So a little more than 10 years ago, I was goldfish-crazy. Started out like most of us, with one fish in a too-small tank, and started reading/learning obsessively. After about a year, I had a 55 gallon running two Fluval 404s, a Rena 400 air pump aerating the heck out of the tank, and three very happy goldfish (including that original Ranchu). I fed 'em Pro Gold (back then, I think it was called Sho Gold?), supplemented with spirulina and peas, and Rick Hess's book was my bible. Everything was groovy for a couple years. Fish were fat and happy.
Then I came home from work one day in 2001 to find all three fish dead, no evidence of disease, water parameters perfect. We think that possibly the heater malfunctioned and electrocuted them.
That was it for me. I threw in the towel. I was so disheartened by my loss that I dismantled the tank and gave it away, and swore I would only have a single Betta from then on. That was 8 years ago.
Then, a few weeks ago, my most recent Betta (age 3) died. Cleaned out his 1-gallon tank, readied it for another Betta, went to this brand-new aquarium store near work to get fresh Betta food ... and there he was. This perfectly adorable 3-inch red and white Ranchu (my favorite kind of goldie!) shimmying in his tank, begging me to notice him. And it all came flooding back, how very much I love goldfish and how much I enjoyed having them.
So Shrimp Louie II (named after that original Ranchu) is currently hanging out in his quarantine tank while I gather all the necessary stuff to help him live a happy fishy life. And while filter-shopping at another LFS, I fell in love with Sprinkles, a 3-inch calico Ranchu who currently resides in her very own quarantine tank next to Shrimp Louie's.
I'm going a bit smaller this time around: a 29 gallon for the two of them, with two Hydor units for aeration and an Emperor 280 (not quite enough filtration, maybe, but I'm going to see how it goes -- the fish are still smallish). It should only be a few more weeks before the tank's all set up and Shrimp Louie and Sprinkles can come out of quarantine. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.
I'd forgotten how awesome goldfish can be. How absolutely cute a Ranchu's fat little body is, especially when they're swimming to the top of the tank and you see that shimmying belly and those pectoral fins a-paddlin'. How cute they can be when they beg for food. How totally tame they are compared to any other kind of fish I've ever met.
So that's it -- didn't mean to share my entire fish autobiography, but I'm so tickled to have found this forum and to be getting back into the hobby again that I couldn't help but spill my guts.
Oh, and no heater in my aquarium this time around!