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My 6.5 yr old son wants to get some fish but we don't know where to start! I am really against "caged" or "tanked" animals so it's hard for me to give in to his desire, but, he REALLY wants it! So, I figured I would give it a try. What is a good size tank to start with and which fish? What about frogs? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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peacepiece,<br>
Despite being hesitant about keeping animals in a tank, pets can be a great way for kids to learn about responsibility and about making decisions that will affect others (the pets!)<br><br>
I found this is also a great time to have a conversation with your child about what is involved in having a pet. Ask them why they want a pet and what they think they will need to do to take care of them, and even make a list of responsibilities.<br><br>
Fish are great starter pets. Goldfish or danio fish are quite hearty and can survive a weekend (even a little longer) without feeding. The bigger the tank, the better. A 10 gallon tank with 3 fish and decorations will be pretty low maintenence. Get a filter that will keep the water moving and a low-wattage light. Keeping the tank away from direct sunlight will mean less cleaning.<br><br>
Finally, find a tiny scoop or similar measuring tool that will help your son provide a consistent amount of food. Kids tend to overfeed by a lot, and that means more cleaning and a sick fish.You might want to have your son look at the fish and draw how big he thinks the fish's stomach is - he will quickly see they don't need a whole lot of food.<br><br>
Good luck
 

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the rule of thumb for fish and tanks is this: 10 gallons of water for every inch of fish.<br><br>
Also with goldfish, although hardy, still have certain requirements including a moderate and constant water temperature.<br><br>
For feeding, only feed as much as your fish will eat. We feed our one goldfish every other day (remember food drifts to the bottom and is later eaten).
 

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I would also consider a beta fish. They are pretty (and cheap!) and a good starter fish. You could let your son pick out which one he wants, whereas, if you get a goldfish, you kind of have to get whichever one they happen to catch.<br><br>
We have a great Petco by us that has all sorts of animals, including frogs and turtles. I would suggest going to the petstore and asking more questions about upkeep, life span, etc.<br><br>
Good luck finding a new friend for your son!
 

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It may make you feel better about having a tanked animal if you were to choose some feeder fish. Those are my favorite to buy because I feel like I'm saving one tiny little life.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I'm with you on the caged/tanked thing, partly because I feel sorry for the animal and partly because Mom tends to be the one who has to clean the darned thing! (Apologies to my mom, who had to clean my poor parakeet's cage for years when I was younger. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )<br><br>
We had a betta for a couple of years (it was a gift -- gee thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> ), and it was actually kind of a neat pet -- it puts on a fun display compared to, say, a goldfish, and they live for 3-4 years if treated well. Just make sure if you get a betta to follow the 10-gallon per inch of fish rule -- for some reason some people think that particular kind of fish can live happily in a flower vase or some other small container, and I just feel terrible for them!
 

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My children have frogs, salamanders and fish and we have a cat outdoors. The frog is in a huge tank and the salamander is in a smaller tank. They are in charge of cleaning the tanks, feeding them and playing with them. No problems there since they love them! My sons are very good at knowing what to put inside the tanks and keeping them full so the creatures have a lot available to them as far as moss, floor covering on the tank, live plants, water, rocks etc.<br><br>
I usually take care of the fish in the kitchen. We have one of those fish that has to stay alone because it's mean (beta) and will attack other fish and I love him. He knows when I'm at the sink and wants to be fed and what not and I talk to him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: So pets are good for all of us I think. However, our oldest son brought home 4 tiny fish in a tank over the past weekend and he is to care for them.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>limabean</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7905722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm with you on the caged/tanked thing, partly because I feel sorry for the animal and partly because Mom tends to be the one who has to clean the darned thing! (Apologies to my mom, who had to clean my poor parakeet's cage for years when I was younger. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )<br><br>
We had a betta for a couple of years (it was a gift -- gee thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> ), and it was actually kind of a neat pet -- it puts on a fun display compared to, say, a goldfish, and they live for 3-4 years if treated well. Just make sure if you get a betta to follow the 10-gallon per inch of fish rule -- for some reason some people think that particular kind of fish can live happily in a flower vase or some other small container, and I just feel terrible for them!</div>
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I felt this wayabout the beta too until I found out that there normal habitat are rice patties and very shallow (3-4 inches of water) and they do pretty much just stay in one place.<br><br>
The problem with the planted beta is that the beta use the oxygen and there is no more generated in the water because of the plant, so the fish dies.<br><br>
My mom had 2 goldfish. One lived 10 years, the other 15 (and this included moving twice.
 

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Moving to pets <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<a href="http://www.petlibrary.com/goldfish/fishcare.htm" target="_blank">Proper Goldfish Care</a><br><a href="http://joshday.com/bettafaq.htm" target="_blank">Betta Care</a><br><br><a href="http://www.familymanagement.com/facts/english/pets_children.html" target="_blank">How to choose a pet for your child</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all your input. I came home today and ds and dh bought a 10 gallon tank. it is filled and running with a filter, for 3 days I guess. Are you saying we can only get a 1 inch fish for this size tank??..
 

