should get a say in it?
I love them, but we haven't currently got room to set up the tank.

ZombieMojaveWonderer Thu 14-Nov-13 17:42:19

Gold fish are great but most people don't realise that they continually grow and so they die because the tank isn't big enough for them. You may think your gold fish has stopped growing but in actual fact his body may have stopped but his vital organs haven't and so he dies a painful death through his organs being crushed.
I have tropical fish. They are not for my kids. They are a specialist pet and need expertise. They are expensive to set up and take a lot of work. I have had mine forever and love them.
Guineas pigs are great! I have 3 and they are so cute and friendly.

WorraLiberty Thu 14-Nov-13 17:44:06

I had fish

Then I bought a bigger fish

It ate all the smaller fish

Then it died

Yes, they are fucking shit pets << Bitter >>

hooochycoo Thu 14-Nov-13 17:45:59

My goldfish is eighteen. He lives in a little tank. He seems ok.

MuffCakes Thu 14-Nov-13 17:48:40

I thought goldfish don't grow past their tank size?

Stropzilla Thu 14-Nov-13 17:52:29

Fish are great pets. Sadly people think they can just add water. They have no clue about cycling without which the fish generally die. And growing to the tank size is a myth.

WorraLiberty Thu 14-Nov-13 17:55:34

Fish are great pets. Sadly people think they can just add water. They have no clue about cycling without which the fish generally die.

Fuck! Is that why he died? Because I didn't buy him a bike? shock


nitrox Thu 14-Nov-13 17:58:19

I have a big tank with fancy goldfish, they are lovely, but my God have I had to work hard with them...

I had tropical fish years ago and they were so easy in comparison.

Lovely idea with the right tank and the right fish but probably not ideal for a young child.

If the water levels aren't right the fish will die, it's taken me a long time to get my tank right and I've lost a couple of fish along the way unfortunately.

How about a rat? I had rat's as a kid, my mum didn't like the thought of them, but once I had them she came round and grew to love them too, brilliant pets for small children.

nitrox Thu 14-Nov-13 17:58:44

Worra grin

KatoPotato Thu 14-Nov-13 18:01:15

Goldfish are dirty beggars. They shit and shit and shit so you constantly have to clean them out. They can grow huge and shouldn't really be kept in tanks.

Tropical breeds are far easier but I just love my two clown fish and our cleaner shrimp. So easy to care for, partial water changes and they've been going string for 3.5yrs now! Don't be put off by experiences of goldfish...

Stropzilla Thu 14-Nov-13 18:01:39

Lol worra! Yeah he needs a top of the range racer.

If anyone wants to know what I mean Google the nitrogen cycle. Water doesn't have to be perfect at all times but pretty near.

Stropzilla Thu 14-Nov-13 18:03:11

Kato is right tho. Goldfish crap a LOT. Not good aquarium fish unless it's huge. Guppies much easier.

KatoPotato Thu 14-Nov-13 18:03:32

Also never venture onto reef or fish keeping forums. Jeez they take it so seriously and try and outdo each other with martyrdom...

It's piss easy

itscockyfoxagain Thu 14-Nov-13 18:07:01

Fish are more effort than a dog, we had a beautiful tank before the kids but it was massive (over 6ft long) we kept cichlids they were lovely but keeping the water perfect is a lot of work.

WestieMamma Thu 14-Nov-13 18:35:24

I've heard Oscars are a fun fish to have as pets. They are very intelligent and interact with their keepers. They also wreck their tanks if they're bored so you have to give them 'toys' to keep them entertained. My friend used to keep one and he would rearrange all the plants in the tank to his liking but the minute he turned his back the Oscar would move it all back the positions it preferred.

TotallyBursar Thu 14-Nov-13 18:41:26

I have 5 dogs, 3 cats, 2 hedgehogs, 4 snakes, a parakeet, 2 tarantulas and 6 rats. Currently.

They take less effort and stress than I used to have to put in to DHs massive aquarium because every single fucking bit needed twiddling, checking and replacing - it was never-ending. Then he would be home toodling about with it as well because there was some new thing he wanted to do.
And the fucking fingerprints and smears. You can't leave them because the lights make them look like CSI has been round.
It may be because I was so anal about following orders but I didn't find it soothing.

The goldfish in the pond, love them - feed 'em, check my pumps working, tickle some bellies and then they're happy to fish about.
I think I am not good at tropical fish and had no idea what I was doing so didn't know if it was all overkill or just maintenance blush I have great respect for fishy people, I don't have the aquatic touch!

