Anyhow, that $2 goldfish (Hubby paid for 10 ping pong balls) has now cost us probably somewhere in the $100 range, between the original bowl, gravel and food we bought on the way home from the festival, to the 10 gallon aquarium, additional gravel and filters we bought a few days later, to the various other fishy accoutrements and "treats" acquired over the past 10 months. (Yes, there are such things as "treats" for a pet goldfish, didn't you know that? The kiddo would be happy to point them out to you in the fish aisle of your nearest big box store...) The biggest recurring cost is the filters for Swimmy's tank, though the hubby was mentioning to me the other week that he'd read somewhere online an article detailing how one can make one's own fish tank filters. It sounded vaguely MacGuyver-y to me, and for now we're still sticking with the box of 3 filters for $5. So, after all that expense and effort, I'm pleased to say that Swimmy hasn't just survived since that day at the festival last July, this fish has thrived!
For photographic proof, when Swimmy first arrived, she (the kiddo says she is a girl) looked like this:
As of this week, Swimmy now looks like this:
(Yes, we were alarmed when the black edging on Swimmy's fins and tail first started fading. What can I tell you? We're not goldfish experts - thank goodness for Google!)
As you can see, besides turning all orange, Swimmy has grown rather large and robust. Swimmy's weekly diet of goldfish flakes, blood worms and algae cakes have served her well. She now can make a definitive THUNKing noise when she swims up to the top of her tank and then flips and heads back down. It's startling to hear this noise from another room, because my biggest fear is that it wasn't the fish causing it, but rather this:
We don't think that Swimmy thinks of the cat as a threat, per se... Swimmy seems to treat anything moving outside her tank as a potential source of feeding and responds as such - swimming frantically back and forth across the top of the tank, making surprisingly audible "pah-pah-pah" sounds as she smacks her little, fishy lips in anticipation. The cat, however, likes to whap at the glass of the tank with her paws whenever Swimmy gets close, and that doesn't seem like a very good idea...
The kiddo actually is fairly good at her pet-tending responsibilities. She feeds Swimmy her daily flakes and she helps with the weekly 20% water change. The kiddo is also responsible for all of Swimmy's tank decoration (interior and exterior) and rotates various "friends" from her toy collection to keep Swimmy company by sitting next to the tank.
So, yes, we still have our carny goldfish, and whew, what a big fish she has become!