I received complimentary National Geographic products and a gift card from PetSmart to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Fish Tank 1

Remember last year I welcomed a pair of guinea pigs to my growing menagerie, thanks to PetSmart? Well, this year, they gave me a chance to welcome a whole different species. I was actually given the choice between fish and reptiles. Oh how I wanted to say YES to a bearded dragon or iguana! My son, on the other hand, has been begging for fish since his beta died when he was 3. Besides, I’m so stressed out these days, I figured a beautiful fish tank would be just what the therapist ordered!

Setting up your new tank

Fish Tank 2

Before embarking on my journey to the Bartonsville area PetSmart to pick up my fish, I had to set up the supplies that were sent to me. I received a National Geographic Aqua Oasis Aquarium (8.5 gallons, just the right size for the space I made for it!) and some really cool accessories. My favorite is the purple plant! I also received a super cool 3D backdrop for my tank, but it has to be cut down to size, so I’ll add a picture of that when I do that. All are part of the gorgeous National Geographic line, with images chosen by award-winning photographer, Joel Sartore.

We set up the tank and filled it with filtered water. My own water isn’t great, so I bought filtered water from this machine outside my grocery store that sells it pretty cheap. Only the best for my fishies! I let the tank run overnight so it would be ready for my fish.

Picking out fish with the help of PetSmart Experts

Gandalf the Guppy

Say hello to Gandalf the Guppy

I have to gush a bit about Melissa, the woman who helped me pick out my fish. Oh my goodness, was she impressive! First, she helped me figure out which fish would be best for my tank size. I had no idea that all their fish were babies and they would grow, or that there was a ratio of inches per fish to gallons of water. Jacob wanted a Mollie fish, but Melissa told us that based on the size of the tank, we’d only be able to get one because they get big. She showed us fish that were better suited, including the pretty Neon Tetras.

Melissa managed to get exactly the number of each fish we wanted in like one swoop! Then she suggested some guppies: two female and one male. She suggested we wait until the next day because she was getting some really pretty ones in. We, however, decided that we felt bad for the “leftover guppies” and took two of those, a male and female. We’ll get another female from the next batch. Jacob pointed out a fish that he wanted and Melissa managed to get it on the first try! The exact fish he wanted, in a tank full of other fish! Super impressive!

Before we left, Melissa gave us instructions on how to introduce the fish to the tank. She did tell me that it is possible that I’ll lose a couple in the process, but let me know that the fish are guaranteed for 14 days. I followed her instructions to the letter and all my fish survived. Yay! Jacob decided we would call them “The Destroyers,” because apparently our animals need violent names. I wanted to call them the Dizzy Dozen, since we got 12. I named my guppies Gandalf and Grizelda.

Now, I did have a problem with the filter, which PetSmart fixed for me right away. As it turns out, sandy substrate and small tanks don’t go well together. I am swapping it out for gravel and everything should be fine with the new filter. So there’s a hint for you: unless you have like a super power filter or sump pump, stick with gravel. I am always so impressed with how knowledgeable and wonderful the workers at my local PetSmart are.

I’ve had my fish a few days now, and they really are relaxing. I love watching Gandalf chase Grizelda, or my tetras doing some sort of synchronized swimming routine. I’m even starting to be able to tell them apart more! Soon I’ll be able to name them all! Check out all the National Geographic tanks and accessories at PetSmart!

Speaking of names, I need suggestions! What should I name my 10 Tetras?