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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was showing my dad's girlfriend my betta and she expressed interest in getting her own fish tank. I recommended she get a betta but I think she wants to get a couple fish. She wants something pretty low maintenance I think. I don't think she really knows all that goes into a fish tank but I think she will be willing to learn before she gets a fish. She loves animals and I trust her to do well by them.

She is away from home sometimes so needs a fish that can go at least 3-4 days without food. I don't think she wants to set up a huge tank, probably a 5.5 or 10 gallon. She was really averse to the idea of getting shrimp. I pointed out one of mine and she didn't seem to be as enamored as I am.

She seems to really want blue fish.

People on here have been so helpful to me while setting up my planted tank that I thought maybe you could give me a hand.

As far as plants I don't think it will be too heavily planted. I'll probably help her get set up with a couple low light plants. She liked the look of my tankso we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
that's what I'm thinking. She doesn't seem to keen on any of my suggestions. Nothing is çolorful' enough. I think the fish she are imagining are saltwater and I'm trying to get her to steer clear of that because it will be a lot harder to maintain.

I was thinking maybe some small schooling fish or something. Neon tetras maybe? I've only really kept bettas so I'm kind of stumped.
 

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Since the idea of which fish is rather intimate and is best done AFTER the tank is already bought so she would know what size fish and how many can fit better I will not add to the confusion there, but some suggestions for the tank can be very helpful at this point of her adventure.

So here's a link to help:
http://www.petsmart.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2769197

And my 2cents worth, Have her buy the largest tank she has room for, and can afford so she will have as much room for "trial & error" in maintenance over time.

Then take her shopping for the fish and let her know what you think of each without actually buying first trip out. Once she has thought about it and "Knows" which fish she likes come here with those names and ask for help on maintenance/personality of each species in question. Then take her back and let her buy the ones that "FIT".

She should be off to a good start then with what she enjoys.:red_mouth
 

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I think one of your best options would be to take her to a store and have her look at fish, that could help you get a feel of what she's looking for and adjust accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took her to the local petco. I wanted to take her down to the good stores but there wasn't time today and she's going home tomorrow. Of course, the fish she liked were the yellow tail damsels and the clown fish. I think she was really turned off by the amount of work a saltwater tank would be though, and the size. They recommended at least 30 gallons and she looked at the 30 gallon tank and was super intimidated. I tried to explain bigger tanks were easier to maintain but I'm not sure I got through to her.

So, now she wants a guinea pig instead. Because that is obviously going to be less work.

I tried explaining that it would be a lot of work to start off but that it would taper off the longer and more stable the tank got.
 

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Just tell her that every time she opens the refrigerator the pigs will squeal so loud she won't be able to stand it... That should teach her.(they get accustomed to the opening of the refer in conjunction with being fed):icon_eek:
 

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You shouldn't have let her see the salt water!!! XD, but in all seriousness, if she is willing to spend the money, not cut corners, and devote the time to learning and caring for saltwater then why not let her give it a shot? Anyways i think guinnea pigs smell and are loud :p fish are MUCH quieter.
 

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I owned a pair of guinea pigs. they lived for TEN years. I loved to bits but I would not like to have guinea pigs again. I swear I can still here them squeal when I walk in the door. Plus you have to get two, and you cannot keep a male and a female together unless they are fixed because the female will die if/when she gets pregnant and if she doesn't die her uterus will prolapse after birth and she will die. Am I allowed to say that here?

She will probably like the selection at a LFS better than petco/petsmart. They have fancy fluffy guppies plus fish tend to be healthier and more colorful.
 

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Guinea pigs are also a lot of hard work...I had quite a few as a kid, though never more than 2 or 3 at a time...they were very sweet tempered but needed to be kept warm and needed plenty of vitamin C in their diets as all guinea pigs are susceptable to viruses and the human common cold. We kept ours in a 3 foot x 3 foot home-made wooden box on a bed of kitty litter topped by deep pine shavings and a lot of timothy hay. The cage needed to be cleaned daily or at least every two days as the droppings and the urine could really smell. Guinea pigs can live a long time...most of mine got to be at least 7 years and one lived to 9 years.

But seriously, it sounds like she might be kind of undecided about fish or guinea pigs. Let her think on it a while and read some books and websites and if she's still interested in a few months and has considered the pros and cons of keeping them healthy and happy...then she's likely to stay interested for the long run.

Whether it's fish or guinea pigs or african violets or whatever...it's a lot of work and dedication.

Sorry if that sounds like a lecture :)
 

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Having both guinea pigs and fish at the moment, I can confirm that the pigs are delightful creatures, but do require quite a bit more work than I think most people expect.

They need lots of attention, exercise (lots and lots), and fresh greens high in vitamin C. Mine are 7 and still going. I diverted this pair from the SPCA, and am very glad I did, but I must say, I am looking forward to a break when they finally stop tickin'.

I think the best advice for starting fish-keeping is keep it simple as possible until the person knows for sure this is the hobby for them. I started with t-bone rasboras and still have them. They have been simple, hardy fish for me. More so than cardinals.
 
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