No Room for A Pony In The House
February 14, 2014 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Our kids are finally old enough to care for their "own" pets - please help us pick appropriate creatures!

Our kids, aged 10 and 14, have repeatedly asked to have their own pets - creatures that can live in their respective bedrooms. Now that they're older, we're willing to consider it. We're trying to figure out what pet(s) would be best and could use your help!


- cannot be in the rodent family (my husband is allergic to their urine)
- no cats or dogs (we have those, already, as a family)
- easy to care for (not requiring a delicately maintained ecosystem)
- somewhat hardy (bedrooms are kept on the 'cool' side)
- not requiring a large amount of space (kept in bedroom)
- no live-feeding required (we're willing to feed crickets and mealworms but nothing larger)
- nothing poisonous or likely to become bitey
- interesting to interact with/watch/observe
- if it's not diurnal, it'd be great if it could be quiet about it
- a reasonable lifespan (no parrots or tortoises)

About the kids/family:

- kids are quite responsible for their ages, but they're still kids
- have been very caring toward our dogs/cats
- both parents will provide backup care and make sure that the pets are tended appropriately
- both parents will provide the food/resources for the pets
- both parents are willing to assume care if the pets are not well-tended (we're not going to dump the creatures on a rescue or the local humane society)
- the bedroom doors are always kept closed and our existing cats/dogs are not permitted into the bedrooms
- we believe very strongly in providing a healthy, as-natural-as-possible habitat for our pets but, in this case, would also like to keep things simple and relatively inexpensive

Between the parents, we've had experience with:

- cats
- dogs
- tarantulas (and breeding crickets to feed them)
- rats
- hamster (dwarf and regular)
- garden snails
- finches
- goldfish

Thanks for your help - I promise to post an update with pictures of our new family member(s) if we go forward with this!
posted by VioletU to Pets & Animals (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hermit Crab?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:23 PM on February 14, 2014

Best answer: A very rambunctious 11 year old boy I used to babysit had a leopard spotted gecko. (If I remember correctly, her name was Lucy.) It was a great little critter. Super adorable, easy enough for the not-terribly-responsible 11 year old to maintain, not stinky. Good pet.

I don't know much about them other than that the one I knew was quite lovely. Here's some info. Here are some pictures of leopard spotted geckos. SO CUTE. SO CHARMING.
posted by phunniemee at 1:24 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have two suggestions:

1. A Bunny! Bonus, they can be litter box trained so they could actually have free reign of the bedroom without being confined to a cage.

2. Some birds are quite messy, between their feathers and their food shells, but something like a pair of lovebirds would work. A friend of mine in high school had a pair of them, they kept a blanket over the top and back of the cage at all times, so that helped with keeping it warm, in the morning she would pull up the blanket from the front of the cage.
posted by effigy at 1:24 PM on February 14, 2014

Best answer: My parents gave me a fish tank for Christmas one year when I was a kid, and I still look back on that Christmas fondly. I loved those fish and enjoyed them for years. Fairly low maintenance, lovely to watch, and pretty inexpensive. Their only downfall is a lack of cuddliness.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:24 PM on February 14, 2014

I was about to come in to discourage birds because of how long they live and I'm glad to see you've already got that down! Even budgies and cockatiels can hit 20. At this age, you're looking at having to make college plans and stuff, and birds can be tricky without a solid routine to look forward to.

Unfortunately, ditching all of rodentia removes guinea pigs, which, although they require a lot more space than people have classically given them, are I think some of the more affectionate of the pets who can manage confinement. Rabbits can be more destructive, but again, rodents. I can't really think of small furry pets that aren't rodents.

Of the remaining options, geckos or something of that ilk seem like a good bet. But what do the kids want?
posted by Sequence at 1:30 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Some of the dwarf cichlid fish are really interesting, and can be housed in a 20 gallon tank.

Leopard geckos are pretty cool (per phunniemee above). My brother asked me to watch his "for a weekend", and she was cool enough that I didn't mind having her for the next 2 years as he promised to come back and get her "next weekend". They can be fairly easy to tame to handling, as well. You just have to be careful that they don't get scared and drop their tails.
posted by RogueTech at 1:32 PM on February 14, 2014

Rabbits aren't actually rodents, they're lagomorphs. But they're also kind of fussy and destructive and can be surprisingly dull! Cute, though.
posted by redfoxtail at 1:34 PM on February 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

I was going to suggest hedgehogs, but it looks like they don't like temps below 65, not sure how cool the rooms are.

