This post is sponsored by MARS Fishcare and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about API Perfect Start but Tails from the Foster Kittens only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. MARS Fishcare is not responsible for the content of this article.
I have been wanting a freshwater aquarium for a few years now. When I was first married some twenty odd years ago we had fish. Yes, I had a fish tank with cats, and no, it didn't end well. One of my cats decided to sit on top of the tank and some how ended up turning up the temperature on the heater and cooked all of my fish. It was a sad sad day at Casa de Gato, and my husband said he was done with fish.
I've brought it up a few times over the years. I miss having fish, and I thought it would be fun to have a tank in the kitten room for the kittens to watch the fish, and I thought it would be fun to have a tank in the house for The Crew to watch the fish, but my husband said he wasn't interested and I wasn't inclined to go get one and bring it home without him.
So when I had a chance to blog about API© Fish Care I immediately signed up and I was thrilled when I was picked. There was talk of buying beta fish but I wasn't obligated to do so.
Since it has been probably twenty years since I had a tank, the first obligation was to go see what was offered..and learn how to start an aquarium all over again. Fortunately my husband was up for this and came with me.
This is the young man who helped me. You can't tell, but his name is Emery and he had a cat icon on his badge, I figured this was going to go well. We talked for a while, and I had vague recollections of starting a fish tank and how complicated it was, how you needed 100 different things and you had to set it up and wait a while, and then you had to bring the fish home, so needless to say I had like 100 questions and he very kindly answered them all, even let me take a photo of him as you can see.
My husband wanted to 'rescue' a beta fish. I have never liked the idea of them being kept in cups like that; I knew they had to be kept separate or they would fight and hurt one another. Emery assured me that their natural living conditions were in areas where they would often end up in mud puddles with even less water than this, and that keeping them this way for a short time wasn't horrible... I imagine it is a bit like keeping a cat in a cage at a shelter... well as long as they are properly cared for. I imagine some places don't care for them as well as others. These betas all appeared to be in good health and had clean water.
I looked over the tropical fish, even considered getting some gold fish, but in the end decided to get a beta.
My store had only two of the three different size API Perfect Start™ Aquarium Kits offered by API, the three gallon and the seven gallon. They also offer a 1.5 gallon which would have been very nice for a beta since Emery told me the general rule of fish is one inch of fish per gallon of water, but since these were my options I went with the three gallon.
The kit came with the tank, the filter and the hood which has the light built into it. LED which is nice because it takes less energy to run, but also because you can get some funky colors with it. It also comes with a starter kit of water conditioners and salt. The salt confused me to no end because I wasn't setting a saltwater aquarium, but I figured they knew what they were doing (you should have seen the cats begging at my feet as I opened up that package and shook the salt tablets into the water, they all thought it was a bag of treats)
The kit does not come with gravel or decorations despite the photo on the front of the box. Initially I was a bit disappointed, but then I probably would have been more disappointed if I didn't get to pick things out and had to go with someone else's choices. I also want to mention how impressed I am with the filter motor as I can barely hear it running; very much a bonus because we put the tank in our bedroom.
I was still pretty leery about the setup being so easy. I figured if there was to be more about it Emery would have told me, because I imagine the people at PetSmart want you to enjoy your aquarium and not be overly frustrated, so in the end I followed all of the instructions and ignored all of the 'but what about' questions running around in my head and things went very well.
Meet "The Crimson Tide".. we call him Spot for short.. He looks mighty red in this photo, but he has quite a bit of blue on him as well, he is nearly iridescent.
And as for cat enrichment, yeah, that is going pretty well. The Crimson Tide seems to like the interaction because he continues to hang out in that corner. From what I hear betas are fairly intelligent, and you can actually teach them tricks!
I would have loved to have put a tank in the kitten room, but there wasn't really a good spot for it, and I am guessing there will be a month or two this winter when I don't have guests in the kitten room and I wasn't inclined to make myself run downstairs twice a day to feed a fish I wouldn't be seeing much of.
One issue I am having is feeding with the filter running. If I leave the filter running the return from the filter pushes all of the food to the floor where Spot won't eat it, so I have to unplug it to feed him. I'm trying to figure something else out, but I have yet to. If you have any ideas, I'm totally open to them, please, let me know in the comments.
If you would like to learn more, you can check out their website. They are also on Facebook where they are currently running a chance to win an aquarium
You can also check out some of the posts done by other bloggers. I don't normally share these, but I had so much fun reading them all, I thought you might enjoy it.
* Pawsitively Pets * My Brown Newfies & me * Carma Poodle
* The Small Things * Pet Coupon Savings * Horseshoes & Handgrenades
* 4 The Love of Animals * Spencer the Goldendoodle * Pets Weekly