LongTimeLurking Thu 14-Nov-13 18:44:53

To keep fish alive and well they require a fair bit of effort really. The main problem is people tend to get a small goldfish bowl or tank and stick way too many fish in it. - They are quite literally living in their own filth; they require regular cleaning and water changes to keep them alive. Over feeding is another big killer as they don't eat all the food and it just rots in the water.

Just get down the dogs trust or RSPCA and get a dog. Something at least 3 years old and past the puppy stage. Feed it and give it a decent walk every day. No more effort or cost than the fish but a 'proper' pet. Plus it wont die every few months.

whogrewoutoftheterribletwos Thu 14-Nov-13 19:09:40

Silver - ds just wants a pet. He's now saying fish as he reckons they're smaller and easier so we'll be more likely to say yes. I can't be faffed with the tank cleaning etc

I still think they're dull in.tanks. unless they're piranahs in a huge aquarium grin

jellybeans Thu 14-Nov-13 19:22:37

I love our goldfish but they are far from easy at first. Need a big tank (many many litres) and to get the chemical cycle right or they will get ammonia poisoning. Ours have lasted many months so far. Once set up properly though they are pretty easy. Only need to pump some of the water once a week or so and put clean treated water in. They look nice and are very friendly and come for food. Kids love them. Gerbils are a great pet too and very friendly and maybe more fun.

SilverApples Thu 14-Nov-13 19:24:50

Guinea pigs.
They will tidy up most of your random veg and fruit scraps, talk to each other and DS, you can put their bedding on the compost heap, they are incredibly friendly and they don't dig or growl, unlike rabbits.
A 7 year old can manage them, give him a checklist and supervise from a chair with a wine in your hand.

jellybeans Thu 14-Nov-13 19:26:17

Our goldfish have cost us almost £200 as well. Far more than the gerbils/guinea pigs etc. had to keep getting bigger tanks, water treatment etc etc.

hooochycoo Thu 14-Nov-13 19:26:46

Our fish is weird. We inherited him, someone left him in my flat so I sort of felt a duty to continue feeding him. And he's been there ever since. He's been in the same small bowl the whole time with no filter. I clean the water somewhere between every week and month, and feed him every two or three days or so. He's eighteen. He seems fine. Just keeps on keeping on. Gets excited when you feed him, enjoys moving his stones around. Got a nice tail. Not difficult to look after and has longevity. The kids live him.

Goldmandra Thu 14-Nov-13 19:33:26

We have dogs, guinea pigs and a goldfish.

The dogs are more fun but the most work. Guinea pigs are fun but can be cuddled instead of walking.

The goldfish is quite boring and I hate cleaning out the tank. He's been around for years and every companion he's ever had has died within a couple of months despite us jumping through all the required hoops.

He does look nice in his lit tank in the hall though smile

Kleptronic Thu 14-Nov-13 19:36:56

Platys are good. Like goldfish but without the toxic shit.

basgetti Thu 14-Nov-13 19:39:16

My DS has a black redtail shark, only grows to 12 centimetres and seems a bit more robust than goldfish. He also has a cute shark like face and he is quite a character. Fish don't have to be boring!

WestieMamma Thu 14-Nov-13 21:32:36

Piranahs are horrible fish to keep. Not only are they ugly but they spend all day giving you evils and freaking you out.

MuffCakes Thu 14-Nov-13 22:05:08

I hardly ever clean my tank out, about once every two months I scoopy a few jugfulls of water out, add a few more back and add a load of goldfish liquidy tank stuff to get the chemicals neutral.

LittleMissGreen Thu 14-Nov-13 22:28:30

My current fish (plec) are 10years old. They are lovely and very friendly. Very easy to keep.

As to Oscars, I had one gorgeous one which was very friendly and fed by hand (until someone killed him) and his replacement was a nightmare!

Happy to recommend fish as a pet!

Lilacroses Thu 14-Nov-13 22:36:18

My personal experience is that fish do seem to die alot! Also, they don't do much. That is perhaps quite obvious I suppose! Easiest is our cat whom we barely ever see!

Maryann1975 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:44:51

chivetalking my fish must spend most of their lives shagging. They keep having babies, we've had hundreds of them. I regularly send bag fills of them to my friend who has a fish with a big mouth who eats them. It maybe cruel, but I have no idea what else to do with them. Fish are the most boring pets, I am desperate to get I'd of my tank,but don't know anyone who wants the fish.
We do have some that are over 7 years old though, so must be doing something right.

