WASHINGTON - The animated stars of Finding Dory may have your kids begging for the real-life versions for their tanks. But a warning for parents from the experts: "DON'T BUY THEM!"
The Humane Society of the U.S., and other groups, say these fish are complex animals and are not suited for home aquariums.
Phil Wind, the founder of Reef Escape aquarium design center, spoke with FOX 5's Kevin McCarthy and said parents should resist the temptation to buy the suddenly popular fish on a whim.
"Just like any animal that you’re going to have in your home, you’re going to have level of commitment to taking care of that animal," he told Kevin. And the commitment level for a blue tang, a fish like Dory, could climb into the thousands of dollars.
First, you would need a tank capable of holding 150-200 gallons of water. You also need an expert to plan and construct the aquarium set-up. A complex filtration system is a must – plus, they need to be fed six times each day.
The clownfish, a fish like Nemo in the animated feature, is much easier to care for. "Nemo can be in a smaller aquarium - somewhere in the $500 range," Wind said. "Jellyfish, seahorses, and freshwater animals can be interesting as well."
Wind says instead of committing to raising a clownfish or blue tang, opt for the stuffed versions or visit a pro aquarium instead. "Stop at the gift shop and buy the stuffed animal. If you want to come find Dory, come here to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and see her in all of her glory!"