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Somebody Help Dispel This Myth


Guest Musicmadmk

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Guest Musicmadmk

Hi

I have had goldfish in small tanks and bowls now for about 10 years, and my mother has always told me that when you get a fish, it only grows to the size of the tank it is in.....so fish in small tanks remain little and those in large tanks or outside in ponds grow larger. I know that fish in ponds can grow very big.

Michelle

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This true to a degree. Genetics plays the largest role in determining size. However a fish raised in a bowl will never develop to its true potential. I am sure that you did not mean to, but many of us here really feel that it is very cruel to keep goldfish in bowls. The only fish I would consider for a bowl would be a betta and even that would be a minimum of a two gallon bowl

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That "Myth" is actually, for the most part, true. But it is true because of reasons that you would not think.

In a small volume of water the fish will never live very long. Poor water parameters may allow a fish to live for a time - but never thrive. It will not have the life energy to grow, breed, etc. It spends it's time simply staying alive. Results - a smaller fish.

In a small volume of water the fish may be fine ....until something "bad" comes along. In a large volume of water, if the parameters slip, you have time to react before they kill. In a bowl, one day the fish is fine. The next it is dead. You have the same thing happen with parasites and disease. Something that a healthy fish with a good immune system could shake off will kill in short time in a bowl. The results - a smaller fish.

Fish exude a type of hormone - a growth hormone if you will - into the water then inhabit. When you have too many fish or too little water, that hormone keeps the fish from growing well. So, yes, the small volume will tend to contribute to a fish not growing. - The results - a smaller fish.

The fish will not just be smaller, though. It will be much less healthy, grow less all around, never breed, never thrive. It will not live long or well. SO to say that it is OK to keep a fish in a small volume with an intent to keep it small just false. You cannot keep a fish small through the volume of water - you keep the fish poorly and as a result it fails to grow and thrive.

This would not be unlike keeping a child in a dog crate and feeding it the bare minimum to keep it alive. You would not get a large, strong healthy child that is intelligent or long lived, would you? That would be considered abuse.

Keeping a fish that is, by nature, designed to grow quite large and live in a very large volume of water, in a small bowl is akin to abuse. It does not just result in a small fish. It kills the fish - slowly or quickly - but kills.

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This would not be unlike keeping a child in a dog crate and feeding it the bare minimum to keep it alive. You would not get a large, strong healthy child that is intelligent or long lived, would you? That would be considered abuse.

Excellent comparison..

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This would not be unlike keeping a child in a dog crate and feeding it the bare minimum to keep it alive. You would not get a large, strong healthy child that is intelligent or long lived, would you? That would be considered abuse.

Excellent comparison..

:exactly

To add to the myth Michelle..Pardon me, but, did your mom also tell you that 'fish in the small bowl or tank will remain small and DIE SOON (sometimes in days)..and fish in a tank with appropriate filter will live a very long time??'

So what do you like a fish that grows to his full potential and lives a good long healthy life?? or a stunted fish that perhaps is dying slowly each day!!

Personally, I prefer the former...cos the latter literally has been torturing me till date...I lost my first fish to the cruel bowl... :cry1 ..of course I was foolish...

And Bowls are meant for fruits...fish are really meant for huge tanks...

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One additional fact to this myth. Yes, it's true that they will not grow too large for the bowl or tank they're in, as explained above, at least from the outside, however, their internal organs continue to grow at their normal rate. So, you have normal organs inside a stunted fish resulting in twisted, deformed organs which can cause much pain and sickness.

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Guest Musicmadmk

I am never keeping any kind of fish in a bowl ever again - and I think it might be too late to save my poor fishie at the moment - he is barely clinging on to life - although I am trying to help him.

I know it sounds horrible to say this, but I think I needed to go through this nasty experience to learn this. You are right about what you say about pet animals. A good friend of mine has two cats and a dog, and keeping a fish in a bowl is like keeping a cat or dog in a cage all the time. I would never allow anyone to do that to a cat or dog, but my fish is suffering now and there is nothing I can do.