One thing to note, if you decide on anything "exotic", check the laws in your area, a lot of people don't expect certain animals to be illegal and are unpleasantly surprised.
posted by HermitDog at 1:38 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Leopard gecko would be my suggestion.
posted by Jairus at 1:39 PM on February 14, 2014

If the kids start working in IT, they can use the ferrets to run cabling.
posted by Sophont at 1:42 PM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Even budgies and cockatiels can hit 20
They can but its not typical, on average you can expect a budgie to live 5-10 years.

Budgies make excellent pets, they don't take up a lot of space, they're relatively quiet and clean and they're one of the most interactive of small birds. They can be taught to speak and do tricks and they can be trained to fly to you so you can let them out of their cages to play with.

Geckos are also lovely pets but they live much longer on average, 15-20 years
posted by missmagenta at 1:46 PM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by jeffamaphone at 1:50 PM on February 14, 2014

Some sort of snake?
posted by mollymayhem at 1:53 PM on February 14, 2014

Seconding a hermit crab.
posted by jquinby at 1:56 PM on February 14, 2014

Crested Gecko! Extremely charming, easy to care for... wonderful pet!
posted by jcworth at 1:56 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

DO NOT GET A BUNNY! I knew someone would suggest it.


- cannot be in the rodent family (my husband is allergic to their urine)

Bunnies are cavies, but they may be close enough to rodents that this is an issue

- easy to care for (not requiring a delicately maintained ecosystem)

Day to day bunny care is fairly run of the mill, but medical care and medical problems are not easy

- somewhat hardy (bedrooms are kept on the 'cool' side)

Bunnies are pretty hardy, but they are also very delicate

- not requiring a large amount of space (kept in bedroom)
Bunnies need a place to live that is at least three lengths their body when lying stretched on all sides. Depending on the bunnny, this can be very large.

- interesting to interact with/watch/observe
Prey animals. They interact on THEIR terms. Holding them is tantamount to DO NOT EAT ME DO NOT EAT ME panic.

- if it's not diurnal, it'd be great if it could be quiet about it

Bunnies are crepuscular. They will be awake and active as soon as the sun starts going up.

You do not want a bunny.
posted by zizzle at 1:57 PM on February 14, 2014 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Rabbits are great, I love mine, but they're more work than pre- or young teens can be expected to handle. They can also live as long as dogs or cats, probably longer than your kids interest in them.

Reptiles are cool, kids tend to like them and some will live happily on non-living food. Since you're willing to handle crickets, frogs might be a choice. We had one, and other than food and the occasional habitat cleaning it wasn't much maintenance at all. Plus it was fun to watch it catch crickets!
posted by tommasz at 1:57 PM on February 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

You could also go another direction and have the kids interact with pets that they don't have to buy. They could volunteer at the local animal shelter, be dog-walkers, maybe even start a business of feeding pets for vacationing owners.

Your oldest will be moving out or going to college before long, is already a teenager; unless they have a specific animal they really really want to own, it doesn't seem like an optimum time to bring in a new animal you or their sibling may soon have to care for.

All that aside, I'd go for reptile, amphibian or tarantula pets; they are less likely to get depressed cooped up in a bedroom than a mammal or bird.
posted by emjaybee at 2:07 PM on February 14, 2014

Best answer: Betta fish can be fantastic, though I would recommend going with tanks a little bit larger than the usual ones--since bedrooms are on the cool side, you might want to have one big enough to contain a reliable water heater (I've found the ones for very small tanks to be quite fussy). You'll want to try and pick out a fish that responds to mirrors, because one of the funnest things about them is watching them strut at their reflection (or a pinky finger against the tank). Healthy males also tend to build bubble nests.

If you have a little bit more money to burn than picking one up at the local pet store, you can get REALLY FANTASTICALLY PRETTY ONES.
posted by foxfirefey at 2:08 PM on February 14, 2014

I used to raise rabbits for 4-H as a child/teen and I echo the recommendation for a pet rabbit. They fit ALL of your criteria points.

