The famous goldfish is undoubtedly the first species we think of when we look for a fish to adopt. However, few people, even aquarium enthusiasts, really know its origin, its character, its physique and the rules to apply to take care of it.
The origins of the goldfish
The discovery of the goldfish in China dates back to the 3rd century AD. We believe that it comes from a natural genetic mutation of the silver cyprin. In the 7th and 8th century, the Chinese started to raise them in large ponds to develop trade.
In the 12th century, the emperor Koa-Tsung took a passion for this species. The breeding was strongly developed in the imperial palace. All the rich people of the time started to adopt fish to breed them. As early as 1162, several varieties of goldfish existed. During the Ming Dynasty, the fish became very popular and ordinary people were able to get them. As time went by, exchanges between countries multiplied as well as the varieties. Today, there are about forty species belonging to the goldfish family.
Even today in Asia, it is considered that the goldfish brings luck to its owner.
The character of the goldfish
Goldfish are naturally calm and harmless. The particularity of the goldfish is that it is an outstanding eater. It literally only thinks about feeding itself. They can wreak havoc in your aquarium by tearing up plants in search of food.
If he is with other fish, he will avoid conflicts at all costs. Besides, he is sociable and loves to live in a group. Sometimes, he can be very active when he tries to make you understand that he is hungry. Contrary to popular belief, goldfish do have a memory of up to 3 months. In any case, it feels loneliness and pain.
The physique of the goldfish
The size and physique of a goldfish depends on its variety. The classic goldfish that we all know can reach 40 centimeters and 2 kilograms if it has enough space to grow. Obviously, if it is in a pond, it will tend to be larger and heavier than in an aquarium. It is characterized by a single caudal fin.
Do not trust its name, the fish is not necessarily red. It can be orange, white or yellow. Originally, the goldfish was actually gray. Its color is obtained from a genetic mutation that took several centuries.
The celestial variety is easily recognized by its telescopic eyes that look upwards and by its double tail. The pearl, as its name indicates, has scales in the shape of a pearl.
In a pond, the fish can reach 30 years of age while in an aquarium, it rarely exceeds 15 years even if it is well maintained.
The goldfish in daily life
The care to give him
Contrary to what many people think by putting it in a tiny ball-shaped aquarium, the goldfish needs space to flourish. The ideal place is obviously an outdoor pond. If this is not the case, the fish can quickly become deformed and die.
It is a freshwater fish. The water should be changed regularly to 20%. Also, the walls of the aquarium and the bottom must be cleaned to remove excrement. Likewise, the filter should be cleaned at least once a week to purify the water and allow it to live in a healthy environment.
Goldfish are omnivorous. It can be satisfied with pellets, vegetables and greens. As fish are greedy, it is important to give them a reasonable amount of food twice a day. It is recommended to invest in pellets that meet the specific needs of goldfish. Every week, you can slip small pieces of vegetables and live organisms into its aquarium.
Coexistence with other fish
As goldfish are quite passive, you will have no difficulty in making them cohabit with other fish. However, you should avoid putting it with potential predators like pike or perch. It is not able to defend itself.
Goldfish tend to reproduce when the water temperature is between 14 and 16 degrees. Sexual maturity is reached after the 2nd birthday. A female ready to lay eggs can be recognized by her abdomen being more swollen than the male’s. When they are ready to mate, the female releases eggs while the male releases milt to form eggs. Hatching takes place a week later.
The goldfish is the result of almost two millennia of breeding. It is an excellent pet, sociable and gentle, requiring little maintenance. However, it is necessary to take care to offer him good living conditions, in particular by offering him a relatively large aquarium or a pond so that he can develop healthily, a varied and regular food and by keeping him away from his predators.