Having a pet in New York City is an undertaking. And by pet, I mean a dog. Because there is no other creature that I would consider. This undertaking that I wanted to dive towards with abandon was quickly halted, thanks to my boyfriend, who would almost certainly be picking up the poop among the other non-snuggling duties. At least he said “not yet”. Okay, fine.
But I still wanted something alive. And not plants. That’s just not the same. That’s when I thought of the brilliant idea of getting a fish tank. And that idea turned out to be not so brilliant – until today, Sunday, March 14th.
Back in January, Nick and I stormed into Petco with high hopes of 5 or more colorful fish, lots of sunken treasure, Little Mermaid/Spongebob Squarepants props and ancient Roman ruins to decorate. Instead, we were met with a hefty bill for sand, salt, and all the other ingredients you have to dump in there – plus a 6 gallon tank that would only hold 2 (maybe 3) fish, and not nearly enough awesome decorations. Also we learned that salt water fish are way prettier. We were at least smart enough not to go for that.
But nonetheless, we continued on with a little less pep in our step. We went home to make sure our tank was hospitable, and then went back to pick up the fish the next day. Two cichlids, and one puffer were the newest living additions to our relationship.
The cichlids murdered the puffer in a day.
I fake cried when I didn’t really think he was dead, waiting for Nick to tell me he was really alive at 3 in the morning. Then Nick confirmed his murder, and I cried for real. Nick didn’t have time to bring him back to the store before work. So instead he decided to hide the fish’s dead carcass in his snowboarding bag until he got home from work. This obviously did not go over well with me.
When Nick brought the puffer back to Petco, we got a new one. Take two, right?
The cichlids murdered him in two days.
Now, we resented our two remaining fish. Plus, the blue one terrorized the yellow one all day long. Instead of the cute fish swimming around the tank for our enjoyment as planned, they were either hiding or attempting murder on each other. Not what we had in mind.
And then promptly went back to Petco, returned our murderous cichlids and bought five (yes, five!) “community fish” that we were told would NOT kill each other.
A mini puffer (in honor of his fallen brothers) named Dot, a cool black fish (who is apparently pregnant – I was psyched about this, Nick was not) that we named Shadow – I’m sure there’s another story coming there, two other weird looking fish that I forget the name of named Sweet Potato (my choice) and Lilly (Nick’s weird choice), and a bottom feeder (named after our favorite former Jets player, Snacks) to clean our tank because we’d like to not do that.
While in Petco, I also met my future dog: Trent. I will be having this animal. I put in an application — surprise Nick!
The moral of the story is: you can do things without any planning because it’s fun, but don’t buy aggressive fish who have no problem with killing their roommates. Also, get a cool fish tank like ours that was relatively easy to get up and running. You can buy it here.