Several weeks ago, we set up a little pond in our patio garden -- a large fiberglass pot, a $40 fountain pump hidden in a plastic "bamboo" spout, a water plant, and four gold fish -- two fantails, Fred and Ethel, a koi named George, and a Black Moor named Willy. They did pretty well for about 6 weeks, until the pond filled with Algae and I freaked out we were killing the fish. Also, we got worried about the water temp. What reading I'd done indicated that warm water would hurt the fish.
So we ran out, like idiots, and got a 10 gallon tank and filter, and moved the fish. Within a day, the fish were Not Happy. We were confused -- everything we'd seen so far said goldfish were easy and we had the right size tank and filter.
Oh, but goldfish are different. We lost Fred, and we put George back in the pond. He died the next day. We mourned. And we worked hard to keep Willy and Ethel. The tank stabilized and we decided we had room for one more fish -- another tiny Black Moor we named Milly. We also got a Betta to keep mosquitos out of the pond, but it died within 3 days. No more fish in the pond. The guilt is overwhelming. I really liked George, too.
Now we've done a lot more research and figured out that Goldfish are really pretty hard to keep (whodathunk?). We are stepping up to either a 16 or a 20 gallon tank tonight. Depending on the size, we are thinking about eventually adding another fantail and maybe a redcap.
The weird parts? We are not only enjoying having a fish tank, the cats are NOT all over it. Oh, they will watch for a bit. Caliban will climb into a chair and stare for about 5 minutes, the others will give less attention, but it's not a big deal. The Husband and I, though, we can stare for a good half hour at a time. I sort of knew I wanted a tank for several years, but never did it. The Husband had fish years ago, but hadn't thought about it in a long while. Once the tank is set up, they are pretty low maintenance (compared to the cats! even compared to the bird.) Bea is barely interested at all.
So, back to Petsmart tonight, to compare and contrast tanks and set ups. The old 10 gal will be donated, unless someone wants it for guppies or turtles...