The murals on the outside of this storefront are impossible to miss. This aquarium shop might well be the brightest spot on Main Street. But if the outside is colourful, the inside is more so. Hundreds of colourful Nemos and Parrotfish and Cichlids swim in elaborate walls of tanks. I am aware that the pet store fish trade is having a serious effect on tropical ecosystems, and for that I am sad. I wish this whole story could be only about the beauty of the fish – their iridescence and exotic names, their dreamlike movement, and the obvious care they are given – but as I open my eyes to the bigger picture, I realize it is not as perfect as it once seemed.
Still, I buy six little goldfish and take them home in a plastic bag to live the rest of their short lives in the pond in my backyard. I hope they will be happy there.