Monday, June 20

Companion goldfish

Since I am on the subject of fish (previous post) I should address some of the questions that I’m sure are on the minds of my readers. Many of you know that I have a fountain/fish bowl made of three half-barrels. In the bottom half-barrel there are ten fine goldfish that Hilary bought from the local feed store about a year ago. Imagine—the feed store stocks and sells hundreds of tiny barely weaned goldfish every week. People buy them to use as food for other creatures! A secondary use is to keep livestock water troughs free of mosquito larvae. But Hilary’s intent was to provide a clutch of soothing companions to enrich our lives.

Over time I’ve learned to recognize the needs and desires of these adorable golden creatures. I discovered little behavioral clues, and would like to share my knowledge with my readers so you might consider acquiring these quiet companions that don’t scratch or bite or stink.

To start with, how do you know if your fish are unhappy? Simple—look for tears. Is the water they’re living in too hot? Watch for sweating. How do you know they’re hungry? When they see you approaching, they start salivating.

It takes a little practice to detect these subtle cues, but the rewards are gratifying. If having goldfish as loving companions doesn’t work out for you, remember—they cost only a dime apiece in quantity, they grow rapidly, and they can become a colorful ingredient in a yummy stir-fry.

5 comments:

Susan said...

You;re a nut. You know that, don't you. A lovable nut. xx

Tom Hurley said...

I am probably a macadamia nut. A few years ago in Hawaii I spent my mornings for three weeks processing those things. HARD SHELLS!

By the way, Happy Birthday tomorrow! Oh, I forgot! It's already tomorrow Down Under. So Happy Birthday again!

Daffy said...

.....ummmmm; crunchy. But also; they are HARDY. Our little fishpond (on our stern deck "patio")froze. solid. we had -15C for two long periods last winter; and although the 2 fantail goldfish succumbed,the one remaining "just plain"goldfish thawed out; resumed life as if nothing had happened.We have since bought 3 more ;and a heater; so no more fish-cicles!

Pete S. said...

Didn't you have goldfish in those same barrels a few years ago? Didn't the racoons eat them?

When I was a kid we had a small concrete turtle pond with some goldfish in it too. The fish grew large and had baby goldfish!

Tom Hurley said...

Daffy, I had heard that goldfish could survive freezing. It gives me an idea—Freeze a bunch of little fish in an ice cube tray and put them in glasses of water at your next picnic. As the ice melts, guests can be delighted by the fish swimming in their drinks!

Pete S: Yes, raccoons munched our first clutch. Now I have a metal cover that I put on their barrel every night.

Before your goldfish mom had her babies, did she start sweating? That’s a sure sign!