On a more positive note I went to the pet shop today and asked questions to the staff there about fishkeeping. I'll write more on that in another post.

Michelle

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There's a pond in NY that I went to that had GORGEOUS commons that were all about the same size, maybe 1 foot long. And all healthy and mix of solid reds and whites, red/white patched, and red/black patched. All the reds were DAY GLO floresent. It was insane.

Seeing those made me realize just how big those buggers can get, and there's no way that one of those fish now would fit into the typical "goldfish bowl" without being chopped up to fit. Even the fancy double-tailed fish can get really big. Just look at Bruce, that HUGE oranda. If my two get that big, I'll have to figure out what to do. I'll probably give them to someone with a big pond who I know will spoil them rotten.

Bruce:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j268/Kolkri/bruce.jpg

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I know it sounds horrible to say this, but I think I needed to go through this nasty experience to learn this.

A great number of us here went through the same thing, myself included. For some reason people got the idea in their heads long ago that goldfish can live in bowls and that idea is hard for society to shake. Usually it takes someones fish getting sick or dying to make them realize that something isn't right...so the real animal lovers go in search of information so they can figure out what happened to their fish and they come across great sites like this one. Although the suffering of the fish is lamentable, be glad that now you know how to properly care for goldfish and whatever future fish you have will be better off for it :) Hope to continue seeing you around

:welcome

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Guest Danicole

From what I have read as to the origin of that myth. The people who were breeding and keeping huge ponds and different breeds would bring one inside in a bowl as a decoration to show off the quality of their fish for a few HOURS before being returned to the pond again. After people saw those fish in the bowls, they assumed it was the way they were supposed to be kept, or at least that it was okay to keep them that way, and started to keep them that way as a result. Now to figure out where I saw that so I don't have to type all that out if I ever want to post it again :P

Also, welcome :)

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Michelle, I don't know if you live anywhere near Florida, but if you do and need a tank to hold your fish over, I have a 10 gallon gathering dust in my living room.

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From what I have read as to the origin of that myth. The people who were breeding and keeping huge ponds and different breeds would bring one inside in a bowl as a decoration to show off the quality of their fish for a few HOURS before being returned to the pond again. After people saw those fish in the bowls, they assumed it was the way they were supposed to be kept, or at least that it was okay to keep them that way, and started to keep them that way as a result. Now to figure out where I saw that so I don't have to type all that out if I ever want to post it again

Also, welcome

Here is an excerpt from a web article I found.

"During the Tang Dynasty, it was popular to raise carp in ponds. As the result of a dominant genetic mutation, one of these carp displayed "gold" (actually yellowish orange) rather than silver coloration. People began to breed the gold variety instead of the silver variety, and began to display them in small containers. The fish were not kept in the containers permanently, but would be kept in a larger body of water, such as a pond, and only for special occasions at which guests were expected would they be moved to the smaller container.[2]"

History of the Goldfish Bowl Source: Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright ? 2008.

Edited by lynda441
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From what I have read as to the origin of that myth. The people who were breeding and keeping huge ponds and different breeds would bring one inside in a bowl as a decoration to show off the quality of their fish for a few HOURS before being returned to the pond again. After people saw those fish in the bowls, they assumed it was the way they were supposed to be kept, or at least that it was okay to keep them that way, and started to keep them that way as a result. Now to figure out where I saw that so I don't have to type all that out if I ever want to post it again

Also, welcome

Here is an excerpt from a web article I found.

"During the Tang Dynasty, it was popular to raise carp in ponds. As the result of a dominant genetic mutation, one of these carp displayed "gold" (actually yellowish orange) rather than silver coloration. People began to breed the gold variety instead of the silver variety, and began to display them in small containers. The fish were not kept in the containers permanently, but would be kept in a larger body of water, such as a pond, and only for special occasions at which guests were expected would they be moved to the smaller container.[2]"

History of the Goldfish Bowl Source: Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright ? 2008.

From this I'm going to hypothesize and postulate that, when the British invaded China, they saw these goldfish in bowls and, not understanding the practice behind it, assumed that this was the "proper" way to keep them. And the myth began.

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