Several weeks ago my 11 year old, Elli, had a hankering to start an aquarium. She loves animals and considers herself somewhat of a champion for living creatures. She makes us take insects found inside the home outside rather than disposing of them by other means, she scowls at us if we refer to living things of any kind as "it". She has declared that when she is old enough to have her own apartment she will have her very own ferret (I wonder if she'll feel that way when she gets a good whiff of one?). Since she would absolutely love to add to the animal component of our family, fish seemed like a good way to go.
We went to the local pet store and perused the offerings. We priced out the extras one needs like the tank and pump and fake fauna and calculated out allowance savings required before the parent matching or doubling program might kick in... And decided we'd need to wait a couple weeks.
Then we got a fresh idea at the wedding we recently attended. For the table centerpieces at the dinner reception the bride had chosen large, clear glass vases tied around the neck with tulle and filled with water, a handful of colorful marbles, a peace plant with roots dangling, and a pretty little betta fish swimming around. As it happened, our church friend, Carolyn sat with us during the reception and is a happy owner of several betta fish herself. She described how to set the habitat up and how to care for the fish, and even better, how inexpensive the whole deal is!
So yesterday I went to Michael's and found the large vases and little sacks of colored marbles and river rocks on sale, woohoo! I bought a peace plant at Cub foods and split it three ways, and that turned out to be the most expensive and laborious component--who knew it took so long to rinse dirt from plant roots? That left a trip to Walmart with the three musketeers so they could choose and name their new companions. We are proud to announce 3 new additions to our family: Ringo (Elli's), Poseidon (Deven's), and Sweetiepie (Clara's). The vases are pretty to look at, the kids got their own new pet, and at $12 a pop we're pleased with the investment cost--everyone's happy!