Birth of a goldfish keeper

Birth of a goldfish keeper 2019-03-17T05:50:35-05:00

The birth of a goldfish keeper and how it happens

by phillyn17

Once upon a time, around 1992 in deepest darkest South Wales (UK) a middle aged couple bought a new house. The seller asked them if they would be interested in keeping the large tropical fish tank which was currently installed in the living room; this would avoid him having to find alternative homes for the little critters, and would also eliminate the considerable extra work which removing the very large furniture tank would incur. He cleverly convinced them that the unit would be a very attractive feature in their new abode, and once the house had been fully renovated, it could be the flagship attraction in their new home. Gullible, they accepted, and the man (Phil) found a new hobby that was to cost him considerable expense and unhappiness.

How to keep goldfish

With the house renovations complete, Phil turned his attentions to the newly adopted tank; he cleaned it clinically and spent many English pounds on new fish and equipment. He had an array of residents, small shoals of Tetra?s, various types of Gourami, a Red Tail Shark, a Clown loach and many smaller varieties. Unfortunately, despite all his efforts, and regardless of the tank being constantly in a pristine condition, he found it necessary to regularly arrange funerals for the inhabitants, many only surviving several days after purchase. What was he doing wrong? The water was so clean you could drink it, all the ornaments and fittings were clinically clean and sparkly; it was a tank that any fish would love to live in……or so you would believe; in hindsight, he had a lot to learn!!!

Birth of a goldfish keeper

The final straw came several months later when the internal heater thermostat jammed, and one morning he awoke to discover the tank water boiling and all the residents cooked, bent, and very dead. He sold the tank and forgot about fish completely………..he was a completely sad, and thoroughly disillusioned human being.

Fast forward eight years and following the death of the couples? beloved twelve year old Labrador (Harvey), Phil decided to reincarnate his fish tank hobby, but this time to avoid the possibility of a reoccurring frying of the inhabitants, he plumped for the idea of keeping cold water fish. Nothing could be easier, you keep the water clean and topped up, feed them now and again, or in reality when someone remembers……easy!!! But again, and in hindsight, he had a lot to learn!!!

Understanding goldfish

Birth of a goldfish keeper

He purchased a moderate sized tank (24x18x12), all the compulsory equipment highly recommended by the very enthusiastic and informative pet shop owner, air pump, very bright novelty decorations, a small internal filter/pump, and regulatory lighting equipment. He spent an astronomical ?4.00 on four goldfish and returned home to set up his newly purchased fish residence.

His maintenance regime was clinical, for the next eight years he regularly carried out a complete spring clean of the tank every FOUR months, during these intervals ALL the existing water was disposed of, clean tank water was installed with no thought of any de-chloramines, or chlorine treatments or additives, the gravel was thoroughly washed in clean water before being re-installed, and the fish stored in a spare tank during the cleaning and instantly returned to the main tank following its? completion, temperature…..what?s that? Now and again, every several days, he even fed the little guys (the expert in the pet shop told him not to over feed them, and every few days would be sufficient). This Goldfish keeping was easy……for yet another time, and in hindsight, he had a lot to learn!!!

Learn goldfish

It was probably a case of more luck than judgement, but with the exception of two bereavements at 3 yearly intervals, and despite the very irregular maintenance regimes, one of the surviving two comets passed away as recently as January 2010. The remaining and sole inhabitant was later to become better known in threads as the ?Pink Lady?.

Following the loss of her partner, she immediately exhibited a very sad appearance; she seemed to be pining for her lost mate. A replacement tank mate was hastily arranged, and all seemed well for several days. Then, without warning the health of both fish took a dramatic nosedive.

Birth of a goldfish keeper

The worried fish keeper immediately referred to the internet, something he should have done ten years earlier. He keyed in ?goldfish? and ?emergency? on the computer, and the sight that met his eye was to change his fish-keeping life forever……….the search engine detected ? 911 + Rescue?. His SOS was instantly answered by a very informative angel in the shape of Venus; she referred him to the ?Ten Steps?, and he immediately started the recommended salt treatment. Within 24 hours the fish made a remarkable improvement, within days a full recovery; over the following weeks and months he learnt all about the basic and more complicated aspect of goldfish care. He visited the site on a daily basis, he just could not get enough information on the subject, and ALL his needs and enquiries were answered and satisfied by the very informative Administrators and fellow members of GE911. Even with his new found friends and knowledge……he still had a lot to learn!!!

Since then the Pink Lady as passed away at the ripe old age of ten, and now has pride of place in the flower garden below a small memorial. The fish-keeper invested many hundreds of pounds on a new larger tank and equipment in September 2010, but this time a more informed and educated fish-keeper did everything correctly. He was now aware of the Nitrogen Cycle; he knew what Nitrates and Nitrites were, he was aware of how to adjust pH when required, he knew all about surface action and aeration of the water, the fish are fed at the correct intervals and the water is replenished, treated and replaced at the required schedules. He has all his friends at GE911to thank for this new found happiness and fish-keeping knowledge………….BUT HE STILL HAS A LOT TO LEARN!!!

Birth of a goldfish keeper

Written by Phil (Phillyn17)

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