Friday, November 13, 2015

Do you think you want an aquarium? #catenrichment #APIfish #sponsored

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.

PetSmart employee Emery who helped 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.

PetSmart recommends API food

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.

API Aquarium kits on PetSmart store shelves

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.

My new beta fish

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!

my cat Eli interacting with my new beta fish

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


  1. My human hasn't had fish since she was a teenager, although she did have frogs and sea monkeys (not together!) earlier in the 2000s. I think getting a beta would be fun! I'd love some fish TV.

  2. I have always heard that bettas don't like moving water, so I've never used a filter with mine. Of course, I've found there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Welcome to your new home, Spot! Roll Tide!

  3. cool!! we had a beta fish for a while but after he died mom took apart the tank apart and we don't really have a good spot for one. but there are tanks at the local shelter where mom volunteers and some of the cats love them

  4. We have aquarium and bird cage. In the beginning, the cats, particularly Buster, was enamored with the fishes, but he couldn't get to them. As for the birdies, Emma and Buster only seem to notice them when the birds are riled up, like flying and making a lot of noise.

    Emma and Buster

  5. Glad yous got to get a fishy. Our last beta died. We wuld luv to have anudder but mommy sez we don;t have an aquarium and our vase got bwoke in da pawrtment remodel. Have fun. We enjoyed our betta.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  6. Oh Spot looks like my Blaze! He also has the blue iridescent colors. I did know about the aquarium salt for freshwater fish and have some in my cabinet of fish supplies. I know Betta don't need filters with their tanks, but they are nice to have. I just unplug mine too for a while, maybe a day or something and then plug it back in later for a little while.

  7. Oh, how fun! I had a female beta for several years. This was almost 10 years ago. I did a a lot of research at the time. At that time, the best thing was to keep the fish in a bowl (much bigger than those cups) but no need of filter. However, that was then and I'm definitely not an expert. The main thing was to keep the bowl clean and use the same type of water and make sure the water isn't cold (room temperature). Spot is absolutely beautiful!

  8. A long time ago, before us, the mom had an aquarium. She got it to keep the cats that came before us amused. She really liked having it, but she said it was a lot of work to keep up.

  9. I had fish years ago, but they never lived long. Now with so many cats I would be afraid they would try to sit on top.

  10. pretty guy,the only thing I can think of is can you move the filter to one side of the tank? rather than having it in the middle,or getting a smaller one so that it doesn't create so much of a current.xx Rachel

  11. How very cool! I know my cats would love it if I got an aquarium but I know the ending to the story would not be a happy one... for the fish. As an alternative, I uploaded the "Go Fishing" game on my tablet for them and they are obsessed with it!

    I had a goldfish when I was younger - I was always amazed at how smart he was and that he seemed to recognize me!

    Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey kitties


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