Now that J and Little E are both in preschool, we figured that it was a good time to let them help to take care of a small animal. They are still a little bit young to be responsible for caring for a small furry creature, so we decided to choose a relatively low maintenance, hardy pet – a fish.
The Husband and I used to keep tropical fish in a small tank when we were still living in the UK, and they are actually quite finicky creatures to look after in a cold country – we were forever measuring the temperature, pH levels and nitrate levels in the water, and making sure that our little underwater community got along well. This is why we did not think that fish would be a suitable pet for a young child.
However, in Little E’s classroom this year, there is a tiny little plastic tank containing a single fish and a marimo ball. Little E’s teacher told me that the fish has already survived one year of living in a nursery-level classroom, constantly surrounded by little children…and it seems to be happy and healthy.
This fish is Betta splendens – better known as the Siamese Fighting Fish. Little E’s teacher explained to me that the Betta is one that thrives in small amount of stagnant water in a warm environment, which makes it the perfect little aquariam fish for small children living in small apartments, who will only need to feed it once daily and change the water weekly (grownups can help clean the tank).
Inspired by this revelation, we took J and Little E on a surprise trip to the local aquarium store and allowed them to each choose a Betta fish to keep! Here they are:
This is J’s Betta. GingerBomb is a Steel blue Piebald Deltatail. Ginger is a quiet fish who likes to hang out behind his marimo ball, but he comes out to play whenever J comes near the tank (which is why J liked him to begin with).
E’s betta is a Red Dragon Deltatail and is called TataBob. He is very flashy and is a little bit of a show off. You can see him posing for the camera in the picture – he held that pose very still for nearly a minute and only wandered off once I’d put the camera away!
I’ll keep you all updated as to their progress!