- Regarding urine: Rabbits aren't rodents or within the rodent family. They have their own class called "Lagormopha/Lagomorph". As such, your husband shouldn't have reactions to their urine.

- It's not a cat or dog.

- Rabbits are fairly easy to care for and don't require complicated ecosystems. They need a large 'homebase' (cage) and plenty of out-of-cage time to run around. You can purchase all of the supplies you need for $50-$100. Cage, litter, bedding, toys, hay and food. Done.

- Rabbits can be very hardy and tend to tolerate colder temperatures better than warm. A bedroom on the cooler side is perfect for rabbit space.

- Rabbits come in many sizes and can thrive in smaller spaces such as a bedroom.

- Rabbits are herbivores and do not require live feeding. Fresh veggies and a little fresh fruit to go with their pellets is all that's needed. And hay. Lots of timothy hay or grass hay.

- Rabbits aren't poisonous and when properly held/trained, shouldn't become bitey. Some breeds are more notorious for biting than others - Dwarf breeds are generally the biggest culprits here.

- Rabbits are very interesting to observe and interact with. They will run and jump (binky) all over the place (the equivalent of cat/dog 'zoomies'). You can even train them to hop over or through obstacles - sort of like dog agility.

- Rabbits are generally pretty quiet unless they're frightened - in which case you'll get some foot-stomping (or a scream if they're really terrified). As long as the rabbit is kept in a location it feels safe, it should rarely make loud noises of any kind.

- Domestic rabbits can live a long time - it's not uncommon to hear of rabbits living 7-8+ years. Generally the smaller breeds live longer.

I do want to point out though that rabbits can be delicate - being dropped or held incorrectly can cause them serious pain or discomfort. Also, Rabbits WILL defend themselves by kicking when held incorrectly and can subsequently cause some pretty painful scratches/injuries. So it's vital to ensure the kids know the nice and friendly ways to interact and/or hold their rabbit. That would be on you (the parents) to show them - if you aren't knowledgeable in that regard then I'd suggest learning through whomever you may adopt/buy a rabbit from (shelter or reputable breeder). Wear long-sleeve shirts when handling the rabbit until you get more comfortable doing so and there's less risk of kicking.

It's also important to remember that though there are many breeds, each rabbit has its own personality. But, in general, the larger breeds are best for kids - they're larger, less delicate, and usually have a more agreeable/mellow personality. I highly recommend French Lops or Mini Lops (if you like droopy ears) but feel free to check out to learn more about the breeds and what appeals to you. You can go the shelter route - many shelters near larger cities have purebred rabbits too, or you can find a reputable breeder via the ARBA website.
posted by stubbehtail at 2:08 PM on February 14, 2014

Since this pet is going to be locked in a bedroom and cared for primarily by people who are or soon will be in high school, you might want to avoid animals that are likely to get lonely, like bunnies or budgies (maybe they won't get lonely, but I don't know that they would be OK with solitary).
posted by amtho at 2:14 PM on February 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

Sounds like you are going well prepared into this - great! You could look into the Phasmatodea family, some can deal with lover temps. Stick-bugs are nocturnal but hardly make any noise and can be (carefully) handled by kids. My aunt, who is a biologist, did some research on stick bugs and had them in her office and at home. They seemed hardy.

Not quite an animal, but a lovely addition to any bedroom: marimo. The marimo balls are very popular in Japan, where they are considered a symbol for good luck. It grows at room temperature in tap water that ideally is to be changed every 2-3 weeks. Marimo can even be stored for up to 4 weeks without water. It is adapted for low light conditions and does not need any elaborate set up with lights&filters. It can live for a very long time but grows very slowly at a rate of about 5mm per year.
There are many affordable terrarium kits with marimo moss balls on etsy but you can buy the moss balls at well stocked aquarium / pet supply stores and even ebay for very little ($1-3) as well.

Completely different idea, does not fit your criteria: How about chicken?
posted by travelwithcats at 2:30 PM on February 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: African Dwarf Frogs are cute, lively, and are happy living in pairs or small groups in a regular freshwater fish tank. The only thing complicated about their care is that they're kind of blind, so you might need to feed them by putting their food in a turkey baster and "basting" it right to their faces.

