Duncan has been bugging us for a pet for a while, and it's really quite heartbreaking. We keep trying to tell him we have pets, they're staying with his Grandma, but to a five year old it's a tough thing to understand. So what to do? If we go back to the USA end of next year I don't want to be trying to import a dog, cat or other mammal, and it's cruel to rehome it just so he can have a pet for a year. Completely unacceptable to do the latter and it's probably unfair to stick the thing on a plane anyway.
While we were in the opp shop the other day we found a small aquarium and came upon the idea - what about a fish? We scoured our lease and it didn't look like fish were prohibited so we bought the thing. Then off to the pet store to get supplies for it like a pump/filter and so on, and back home to set it up.
Horsham tapwater absolutely reeks of chlorine, so I didn't want to put that in so I ended up buying 20L of bottled water... completely forgetting about the rainwater tank we have by the backdoor. Yesterday we went in to collect the fish, and I took a sample of the water in because they'd check it for free anyway - high pH! I don't know if they cleaned the tank with something they shouldn't have prior to donating it or what, but the water once the filter had been running overnight was incredibly basic. So sadly, we didn't come home with a fish yesterday, but Duncan understood.
We bought a kit for testing and correcting the pH, and I spent the rest of the day getting it correct. So today we went in to collect "Barnaby" - as Duncan had decided to name him (or her) - a small orange comet. The tank is arguably not really big enough (it's about a 12L tank) but it'll do to start with.
Duncan's been really good about the rules and feeding and so on thus far.