The 2003 movie “Finding Nemo” made the clownfish a household name. San Diego-based Petco is anticipating a resurgence of interest in clownfish and the aquarium hobby when “Finding Nemo 3-D” goes into limited release Sept. 14.The company Wednesday launched a Caring for Clownfish campaign designed to educate families and pet owners about the extra effort and investment required to properly care for saltwater fish like Nemo. The campaign includes “Finding Nemo” aquarium kits, which are being sold in 800 of the retailers’ 1,100 stores. The Nemo-themed kits, designed by Penn-Plax Inc. of Hauppauge, N.Y., are specifically for freshwater fish.
One out of every four first-time fishkeepers, with an aquarium of 5 to 55 gallons, abandons the hobby within the first 12 months, according to United Pet Group Inc., a Cincinnati, Ohio-based marketer and manufacturer of brand-name pet supplies.
“The release of ‘Finding Nemo 3-D’ is going to get a lot of kids and families excited about the joys of fish ownership, and as a leader in helping fish lovers care for their aquatic companions, we think this is a great opportunity to educate first-time fish owners about the responsibilities of caring for all kinds of fish,” said Rich Williams, Petco’s vice president of companion animal merchandising.
The retailer wants to coax new owners to go with a freshwater setup before diving into the more difficult saltwater hobby.
“There are some important differences between how freshwater and saltwater fish are cared for, the type of equipment they need and the time involved in making sure they thrive,” Williams said. “We want families to have this vital information before they make decisions about what kind of fish they take home.”
As part of the campaign, a free infographic highlighting the differences between keeping a clownfish and a freshwater starter aquarium is available at Petco.com.