RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - "Finding Dory" is the summer's first animated blockbuster movie. You'll fall in love with Ellen Degeneres, who voices the leading fish in the film, but experts warn you not to try keeping a pet Dory at home.
"Finding Dory" is a positive piece of family entertainment, but there's worry that some kids will leave the theater with the desire to find and buy their own real life Dory, a blue tang fish. That happened after the film "Finding Nemo" was released, years ago.
Nemo made the clown fish incredibly popular with children. Briefly, there was a run on them. A similar fad of buying blue tangs presents some challenges and raises some issues.
First, like clown fish, blue tangs are saltwater fish. They cannot live in fresh water.
"They have dietary requirements and obviously their size," said Steven Stennes, owner of Strictly Reef aquarium store. "They do grow rather large."
While an adult clown fish tops out at perhaps five inches, a blue tang will grow to more than twice that size.
"You don't buy a Great Dane if you live in an apartment," says Rick Roznos of Sierra Aquatics. "You're talking at least at a minimum 90-to-120 gallon tank for these fish. And then filtration; you're talking thousands of dollars easily to set up a tank specifically for a blue tang."
And, unlike clown fish, blue tangs aren't bred in captivity. Every one on sale at the store has been taken from the Pacific Ocean. That's not an issue, unless a big demand impacts the wild population.
Stennes and Roznos say they will order the fish for customers, but customers should expect to answer some questions first.
"If they are prepared to do a complete and proper setup and care for the animal, then I will walk them through the steps to do so," says Stennes.
"We want the animal to go to a healthy place, a happy place, a place where they'll be cared for properly," says Roznos.
It's what they've always done, and he says it's not only a matter of animal welfare, it's good business.
"If you have somebody who comes in and buys a fish, takes it home and it dies, the first person they're going to blame is us at the store," said Roznos.
So, if your child or you leaves the theater enthralled with the beauty of the blue tang and a sense of the challenges they and their environment face, that's a good thing.
Don't bring a real-life Dory home unless you're prepared.