Now that we are settled in our house and Izebella is a little older, I am starting to consider pets and what sort of pet(s) I would like.
We were given a great oppurtunity to try out a Peppa Pig Aquarium from the well known aquatics supply company Tetra.
Fish make an easy pet for children. They are pretty low maintenance once the tank is set up. There are 3 main different types of aquariums. Cold water, tropical and marine. Each tank requires different amounts of equipment and care. It’s important to research carefully which type of fish you can have in the tank you have. It’s vital your tank is set up correctly with everything it needs and the water is at the correct temperature and chemical level (if required). Fish are living creatures just like cats and dogs and if not cared for properly they will get sick and die.
I am lucky to have some experience of fish keeping. I have had my own tanks several years back and my stepdad had every type of tank going containing some weird and wonderful marine life which I would help with feeding and cleaning when younger. I am happy my children can now have a similar experience with their new tank.
Our TankOur brand new tank arrived with our friendly courier, all carefully wrapped. We could not wait to get it out and set up ready for some fish. We decided to wait until Izebella was in bed and out of the way. She is only one and it’s not a good idea having a toddler around the set up of a glass tank.
The tank is an excellent starter kit for children. It’s a tank designed for use with cold water fish. Cold water fish come in many colourful varieties. Much more than your average well known goldfish.
The box contains a glass tank with dimensions of 36x18x35cm which holds up to 18 litres of water. It comes with a Easy Crystal Filter Pump and also a spare filter cartridge. There is also a bag of gravel included as well as instructions, Tetra Safe water treatment and a packet of Tetramin fish food.
A Peppa pig backing poster also comes with it and is attached to the back of the tank easily using Sellotape. I guess the tank doesn’t have to stay Peppa pig. Any backing poster could really be used but Izebella loves Peppa. Tank stickers are also included
The gravel needs a quick wash to remove any dirt or debris and is then placed in the tank. It did seem that there wasn’t enough gravel included to cover the bottom properly but extra gravel can be purchased very cheaply from any pet store.
The pump needs minimal assembly. It just needs the filters putting in the correct place and then attaching to the tank with a clip. Once the gravel is in and pump attached it’s then time to decide where the tank is going.
It’s advisable to keep the tank out of direct sunlight as sunlight can dramatically alter water temperature and harm fish. It’s also best to keep it away from expensive electrical gadgets such as televisions. The tank is strong and sturdy but accidents and cracks can happen. It needs to be on a strong supportive surface which will hold the weight of the water. Avoid glass units for obvious reasons. A strong wooden table, unit or alcove should be suitable. I always find it a good idea to place an old towel underneath the tank to catch any spills.
Our tank is now positioned on our big wooden sideboard in our dining room and away from the window.
Filling the tank was easier than I thought. I don’t have a hose so relied on a jug. It took about 20 fills. To stop the gravel from floating around I placed a dinner plate in the gravel sideways. The mouth of the pump needs to be just above the water. The tank was full within 10/15 minutes.
Tap water can harm fish and before the fish arrive the water needs treating with a product called Aquasafe. This was included with our kit. It comes out blue but quickly dissolves into the water.
I was slightly nervous about switching on the pump. I always am. After all it’s electrical and it’s in water. Always a chance it could go bang so I would never let my kids touch it. I probably worry too much.
The pump is working fine and I am very surprised at how quiet it is. To hear it I have to put my ear right next to the tank. It keeps the tank very clean.
We had to let the pump do it’s job as well as the AquaSafe. This takes a few days (4-5) before we could get fish. As you can imagine Ryan and Jordanna have little patience and every day I was being asked “can we get a fish today”. . This process can be speeded up if desired by using Tetra SafeStart which is available in most aquatic stores
The big day finally arrived. Off to Pets at Home we went. We discussed with staff the size of our tank and what fish we could have and how many. I thought it best to just get one to start with, see how it all goes and then consider a second one. The fish are inexpensive staring from just £2.00 each. There were about 20 varieties to choose from, lots of bright beautiful colours. It wasn’t easy picking just one.
In the end we chose a Shubunkin small. It’s a colourful little fish with tones of gold, black and silver and cost just £2.49. We also bought some tank ornaments, these are not necessary but do brighten up the tank and were on a 3 for 2 offer. Also a net which is needed for scooping out uneaten food, poop, dirt etc.
When the fish first come home they cannot be put straight into the tank. Instead I have to put the bag which they are in into the tank and leave for ten minutes or so. This is to help the fish adjust to the tank temperature and not to cause a shock.
Our new little fish seems quite content in it’s new home. Fish need a very tiny amount of food per day. Over feeding is just as harmful as under feeding and I have been teaching Ryan and Jordanna just how much they need so this can then be their little job.
My kids are now looking forward to getting a second fish so little Ben won’t be as lonely.
Fish provide lots of fun for children and also have an educational benefit too. Ryan has been doing lots of research on fish and fish keeping since I told him we were getting a tank.
Izebella is fascinated by the fish. I find myself constantly lifting her so she can get a better look.
I do think there needs to be more gravel included and perhaps the addition of a small net too with the kit.
Information can be found at the Tetra website
Available at Pets at Home
· 18L glass tank
· Dimensions: 36x18x35 cm
· With lid and feeding hatch
· Comes with EasyCrystal Filter and one EasyCrystal Filter cartridge
· Gravel (2 bags, each 400g)
· Aquarium background (water resistant hard foil)
· Fun Peppa Pig aquarium stickers
· Tetra food and care samples: TetraMin and Aquasafe
· Fishkeeping information booklet for children with fun activities
“The tank has provided lots of fun for the family over the summer holidays and could also make a great, unique Christmas gift. Not only does it provide hours of entertainment, it will also teach children to look after fish responsibility.”
A goldfish is a great first pet for children Low budget and low maintenance, it is the ideal experience to teach them the importance of caring for an animal. By looking after goldfish, children learn responsibility and discipline as they maintain the aquarium and keep up with feeding – it’s also fun that can involve the whole family. It’s a lovely way to encourage little ones to be get creative – no two tanks are ever the same so they will love choosing how to decorate the tank and make it unique.