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If you are talking something tiny like a Zebra Danio or Neon Tetra--they are schooling fish and I'd say 3 or 4 would be just fine in a 10 gallon. Just one would be really lonely.<br><br>
For goldfish, no more than 2.<br><br>
Beta's cannot be kept with most other fish. So, just one.
 

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I would not put one goldfish, let alone 2 in a 10 gallon. They get BIG and 10 gallons is not enough. Bettas can definitely be kept with other fish, just not other bettas (sometimes they dont work w/ gouramis....closely related). Actually if you keep a betta w/ other fish, you have to make sure the betta doesnt get beat up.....their long flowing fins can be attractive to some nippy fish.<br><br>
If you are very faithful about water changes (like 25-50% every week) you could get away w/ a small school of danios, small tetras, etc and a betta.
 

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I think it's 1 inch of fish per every gallon of water, not every 10 gallons. That's what the friend who gave us her tank told us, and I just looked it up and it seems to be the case. I think our tank is maybe a tad overcrowded, but we haven't lost any fish, so I think we're doing alright.
 

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no booby definitely not. can you imagine TEN fish in a ten gallon tank? That would be way to crowded.<br><br>
For bettas you can have othe fish just make sure they are not aggressive in nature.<br><br>
Also a male and female betta can be together. Males are set off by the bright colors of other male bettas. It send them into attack mode (usually fighting over territory or mates).<br><br><a href="http://www.aquariumfish.com/aquariumfish/detail.aspx?aid=3351&cid=3790&search=" target="_blank">http://www.aquariumfish.com/aquarium...d=3790&search=</a><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Some of the stocking densities that have been suggested include <b>1 inch of fish (measuring the fish from the snout to the base of the tail) per 2 to 4 gallons of water (depending on how "aged" the filter bed is), one medium-size fish (defined as a fish that is 3 inches long) for every 1 to 2 gallons of water, 2 inches of fish for every 10 gallons, and one fish (whose adult size is 5 inches or less) for every 10 gallons of aquarium water. If we use a rather conservative formula (1 inch of fish for every 4 gallons of water),</b> you may just squeak in under the limit if all your fish are juveniles — but they will all grow. In fact, the masked butterflyfish, the emperor angelfish and the sweetlips will need to be moved to a larger tank when they reach adult size.<br></td>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Potty Diva</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7913294"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">no booby definitely not. can you imagine TEN fish in a ten gallon tank? That would be way to crowded.<br><br>
For bettas you can have othe fish just make sure they are not aggressive in nature.<br><br>
Also a male and female betta can be together. Males are set off by the bright colors of other male bettas. It send them into attack mode (usually fighting over territory or mates).<br><br><a href="http://www.aquariumfish.com/aquariumfish/detail.aspx?aid=3351&cid=3790&search=" target="_blank">http://www.aquariumfish.com/aquarium...d=3790&search=</a></div>
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Not to start an argument but the quote you posted from the link is talking about marine fish that require more room than freshwater fish.<br>
With freshwater fish, you can usually get away with one inch of ADULT size fish per gallon. In a 10 gallon you could do a small school of tetras, some platys, or some danios. Almost all of the fish that you buy at a pet store are going to grow.<br><a href="http://www.aquariacentral.com" target="_blank">www.aquariacentral.com</a> is a great forum for fish owners. As with any other pet, the key is do to research before you make any purchases.<br>
Good luck with your fish tank. I will warn you though...it's addicting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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An oversite on my part.<br>
I have to add though, every fish person that I know, or who I have purchased fish from has made it very clear that for a fish to have an optimal life you should NOT hae more than ONE inch of fish for 10 gallons. Ultimately it is up to the perspective buyer though.
 

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I think we are actually going to get a larger tank. I think we're not hugely over the inch per gallon limit, but we'd like to get a 20 gallon at least to give them more room and keep it cleaner.
 

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In general, the larger the tank, the easier it is to keep. You have more leeway in terms of toxin buildup.....<br>
Speaking of, you need to remember to cycle your tank before adding any fish, or your fish will likely die off fairly quickly... Heres a link: <a href="http://www.firsttankguide.net/cycle.php" target="_blank">http://www.firsttankguide.net/cycle.php</a> It should be said that you can fishless cycle a tank, using ammonia and test kits (which youd need anyway). Search the net for more info.<br><br>
The one inch of fish rule per gallon (or whatever) is practically worthless, IMO. Can you imagine a 10inch pleco in a 10 gallon tank? Uh-uh... It depends on the type of fish and how vigilant you are about tank upkeep. Get a gravel vacuum and a good filter, for sure. You dont have to change out filter media until its falling apart, just give it a rinse in old tank water when you do your water changes. And no need for the charcoal filers either, but they wont hurt.<br><br>
Good luck with your fish! They can be quite fun to watch...
 

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Getting some good info here to improve our fishies' lives. Thanks!
 
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