I've been doing some reading on the forum this morning and this certainly seems like a good place for newbie to get started. Here's my story.
My 8 year old daughter wanted a fish. After a few weeks of begging and some cursory research by her mom and I, the two of them came home with a betta fish, a bowl, gravel, a gallon of spring water and some other goodies. After following the instructions from the person at the lfs
(see, I told you I've been reading the forum), our new Betta Fish was in his happy new home. After a few days, we were alarmed by bubbles in the water, but research showed that this was a good sign. We had a happy fish and a happy daughter.
A few weeks in, we transitioned away from the spring water and started using tap water with the appropriate treatment from said lfs
. Shortly thereafter, we woke up to our poor little Nemo floating lifelessly at the bottom of his bowl.
After a suitable grieving period, our daughter had not lost her interest in fish, so we tried again. A new fish was found, bowl prepared and the new betta fish was introduced to his new environment. This time, however, lifelessness ensued in a mere 12-14 hours.
That was about a week ago. Not deterred, daughter has continued to talk about the next fish. But now she has her eyes on a "fat" goldfish (maybe she figures they'll live longer?). Daddy has decided, however, that the type of fish will not fix our problems. Hence my quest for research and landing on this forum.
So, after a bumpy start (which appears to be rather typical), I've joined this forum to try and learn how to do this successfully. I've already read about and been convinced to pursue a fishless cycling, once I convince my wife that the biggest tank we can handle is our best approach and that a python is in our future. And, of course, my daughter will need to learn patience as we start down this road together.
So, I'm sure there will be a few inquisitive posts from me in the coming weeks as we make our decisions as to how to get started. I look forward to the advise from those of you that seem to have much knowledge and gain considerable enjoyment from maintaining a healthy fish environment.