Petco is urging parents to resist the hype surrounding the upcoming “Finding Nemo” 3D movie and consider a freshwater fish first.
An education campaign coincides with the availability of "Finding Nemo" aquarium kits in more than 800 stores nationwide that mimic the experience of owning a clownfish, which requires salt water. The kits are designed for freshwater fish, but have unique decor and plants that mimic Nemo's surroundings from the movie.
With the release of the Disney-Pixar movie Sept. 14, Petco is launching an education campaign to help families and pet parents understand the extra effort and investment required to properly care for saltwater fish like Nemo, compared to freshwater fish.
Tips for caring for freshwater and saltwater fish, and videos on the proper care of clownfish, are among a variety of tools designed to educate new pet owners. An online tip sheet is available at petco.com/caresheet.
When "Finding Nemo" was first released in 2003, interest in clownfish surged -- something that is likely to recur when "Finding Nemo" 3D debuts this week. That's why Petco aims to help families understand the needs of clownfish before taking one home.
Clownfish are saltwater fish, which require a larger investment of time and money to properly care for them in order to live long and healthy lives. Clownfish typically require at least a 29-gallon saltwater tank and a higher average set-up cost than freshwater fish.
First-time fish hobbyists may not know how to properly care for a fish like Nemo -- or any other fish. In fact, according to United Pet Group, one in four, or more than 220,000 first-time fish owners (in the 5- to 55-gallon tank size range) abandon the hobby within the first 12 months.
"The release of 'Finding Nemo' 3D is going to get a lot of kids and families excited about the joys of fish ownership,” said Rich Williams, VP of companion animal merchandising for Petco, in a release. “We think this is a great opportunity to educate first-time fish owners about the responsibilities of caring for all kinds of fish."