When I was a child, we almost always had at least one aquarium up and running (in addition to a wide range of other pets). We had a number of incarnations of community tropical aquaria and eventually worked our way up to a 50-gallon saltwater tank.
In the first half of our relationship, Trillian and I have had the occasional small aquarium with tetras or swordtails. We've spent the last 6 or 7 years talking about giving it another go, but always put it off--until after the baby's born (but sleep deprivation made us forget), until after we move someplace we'll stay for a while (but we never got one going in the condo), until after we buy our next house.
Our reasons for wanting a tank have changed a little. The new focus has been on what an aquarium can mean for Scooter. The first thing that both Trillian and I thought of is the calming effect of watching fish move gently back and forth. And so we have set up a 5-gallon tank in his room, a simple set up, with bright-colored gravel and plastic plants and a pirate ship.
Three little fish joined our family today; more will come next week if our new swimmies prove that the tank is stable. Scooter could barely contain his excitement as we drove down to Capital City to go to the pet store, carefully enumerating the items we needed: fish food, baggie (even though we insisted that the pet store would give us one), fish. We walked into the pet store and he didn't even look twice at the dogs up for adoption at the entrance. He quickly picked them out and named them, couldn't wait to get home and put them in the tank. He has dutifully shaken in a few flakes of the food we bought and tried to instruct them to swim through the hole in the pirate ship.
At one point this afternoon, Scooter turned to me, beaming proudly, and announced, "I have pets!"