Happy Easter from Linnaeus the lungfish! He got all dressed up in his easter bunny costume! He and the other fin children got “candy” in the form of blocks of frozen blood worms and daphnia. I’m unsure is Linnaeus will stick as a name but well see. He’s becoming quite friendly and is beginning to recognize me as the food giant. In other news things are pretty hectic at so I may not be as active the next few weeks. I promise some fun articles and loads of pictures when things settle down.
Q:I literally only followed your blog today, but I've been scrolling for a while and I wanted to stop by and let you know how wonderful I think this blog is. I love your dedication to your fish, how knowledgable and clear your posts are, and the gorgeous pictures you post of your aquarium/pets. While it's true I'm only a novice fish lover, in fact, I don't actually own any fish, but I do hope to someday and for now I can live vicariously through this blog. Keep on doing as you do.
I’m so glad you like my blog! I really believe education is the key with the care of any animal, but there is often so much misinformation about fish, and it needs to be stopped and corrected. So that’s the real goal of my blog, articles that are clear and direct, to make fish keeping is easier for novices and experts alike. Hopefully over the span of years I will use my skills as a marine biologist to continue to write about the care of aquatic species and speak out against their abuse and mistreatment. So it makes me really happy to know that there are people out there reading my blog and enjoying it. :)
Q:I love your blog ^_^, and it's nice to see someone so passionate abt what they do
I’m glad you enjoy my blog! As far as my passion for fish goes I can think of nothing better than this quote from the late Steve Irwin “I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message.”
Everyone was happy in the pond this morning when I fed them. I did a lot of maintenance on it yesterday and got it prepared for spring. This time of the year is great because the pond is getting a lot of sun and the fishs’ colors are really getting vibrant. I still have to start the build on my seasonal Pearlscale pond as well! I’m probably going to use the 110gal tuff stuff stock tank and then build a small filter to accompany it. My last two pearlscales from Dandy Orandas should be arriving the 25th so I have until then to prepare!
Life After The Feeder Tank
This is Shokin, and he is a fairly typically hibuna (common) goldfish. His name comes from the Japanse word 賞金 meaning prize; because that’s exactly what he was. A petstore in my area has a gumball machine, you put a quarter in and if a yellow gumball comes rolling down you get a fish out of the feeder tank. I just so happened to get a yellow gumball and out of the tank of overcrowded feeders I took home a skinny, pale, and underfed common. Shokin is my prize, but not because I won him, but rather because he has grown into such a beautiful fish. A bright and active fish many guests mistake him for a small koi when they visit the pond. Last June he weighed a petite 6g, and even through the harshest winter on record he’s managed to increase his weight sixfold.
Contrary to popular belief feeder fish are not inherently more sickly or less hardy, in fact it is quite the opposite. The fish that do survive being shipped in a bag with hundreds of other fish and then often kept in less than ideal water conditions are the strongest of the strong. Shokin arrived most likely on a tuesday in that store, packed in less than a gallon of water with 150 other feeders. I won him on a friday, so that means not only did he survive nearly a week in a feeder system but he managed to avoid being netted and sold as food. In may of last year he spawned with my calico ryukin Kai and his son Izoku (who you can see below) is not even a year old and already weighs as much as his father:
So this is a friendly reminder that while my main focus is fancy goldfish every goldfish keeper should be able to appreciate a common goldfish, and what many feeders go through only to end up as a meal. Just because a fish is free or bred to be food for another fish does not render it’s life worthless. Any fish when well cared for can turn into a lovely adult and goldfish have an amazing biological capacity to rebound from periods of severe neglect. On behalf of Shokin and all his feeder brethren that do not get a happy ending in a big pond, consider taking a feeder home with you if you have the space and resources.
Just a few of my gorgeous pond babies. I have a big mix here and this definitely isn’t everyone! In order their names are; ‘Ol One Eye, Kimi, Stabby, Hoshi, Zero, Tardigrade, Bearcat, Harumi, and Kai. Harumi is my biggest fish (a top view Ranchu) at around 130g. These guys are happy to finally have consistently warm weather!
My west african lungfish (Protopterus annectens) getting excited about food. But it took him way too long to actually find the food so I included a shorter clip of him eating at the end. Excuse the cloudiness, it’s newly substrated.