Fish in general are pretty great, and depending on how mechanically/scientifically inclined you are (or how much you want to spend, if you're not into DIY), you can automate most everything about their care. Bettas are fun (+/- 5 gallons tank), or you can set up a slightly larger tank (+/- 20 gallon) and have a small community of hardy fish. If your kid would prefer to do less maintenance, I'd go with the 20 gallon community, because the tank will be more stable and livelier to look at.

If a tank sounds good to you, I'd also vote for marine hermit crabs. They're OK in a FOWLR set up (not a whole lot more complicated or expensive than freshwater), but if you want to add corals and/or saltwater plants you can do that, too.

Hermit crabs are a great choice in general. Land hermits have easy-to-set-up habitats (you can use a regular fish tank), and you can handle them much more than marine hermits. On the other hand, unlike land hermits, marine hermits tend to be much shorter lived, won't disappear for months during a molt (they'll just do it in a day or so while hanging out in the tank), and if you start getting interested in the marine habitat you've got a lot of room to grow in terms of adding more and more complicated stuff, trying out science/engineering projects, etc.

Also -- this is pretty far out of the box, but have you thought about carnivorous plants?
posted by rue72 at 2:31 PM on February 14, 2014

I'm a vet, so some of this comes from a place of cynicism, but please do not get a ferret, a rabbit or a snake that is going to get huge. A budgie or a gecko would be great.

This may be an odd suggestion, but have you considered fostering non-cat/dog pets for your local humane society? That could be a great way to learn about proper husbandry of a variety of animals and have exposure to species (like a tortoise) that would otherwise be inappropriate for your home. When I was a kid we fostered a parrot for a pet store while he regrew feathers, and it was an awesome experience... but watch out, one of your kids might end up becoming a veterinarian!
posted by Nickel Pickle at 2:56 PM on February 14, 2014 [13 favorites]

Sea monkeys! I used to have some in my old office and loved them. You can't cuddle them but they are fun to watch (and they'll "dance" to trance music).
posted by Jacqueline at 3:46 PM on February 14, 2014

You already have at least one dog and one cat? Please don't get a small bird or anything resembling prey. I know you said you don't let your current pets into the bedrooms, but accidents happen. Learn from my rather disturbing experience involving a jerk of a beagle and a poor defenseless parakeet.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:53 PM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

I will say this about land hermit crabs: as the unwitting owner of two of them*, they are actually fussier than you would think. They need to have a certain humidity level in their tank, as they breathe through modified gills and will slowly suffocate to death if the humidity is too low. They also have to have the tank heated to at least 75 degrees F, which has not been easy this winter in a house with two humans who like to keep the thermostat at 64. They need to have their water dechlorinated, and they need both fresh water and saltwater dishes in their tank. And you should also have more than one of them, as they are very social critters.

They are really cute, but it's been kind of a pain to get things to a place where I'm not worrying that I'm accidentally murdering them. So what I'm saying is that maybe they are not the best choice for an "easy" pet.

*yeah, I ended up with the hermit crabs because a family member got them on a whim, then got bored with them, and so dumped them on the nearest person she knew would actually take care of them. Sigh.
posted by whistle pig at 5:46 PM on February 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

I had rabbits growing up, and I would not recommend them for your specific situation, especially considering the fact that you already have a dog(s) and cat(s) in the home. We also had parakeet, and they may be a more viable option, but I think you would have a problem keeping them in the bedroom because they can be quite noisy at times.