Ihavemyownname Thu 14-Nov-13 23:05:34

Iv had my fish since January I started with a small tank with 2 fish I now have a bigger tank and more fish I thought it was fairly easy clean them every two weeks feed them every few days etc. until the nitrates changed then I found myself running 3 hospital tanks hmm for at least 3 weeks till I sorted the main tank I wouldn't mind but they are only fancy goldfish

Mylovelyboy Thu 14-Nov-13 23:11:59

I bought ds a fish when he was little. We made a right big thing of it, tank, filters, nice stones, fake plant, fake shipwreck etc etc. He looked at it for about two days then ignored it. And then he had the cheek to cry when it died.

Fish are dull dull dull (no one tell DH I've said this), and they are expensive and stupid amounts of work.

And they can live for years and years and years (so I'm stuck with the useless things) when treated right.

cory Thu 14-Nov-13 23:31:42

Fish are a great pet if you are the kind of person who is primarily interested in having a little bit of nature in your home, who is interested in learning about different species and their original habitats, about behaviour and adaptations. A small (but not inexpensive) biology project.

I enjoy my fish because I don't really want to be friends with them, I like the feeling that they get on with their own lives and ignore me. It's like having my own little David Attenborough programme running non-stop.

If you are the kind of person who wants a pet to be friends with, then I'd suggest something else.

Floralnomad Thu 14-Nov-13 23:34:55

Fish are really hard work ,rats make good pets for children but you do have to be prepared to do the cleaning and get them out every day .

sashh Fri 15-Nov-13 08:23:29

I had mice. They typically only live 2 years (Except Dr Squeak, she went on for nearly 3, but she was planing to take over the world).

They are a good pet, you can stroke them and hold them but they are also happy to socialise with each other (you need at least 2).

You do need to clean them out, but they get very excited when you do it if you rearrange the cage. Oh and they like to use the wheel communally.

BUT if your ds wants a fish that may be the put for him.

Hassled Fri 15-Nov-13 08:26:51

I think fish are pretty dull, and there's a lot of work involved in the maintenance etc.

Hamsters are worse though - asleep when your child is awake, then incredibly noisy when your child wants to sleep. I don't understand why they've ever become a household pet - there's nothing less suitable, really.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 15-Nov-13 08:44:58

Fish are rubbish as a pet IMHO.
They are quite a bit of work ( not like when I was a kid and ppl just stuck a goldfish in a glass bowl with a bit of gravel and water) and they can't be played with.
Cats are good.
Mice are ok.
Guinea pigs if you have the space.

Tarantulas are NOT pets <narrows eyes at TotallyBursar>
<feels faint just from typing "tarantulas">

SoleSorceress Fri 15-Nov-13 08:51:31

How dare you! angry

If there was a fire I would save my Splish and Splosh first.

My goldfish are my life. angry

Goldfish are great need to look after them properly.

For a start they need a massive tank, not one of these crappy smaller starter tanks from pets at home or such like, thats the reason they die.

They are quite a lot of work but well worth it. Like your DS, my DS was desperate for a pet and fish was the only thing at the time I was willing to stretch to - 2 years on I have a massive tank, and the fishes are mine as DS lost interest pretty quickly. Let's be honest, they aren't very interesting for a kid so the chances are you will end up sorting them out.

DS has a cat now who we all dote on smile

If you do decide to get a fish, the fish forum on here is great and you will get fab advice.

marfisa Fri 15-Nov-13 08:56:47

I love our tropical fish. We had goldfish before but they were harder to look after as they produce lots of waste. The tropical fish are easier to look after and more fun to watch IMO.

It's true that if your DS is 7, you will be doing the maintenance and not him. It's not a lot of work but you do need to be responsible about doing a small water change every week (or two at a pinch).

Mollies and guppies breed like mad. Usually all the young get eaten (perhaps one or two survive - survival of the fittest) but last time we put the fry in a nursery tank (a little net box that fits into your normal tank) and watched them grow up. My DS (8) loved it. We then returned them all to the local fish shop (there is a HUGE tropical fish shop round the corner from where we live, so loads of families round here have fish).

My only regret is that I didn't buy a larger tank in the beginning. I am thinking of asking for one for Christmas because I love the fish as much as or more than DS does. blush

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