I'd definately recommend going for a business degree and work at a petstore/fishstore at least part time for a while to learn the ropes. There's a lot that goes into making a pet store work and the more that you can learn (and get paid while doing it) before trying to open your own store, the better. Be careful with your credit, 'cause it takes a lot of capital to start up any business, and more for a petstore since your product also consumes other resources (pets need to be fed and cages cleaned and that costs). Think about things like staff training (cashier, animal handling, feeding, cleaning, medicating, etc.), location (probably not a good idea to put a small petstore next to a PetSmart or Petco, but you still want a decent amount of traffic), store size versus lease costs, etc.
I will let you know that most pet stores that deal with dogs, cats, rodents, birds, or anything else that bites, usually won't hire anyone under 18 years of age because workman's compensation insurance won't cover injuries from bites to anyone younger than that. Dunno if that's the case in Canada, but it is down here in the States.
About the gluing idea. Loose gravel provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow, without the loose gravel, you cut down on your system's ability to fight ammonia build up, which can be a major problem in a pet store situation because the tanks are usually really overstocked. Unless your filtration system has bioballs or some similar product to give the bacteria a different home, I wouldn't recommend the glue. For the plants and decorations, think on this. I work at a PetSmart. I have to remove all of our ornaments and plants every 2 1/2 weeks to bleach them because of algae buildup. This is because of the length of time our lights on the tanks are on (7am to 9pm) and the number of fish in our system (nitrates=fertilizer). We can't use algaecides because of our live plants, invertebrates, and some of our more sensitive fish.
I wish you good luck, no matter what you choose to do.
Last edited by guardianfyre; 12-05-2011 at 04:10 AM.