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dh promised ds goldfish - any alternatives?

(33 Posts)
Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:05:44

For some reason dh told our five year old he can get goldfish. Did he research the needs of goldfish and check we had space for a decent tank, or could afford all the equipment etc? No of course not hmm
Now I had fish in a plastic bowl as a child but I knew no better.
Is there any other pet I could get that would be very low-maintenance, yet could live a content existence? I have a five year old and a almost one year old, in a small flat. Dh is allergic to cats, and I am scared of snakes.
Suppose I could always put dh in a hutch in the garden..
Any advice would be welcome!

YoniMontana Tue 30-Apr-13 12:08:34


Theselittlelightsofmine Tue 30-Apr-13 12:14:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:21:48

Ooh, going to google those.
We have a zillion snails in our garden, but I'm guessing that's not the same!
I thought we'd get a pet when we finally move into a house, but that's likely to be another year away. I've lived with guinea pigs, rats and a dog in the past so it's not that I don't like pets, but I really didn't want one on my plate just now. I remember the rats peed everywhere which I certainly don't want with the baby.
Are the pet stores good at giving advice or more likely to just sell me stuff?

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Tue 30-Apr-13 12:24:45

don't get stick insects. they are not low maintenance. You clean them out every few days and they escape and walk off and you cant find them because they look like sticks.grin

They eat bramble bush which is not always that easy to find and they are actually quite boring and messy and die alot.

<not a fan of stick insects>

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 30-Apr-13 12:36:46

We keep the caterpillars we find in our veg rear them until they are butterflies. We have a sort of net cage and feed them broccoli and cauliflower leaves and have some twigs so they can attach themselves when they reach the pupa stage
The best bit is that they are only temporary pets and we're not lumbered with long term commitments.

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:42:15

stick insects off the list! Have a feeling ds might accidentally break bits of it off.
I had a caterpillar! It's all coming back to me now grin it was brown and furry though, what type is that? Wonder if can persuade ds..
Dh's grand plan was that the "bowl" would sit on our dining table, which is the eating/homework/colouring/playing table and is also next to a very sunny window. Still think I might chop him up and feed him to the caterpillar.
Maybe ds would accept a games console instead? wink

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:43:14

Describe your net cage further, please..

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 30-Apr-13 12:58:23

The net cage was given to DC as part of a grow your own butterfly type kit.
It is like a miniature pop up net storage basket from IKEA except it has a clear plastic top which zips to the pop up cylinder. When not in use it folds down to a dinner plate size.
The words Live Butterfly Garden and Insect Lore are on the labels if that's any help.

Tingalingle Tue 30-Apr-13 13:04:26

Well, these are a lot smaller than goldfish and I haven't killed ours yet (but they do need a filter and heater).

MortifiedAdams Tue 30-Apr-13 13:06:40

I really dont understand why you cant a gold fish. The tanks are as big as a sheet of A4 paper. Cheap as chips too.

Stropzilla Tue 30-Apr-13 13:14:32

MortifiedAdams - goldfish are extremely messy fish and although they don't need a heater they still need a filter. They grow to the kind of size that needs 20gal per fish. Please don't believe the whole "it will grow to it's tank" myth, it may well do that but it will suffer and it's lifespan will be drastically shortened. Yes you can do it, cheap and quickly if you dont bother to cycle the filter (don't get me started on that!) but it's extremely cruel.

AndWhenYouGetThere Tue 30-Apr-13 13:20:53

A betta fish (who are BEAUtiful!) can live alone in a smallish tank (not as small as an A4 sheet though).
They still need heat and light.

toomuch2young Tue 30-Apr-13 13:28:42

I had lots of fun with sea monkeys as a young child, the kits are quite interesting as well.

Branleuse Tue 30-Apr-13 13:33:22

just let your dh get him a goldfish and a bowl.

Its hardly beating monkeys with a stick.

As long as the bowl is a reasonable size, and its what your dh promised him, and so its kind of between them imo

toomuch2young Tue 30-Apr-13 13:36:06

Not sure i like that they are listed under toys though!!

Blu Tue 30-Apr-13 13:39:42

And ant farm?

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:41:26

I always thought seamonkeys were a toy, ie that they were artificial things. Intruiged now!
I didn't think bowl for a fish was a problem either, till reading up on it today. The smallest tanks in (eg) pets at home website are still quite big, and need to be next to a plug socket.
Real issue is I just didn't want one now, I suppose, thought once we move (and the dcs don't share a room that has no room to swing a stick insect in it) I would get him something like a guinea pig.

monkeyfacegrace Tue 30-Apr-13 13:41:32

Get a Betta. £20 off ebay for a 30l tank (look for an aquaone 320), add a tiny heater, add one Betta for £5. Job done, gorgeous fish x

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:44:30

I like the ant forms - smallish, have a lid on it, no heat needed..
Are ants happy in an ant farm? Especially ones with blue gel instead of soil though? Whenever I think "ant" now I hear Woody Allen's voice from that film, I may be over-humanising them blush

zipzap Tue 30-Apr-13 13:56:12

Get her a stuffed cuddly toy fish and make a fun aquarium out of an old box with a hole cut in the front (as you'd do for making a tv or theatre from a box).

Actually make dh source the cuddly fish and make the aquarium with her. Lots more fun for her to direct her own fishy adventures grasping at straws plus would hammer the point home to dh about checking these things with you first.

You could also add a cute shark and a little daddy figure then the daddy could be eaten by the angry shark really not helpful now but fun to think of!

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 14:01:38

Loving it zipzap grin we already have the cuddly nemo toy - in fact it was that trip to Deep Sea World that started this off!
I love the Betta fish, looks far to beautiful to be easy to look after! I could make space on a shelf if I threw dh's old stereo away..
Though seamonkeys look like a good starter pet, he might not be very keen after a week after all sad

EauRouge Tue 30-Apr-13 14:36:25

Fish shouldn't be kept in anything less than 45 litres really. Goldfish get enormous and live for about 20 years. Not a good starter fish, although they are easy to care for in the right conditions.

I have stick insects and they are really low maintenance, I just squirt them with some water every day and give them some fresh food every week. They eat brambles but loads of other stuff too, depends on what species you get. The DDs love them, the ones we have are fairly robust and massive so hard to lose. Also I sold all the eggs on ebay and made a massive profit grin

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 15:27:16

Argharghargh at stick insects being "hard to lose"!
This thread is really helping me see what I dont want - anything that gets out of the tank for a start!
I really am more of a mammal person I think. Though a lovely tank of fish is always nice to look at, it takes a lot of work (and money) I realise to keep it that way.

FurryDogMother Tue 30-Apr-13 15:31:10

Just wanted to add another 'no' to stick insects. They breed. Lots. I let mine go in the neighbour's privet hedge in the end (I was 9).

Hold out for the guinea pig, I would.

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