Would you believe that I took the kids out today, bought them 5 fish, and then managed to kill 4 of them before getting them safely into their tank?
I bought the special water drops, scrubbed out the old tank with scalding water, removed the old rocks and rinsed the new ones until the water ran clear, added water, put a special and expensive magic tablet into the water, put the fish bag in there for a few hours to neutralize the temperature, began slowly adding aquarium water to the bag in small increments to acclimate them--and 4 out of 5 of those little fuckers are floating.
The kids don't know, and won't know. I put a towel over the tank and said it was part of the process of making them comfortable in their new home and Mr. Ashley just ran out to the pet store to purchase stand-ins.
This could get expensive.
Edited to add: make that 5 out of 5. We will need to sneak a new sucker fish stand-in in tomorrow. The store has admitted that it was probably their fault and said we could get a refund if I bring in the dead bodies and a receipt.
So now I have a Ziploc full of dead pets in the freezer and need to find a way to sneak them back to the store for a refund.