Since rodents are out, I would personally recommend going the fish route. I had a beta fish growing up that lived for several years, and I really enjoyed having him around. Not quite as interactive as some of these other options, but they are very pretty, and more interesting than your standard gold fish. Plus they will still give your kids a sense of having a pet of their very own without being too much of a burden to take care of.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:45 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd second crested geckos, or their relatives, the gargoyle gecko. Leopard geckos are great, but if you're looking for low-maintenance habitat, leos need a heat source, while cresties or gargs only need to have their tank misted with lukewarm water a few times (twice) a day to keep the humidity up. They also do quite well on meal replacement powder, only needing crickets once a week or so. They are diurnal, but the only noise they make is hopping around their enclosures a bit (cresties are arboreal, while gargs are more terrestrial). I've got a number of cresties and a garg, and I love them. The garg actually hangs out in bed with my wife and I while we watch tv at night; they're quite handleable.
posted by MidsizeBlowfish at 4:15 AM on February 15, 2014

As a person from a budgie loving family: a budgie is not a good choice. No social bird will be happy in an empty closed room. Budgies need to be where the family hangs out.
posted by Cygnet at 5:43 AM on February 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

My perspective is influenced by the fact that I work with abandoned bunnies and see all the worst case scenarios, but I would not recommend a rabbit as a pet for a child. A kid moving out or getting tired of a pet bunny is probably the single most common backstory for our sheltered rabbits, tied with hoarding and overbreeding situations. And bunnies are exotics and prone to strange diseases and injuries, so your kids would need to be familiar with the symptoms and risks they need to look out for, plus you'd need to find an exotics vet who is familiar with rabbits. Many are not.

Most places recommend or even require that you adopt bunnies in pairs. They are social creatures, and they 'mate' for life, so having a bunny companion is very important to their quality of life. (Get them fixed before you pair them, of course. They breed like rabbits!)

If you do decide to look into them anyway, though (like I said, take my pessimism in context), take a look around at the House Rabbit Society to learn more and see if you have a local chapter. And please consider adopting. Most shelters working with bunnies are gearing up for the post Easter abandonments already, so adopting from them would help them clear out some much needed space.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:40 AM on February 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

Please learn about the way animals are captured and imported for the exotic pet trade before buying one.
posted by amtho at 3:53 PM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

Sequence asked what the kids want. Over the years, they've asked for pretty much every creature they've ever seen. They don't know we're talking about letting them finally have pets at this point. We wanted to present them with some reasonable options after we (the parents) had researched them and considered the pros-and-cons.

amtho, the 'source' of our pets is definitely something we've discussed. Almost all of our pets over the years have been rescues - and not contributing to breeding mills, illegal capture/import, or similar cruddy situations, is something that we consider important.

whistle pig, is it true that hermit crabs make noise?

travelwithcats, sadly the bylaws here state that we can't have chickens. Sigh. I love the idea of the marimo but I'm thinking about it for my desk at work!

Nickel Pickle, I wish our local humane society had some interesting creatures that we could foster but they're currently chock full of cats, dogs, and bunnies.

Speaking of bunnies, and to reassure a few people, I don't think they'd be right for us at this point in time (for many of the reasons noted above). I loved having birds but I'm afraid we'd just be tormenting the cats and oh, man, the mess that birds make! Yeeesh!

So! We're currently leaning towards offering the suggestions of a gecko, a freshwater aquarium, or a frog (type to be determined!)

Thank you SO much for the input - and if you have other thoughts, please chime in. We're going to talk to the kids on Sunday afternoon and then have them do some research, too, to make sure they know what they're getting into!
posted by VioletU at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, just noticed your follow-up! Supposedly hermit crabs stridulate, or chirp, but mine have never done that. Perhaps because I only have two, that isn't sufficient social stimulation for them to do it?

Good luck with your new pet!
posted by whistle pig at 5:03 AM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Me again. If one of my friends came to me saying their pre-teen or teenage child was looking to set up an aquarium, here's what I would recommend. Keep in mind that like most hobbies, if you get any two fishkeepers in a room, you'll end up with at least 3 opinions. :) However, this is what I would recommend.

29 Gallon aquarium
Gravel to fill it about 1" deep
Some rocks and logs (the local fish store will have some appropriate stuff)
Ehiem classic canister filter Or Whisper power (also known as hang on the back, or HOB) filter. The Whisper is a lot cheaper, but man, do I wish I'd converted to canisters a lot sooner. The long term maintenance and stability are so much better.
Water conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramine
5 gallon bucket that's never been used for cleaning solutions (best just to get a new bucket, they're cheap
Gravel vac
Fluorescent light hood with daylight spectrum bulbs

I prefer real plants, it's really hard to go wrong with any of the Vallisneria varieties (usually shortened to Val).

