Beware of “Free”

July 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, on his way home from work, Mr D called and said he had a surprise for us.  I, for the life of me, could not figure out what it was, but I think I was just as excited to find out as the boys were.  I figured at the very least maybe he was bringing dinner home, lol.

No such luck.  It turns out a friend from work gave him a 10 gallon fish tank, for free.  Now, Mr D and I had talked in the past about getting a fish tank, but I didn’t really want to because of the cost, so Mr. D thought this was a great compromise.  Unfortunately the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” kept popping into my head.  All three of my boys were excited about it so I went along.  I made sure to make Mr. D sign a contract though, saying he would take care of everything and I wouldn’t even so much as have to feed any of the future fish.

We headed on down to our local pet store that next weekend and got some essentials that didn’t come with the “free” tank.  We needed a lamp, filter and heater.  The tank already had some rocks for the bottom and some other decorative rocks that made a kind of formation that the fish could swim through.  We (read I) wanted to get something that made bubbles too, so we got a volcano that “errupts” too.  It turned out that our tank would take too long to heat to bring home some tropical fish, so we got two female betas that were not supposed to fight.

If anyone tells you that female betas (otherwise known as Chinese Fighting Fish) won’t fight, don’t belive them.  Ours did.  I felt so bad for them that I made Mr. D go back to the pet store and bring back some plastic fish bowls to put them in.  I am such a pushover!  In addition to that he brought home two bottom feeder catfish things.  OK, everything is great and we are done with the tank, right?

Apparently not.  This past Saturday I found out we were going to get some more fish that actually swam around the tank.  OK, fine.  We head back to the pet store and get 6 guppies.  They are really pretty with bright tails.  I actually really like them.  Along with all the fish we have purchased, we have also bought three different fish foods, two different water treatments, a net, and a backdrop for the tank. 

Mind you, all of these purchases were made with cash and within budget.  Instead of spending the money on eating out, which is what we normally spend out entertainment money on, we got all of this.  The boys have really enjoyed going to the pet store and checking everything out, picking out their fish, and helping Mr. D set up the tank.  So, although I wasn’t really that into it, it has turned into something better to spend our money on rather than take out.  The boys are also taking turns feeding the fish, which I think is really teaching them some responsibility.

I do have a feeling those two beta fish are going to live until the boys head off to college.  It’s just my luck!  Oh, and although I haven’t minded spending the money on them, 2 of the guppies have already met their demise and have been “flushed”!  Mr. D neglected to tell me that it’s normal to lose fish when your tank is being set up.  I have so much to learn!

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Entry filed under: Family.

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