Q:Hi! I'm not sure if you've answered this already but where did you buy your goldfish? They're all so beautiful! :)
I don’t believe anyone has asked me! I get my goldfish from a variety of sources. Many are from my LFS and a few are rescues. I also have some from local petcos and petsmarts who I feel take good care of their fish. I try very hard to only support stores I feel are treating their animals right. I worked as a petstore employee for over a year maintaining fresh and salt water systems and I personally know how hard it is when you get shipment in and the fish are sick, or end up carrying anchor worms or lice, the list just goes on and on. And it can be hard to keep up a system if a bad bug hits it, so I make sure to speak with the people working in the fish sections of stores to really see how much they know and care about the animals they’re entrusted with. If you do end up choosing to go the LFS or chain store route I have a whole article on choosing and quarantining a new fish.
However all six of my Ranchu are from eastcoastranchu, whom I highly recommend if you enjoy ranchu (you can read my review of ECR here). I consider her a very good friend of mine who has shared so much fishy wisdom with me and can’t sing the praises of her fish enough. ECR ranchu have been bred and raised in the US (not imported older fish like many sellers) and you can get them a bit smaller and younger and really groom them yourself. Its really fun and rewarding to watch a fish grow into this magnificent representation of the breed. The fish are so healthy and well kept I don’t even quarantine when I buy from ECR; because I trust how the fish are kept and seeing it first hand really reaffirms that. Not to mention Cynthia is so knowledgeable and she genuinely loves each tiny little ranchu that she helps bring into the world. Her passion is downright contagious and ranchu are like potato chips, you can’t have just one!
I’ve also made purchases from Dandy Orandas and if you want larger fish and are looking for some unusual types they are more likely to pop up there than anywhere else. I currently have one fish from Ken and two more waiting to be shipped that I’m going to use to kickstart some pearlscale lines. Ken is a nice guy who is very good with communication and sells nice fish. When he called me about my first purchased we spoke briefly about how the fish moves in relation to it’s overall attitude. He told me the fish I was buying was very spunky and never bottomsat or was lethargic, which can be a major problem in larger pearlscales. (and having owned her for 3 weeks now she is quite the spunky fish) Ken went on to say that it’s a shame when he gets in fish that do exhibit those behaviors because they aren’t sellable as he would never sell a fish that wasn’t 100% happy and active. And I thought that was really a good point to mention because it says a lot about a seller when they bring something like that up. It shows they care about the fish and it’s not just a revenue point to them. So while I don’t know Ken on a personal level, if you have the budget for it his fish are pretty nice as well.
I hope this helps! As always let me know if you have any more questions :)
One of my favorite babies. Its growing to look just like Ushi with the deep body, lovely black hues, and nice pearls coming in. It makes me really miss her but she’ll live on through her offspring! It will be amazing to see such a wonderful fish become the cornerstone of my Pearlscale line.
So I recently had the opportunity to purchase a West African Lungfish (Protopterus annectens). These are ancient sarcopterygians that grow very large and are pretty unique animals. They possess many traits that early tetrapods had and many odd characteristics for fish such as a four chambered heart and primitive lung structures. These are traits more commonly found in amphibians (some of the first tetrapods) rather than most fish.
After talking it over with my SO, whom obviously has a say in whether or not we could house this fish as an adult, we came to the conclusion that we can make the space for him if he ends up growing 3ft+. With lungfish living 20 years, and quite often more in captivity, they are definitely a long term commitment. In fact there is a Queensland lungfish at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago that has been in their collection since 1933. (That’s 81 years!) Visually lungfish look so reminiscent of a salamander or axolotl, it’s hard to believe they’re a fish at all. There are only six extant species of lungfish with the largest species reaching over 6ft in length.
Almost all lungfish species are wild caught so I want to give this little guy a nice environment that allows him to behave as he would naturally. Right now I have him set up in a 20gal with some sand and plants while he adjusts. He is already roughly 6-7in in length so he’ll need to go into a 29 gal or 40b as soon as he settles in and I’m certain he’s healthy. He was a rather unexpected purchase and so I have to hunt down a stand for the bigger tank since I used to keep them on a large dresser which I no longer own.
Behaviorally hes a pretty sedentary critter except for when food is around or when he goes up for air. The rest of the time is spent napping among the plants, under the driftwood, or sifting through sand for food he may have missed. I also didn’t have a net large enough to for him but I was pleasantly surprised to find he doesn’t mind being handled gently. Right now he’s being fed NLS large fish formula 3mm sinking pellets and frozen bloodworms. Once I’ve had him for a while I’ll likely write a caresheet on P. annectens. I’m open to name suggestions as well!