So if you're concerned about origin, all of the fish I'm naming here are "domesticated", in that they're bred by people and not removed from local habitats. I'd suggest finding a locally-owned fish store (as opposed to a chain - something like this as opposed to a Pet Smart or Pet Supplies Plus). Whoever is buying the fish, head over during a quiet time - weeknights are good, weekends are pretty busy usually - and ask some questions about fish you're interested in. Usually they'll know who breeds fish locally. Most people who hobby breed fish will bring in extras to the store to trade for supplies. If you're concerned about origin, a locally bred fish is probably your best bet, if you can get some!

Cichlids - I really loved my gold severums - you can keep 2 in a 29 gallon tank by themselves. They can be trained to eat from your hand. The biggest issue in the first year is keeping up with the amount of food you need to feed them - they grow really quickly and will need to be fed a couple times a day. You can talk to the fish store and see if they'll let you take 3-4, and then once you have a mated pair, return the extras. Also, don't be put off by their baby pictures - this is what they look like full grown.

Another good option is Kribensis, usually shortened to Kribs. They'll pair up and reproduce in something as small as a 10 gallon, but a 29 is better. Again, don't be fooled by that baby picture - adults are really gorgeous.

Angelfish are also cichlids, and often have someone who's breeding them locally. There are a lot of different varieties available - we have a guy in my local area who breeds black veils, and a tank with 4-5 of them is really striking.

All of the cichlids I've mentioned here will eat cichlid food pellets, but in the wild, they're fish eaters, so don't house them with any fish they can fit in their mouths, because the smaller fish will disappear.


Another variety of fish that is easily bred are Danios. You'll probably see some of the glofish at the store, which are genetically modified. Danios are often used in labs, and that's how the glofish were first created. Unlike the painted fish (please don't get painted fish), being glofish doesn't hurt them.

Zebra danios (and their color morphs, leopard danios, and the long fin variety of each) are really great little fish. They'll keep themselves busy and make the aquarium really active. You don't have to worry about danios accidentally breeding - usually the other fish (or the parents themselves) will eat the eggs. However, if your kids do want to try breeding fish, it's not too hard to set up a 10 gallon and make the attempt.


I have a soft spot in my heart for Harlequin rasboras. Great fish, super hardy, great color (scroll down to the second photo for what they look like when adult), active in a school. What more can you ask?


Most killifish have a fairly complicated lifecycle, but an interesting killifish to keep is the American Flag fish. They're native to Florida, and so called because (in theory if you squint real hard, I guess) they look like an American flag when adult. Adults will spawn fairly regularly, but I never had any issue trading my American flag fish babies to the fish store for supplies.

Not Recommended:

Goldfish - they need a lot of room as they grow, they require a LOT of filtration, and the ball shaped ones tend to have air bladder issues as they get bigger. Nothing is sadder than watching a baseball sized fish freak out as its air bladder causes it to swim like a drunk around the tank. There's no way to fix a broken air bladder, and euthanizing a baseball sized fish is just misery.

Mollies, Platies, Guppies, Swordfish - all of these fish are livebearers. And for the first couple months, it's awesome watching them give birth - over, and over, and over. Eventually the tank fills, and you either need to get another tank (delaying the inevitable) or you need to try to get the fish store to take them. Normally, if they do take them, they'll use them as feeder fish for the obligatory piscavores (fish that HAVE to eat other fish) they're selling.

Any fish that looks super awesome but you have no idea what the care requirements are - if you really, really, really think you love the fish, put down a deposit (most local fish stores will let you do this) and go home and research it before you bring it home.

Red tailed sharks, Red tailed catfish, Bala sharks, Several types of cichlid, freshwater eels, or freshwater stingrays. Most of these fish get way too big (Red tailed catfish can get to be FIVE FEET LONG) and most public aquariums already have several cast off pets. More info here on fish that get too big for common household aquariums. As for the eels, they're actually only freshwater for a portion of their lifecycle, and are amazing escape artists. The rays always looks so cool in the store, but require really really large aquariums with really specific conditions in order to live.

I hope this helps. Feel free to memail me if you have questions!
posted by RogueTech at 12:45 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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