The Mad Scientist: … Red Fish, Gold Fish?

It is I, the mad scientist! Join me and my minions as we study some of God’s amazing creatures; learning tons of fun facts along the way.


Summer_ScienceMy little ‘Mouse’ is on a quest to see how many pets she can get me to buy. What she didn’t know, was that this week another pet was going to be added to our household and without her having to ask for it either!

To complete our lessons on fish, I thought it would be fun to take our kids on an outing to the local pet store and have someone else do the teaching. So, off we trot to the local PetSmart, ready to learn and discover.

While at PetSmart, we talked with their helpful and informative clerks about various types of fish available for purchase. We discussed the benefits of both fresh and salt water fish. We were taught how to best set up an environment for the fish, to make them feel more at home and help them live longer. We learned which types of food were best for various specie and discovered quite a few fish like ‘hiding places’ in their tanks, to avoid those pesky humans who keep staring at them.

As an added bonus, the man and I decided to go ahead with buying a few fish. We wanted to start off with fish our children could maintain and be responsible for on their own. This was not going to be another added job for mom, but an ideal opportunity for our children to be accountable. Molly Fish

Which type of fish are best for beginners and children? A little research and those helpful people over at PetSmart helped us narrow down our choices:

  • Rainbow Fish
  • Molly Fish
  • Guppies
  • Gourami
  • Betta
  • and Platy

Why not Goldfish? Well, anyone who has ever owned a goldfish before could tell you they last about one week; tops! My ‘Mouse’ tends to get especially attached to her pets. I cannot imagine getting a fish, only to have it die a week later. I just don’t want to deal with that stress. So, no goldfish!

Which one did we go with? A betta fish! They are very colorful and are a great beginner fish. While we would have liked to purchase more than one fish, Betta do not do well with other fish (not even other Betta) and I wasn’t ready to invest in a five gallon tank. For now, this will work.

Fish BowlWhat do beginners need to properly care for their fish?

  • A fish bowl
  • Gravel or Sand, for ground cover
  • Greenery, for fish to play and hide in
  • Fish Food
  • Oh, and Fish!

Our goal was to start off small and simple. If the kiddos prove up to the task, we might consider upgrading the current system to a larger one. But, I think that is quite a bit into the future; let’s just get through this week, shall we?

What a wonderful way to wrap up our lessons on fish! It was fun learning at the pet center and even more fun being able to practically apply what we learned! Our fish are now set up in their new home and we are excited to enjoy the newest members of the household.

Time to Chime In: Have you ever owned fish? Which fish would you recommend for beginners?



8 thoughts on “The Mad Scientist: … Red Fish, Gold Fish?

  1. We had a goldfish that lived for ten years! And it was free on top of that – from a new pet store that opened. The fish lasted longer than the pet shop did, and turned out to be a beautiful veil-tail gold fish. One of the things I did for it was to treat the water with a product called “Goldfish Life.” I’m sure it was one of the reasons our tiny free fish grew from a little over an inch when we got it, to six inches (including the extraordinary fins!) I’m not sure that product is still available, but there are other brands out there.

    Good luck with your new pets!


  2. I have had lots of fish but to be honest the only ones that have last for very long time are my goldfish, my gouramis, and placos (sucker fish). I have had goldfish last between 5-6 years. The ones I have right now are about 4 yrs old. I have one gourami that is about 6 yrs old. I love the fact that you started your kids with a fish tank. They will enjoy it!!


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