It’s Bank Holiday season already – and, as expected – travelling fairgrounds once more make their colourful cross-country pilgrimage, pitching-up on waste grounds and parks nationwide. But remember when you could win a goldfish that was waiting in a bag for its new home?
I’m sure some fish would have been cherished and lived for 20 years or more, but others would’ve undoubtedly perished before they even made it to their tiny underwater castle in a bowl on the sideboard. Luckily the concept of winning an animal as a prize is now (thank ‘Cod’!) not thought to be consistent with a responsible approach to becoming an owner – one that’s good at darts or hoop-la.
If you have just, or are thinking about purchasing a new shiny little friend from a proper pet-shop or aquatic store, then please respect him by buying him a proper basic aquarium with a filter to live in. When introducing your fish to the tank, it’s essential that you follow these simple instructions.
Firstly, when you fill your tank with water (tap water is perfectly all right – and ideally should be left to stand for a couple of days), put the fish, still in its closed bag in your aquarium for around thirty minutes. When both temperatures are the same you can free your new little golden buddy.
Secondly, find a beautiful poster of the sea or any other water subject and attach it to the outside back of the aquarium allowing the whole scene to come to life even more. Addition of greenery is also a great idea but beware, goldfish are nibblers, so choose ferns, grass-like plants (the wider the leaves the better) or even fake plants?
They rarely need heaters but will always require a light source – especially with live vegetation.
Feeding your new fish is so easy – and I don’t mean to your cat!. Once daily is fine, and always use a well-balanced food with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Please ask your local pet-shop which brand of food is best, and most importantly please be careful especially when measuring out the amount you feed – as over-feeding is one of the main causes of early death.
Always maintain your filter and clean your tank with regular water-cycling. Goldfish are susceptible to a number of common diseases and are notoriously hard to treat, the final ‘flush’ being the preferred treatment option historically used by most owners.
The “common” goldfish is however pretty hardy and they also enjoy company – so why not even add some more colourful ones?
Respect your goldfish and be glad that the age of winning that ol’ fashioned, out-dated über-cliché – the ‘goldfish in a bag’ – has finally had its chips.