Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Dec 19, 2014
Me and my boyfriend purchased a common goldfish from a pet store near school at the beginning of this semester, in September. I did not have a roommate at the time, and my boyfriend thought it would be fun to get a pet that could act as my "roommate," but was also easy to take care of. I assume most people think that fish are the easiest pets to take care of, as we did, but there were a few hardships with taking care of our fish, (which we so creatively named Fishy.)
The only real problem has to do with cleaning the tank. We bought a pretty large tank, at least it seems large compared to the one medium-sized goldfish living in it. The tank is pretty heavy when filled with water, which was something we did not think about ahead of time. I do not have a sink in my room, so instead we have to carry the tank to the bathroom to clean it- which ends up being about once every week. If we wait longer than a week, the water begins to smell pretty bad- our fish creates a lot more poop than I thought was even possible. The smell may be because we do not have a filter, so I definitely suggest buying one with the tank, even if the sales person at the pet store says it isn't necessary. Fish can smell worse than you may think.
The cleaning of the tank itself can be a little tedious, as we have to empty the water in a small sink and use plastic bowls to add new water, while trying to clean out the gravel as much as possible. Also, this part usually takes place in the boys bathroom, which is not where I like to be. So, if you are thinking of getting a pet for a dorm or apartment without a bathroom nearby, you may want to reconsider. And it is definitely a two person job- I could not open the doors and clean all of the tank by myself.
It may seem like a lot of cons and negatives to owning a fish, but besides the trouble of the cleaning the tank once a week, it really is not too bad. It is fun to watch our fish swim around, and although it is some work, I do not regret having a fish as a pet at college.