Unfit for goldfish

10 Jan

On Sunday, I went to buy some goldfish.

Goldfish are boring, but it’s time that I had some pets in my life, and if I’m not allowed any other living being, goldfish will do.

So I go along to the pet shop, all excited to pick up my new family members.

“Can I have some goldfish please?” I ask, eagerly.

Imagine my disappointment when the girl with the fishing net gets out a clipboard full of paperwork and says, “All right, I just need to ask you a few questions.”


“Does your tank have a filter?”

“Well, it will do, I’m just buying one.”

The girl looks at me as though I am providing a toddler with a flick knife. “You can’t have goldfish until you’ve run the filter for three days.”

No, obviously.

So now I am sitting in a bedroom with a lovely, but empty, fish tank keeping me company, listening to the soothing hum of the filter, and slightly worrying about what the rest of the questions on the questionnaire are. When I go back on Thursday, what are they going to ask?

“Has the air in the room been regularly purified?”

“Have you ever been directly or indirectly responsible for the death of a goldfish?”

I mean, how would I explain Gilbert’s suicide?

Keen to avoid a visit from Social Services, I obediently washed all the gravel (in tap water) before I put it in the tank (of tap water). Then I found out that you are supposed to use some tap water treatment solution and add probiotic bacteria to the water before the fish can go in.

I’ve started to feel really guilty for flippently believing that a goldfish would happily survive if you just stuck it in a mug. Or in someone’s platform shoes.

Today I felt like such an unworthy goldfish owner that I went back to the pet shop and bought the water treatment solution.

And a little plastic plant. So they don’t get traumatised.


One Response to “Unfit for goldfish”

  1. Sarah Dawkins 11/01/2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Our goldfish survived six years in a regular goldfish bowl with no filters and normal tap water! This woman is crazy!

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