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A Fascinating Goldfish Journey...


Ranchugirl

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I have never done blogging, so bear with me... :D After reading through all the other blogs, I figured I'd give it a try too - how hard can it be?.... :rolleyes:

If you aren't sitting down yet, grab a comfortable something and a glass of wine (for minors a soda will have to do :D ), and hang in there - it is going to be somewhat long. I thought I'd toss in a little bit of history first.

When I was younger, I was never into fish - or anything much concerning an animal. My parents had a little parakeet, and that was it. Then there was a bunch of rabbits. Only a loooong time after I got married, somewhere around 1998, I think - I started into fish. Julia back then loved the movie "101 Dalmations", and for some crazy reasons we walked into the pet store and got about 10 Dalmation Mollies with a 10 gl tank. No clue about anything - water chemistry, cycling, waterchanges, nothing. So, when the tank turned cloudy a few weeks later, I did an emergency water change, thinking that something horrible was wrong with that water. Of course, the water wasn't dechlorinated or temperature matched, and all the fish were dead an hour later. :( When we walked back to the pet store to replace those buggers, I refused to get any more tropicals, and looked up and down those fish tanks for something else. That is where I stumbled upon a tank with funky looking fish - their brains being on the outside of their heads! The store employee informed me that they were "just goldfish", but it was too late. I was already in love with two of them, and brought them home. One redcap oranda named Dotti, and one red/black oranda with black mustache named Heimlich (from the "Bugslife" movie). Again, no clue whatsoever about the basics, but the employee ensured me that two goldfish was fine with a 10 gl tank, and that I could add more as time went on.

Needless to say, that tank went cloudy again after a few weeks, but I didn't trust that store anymore and found another one - Joe, the owner, is still a friend of mine today, and he was the first one I visited when I moved back to Fl a few months ago. He finally told me about all the little things a good goldie keeper should know, and I am eternally greatful to him. Dotti died after a while, but Heimlich grew into a big and beautiful fish, minus the black mustache. Jeanna, Heimlich reminds me a lot of your little Big Boy!

I wasn't as lucky as some of you who have a hubby who joins the hobby - my hubby at first wasn't at all. In fact, every time I bought a new fish, or a new tank, he got "the look" - you know, you buy something new, and our spouses get those looks. We had more tanks then - a couple of 20s, as well as a 55 gl, which held 12!! fish at one point, and all of them big ones! :thud I had to smuggle in new fish and was hoping that hubby wouldn't see them right away. Of course, with that tactic, quarantine wasn't an option - besides, I didn't know about that at the time. It was really aggrevating to love something like the goldfish and have to hide the passion from your better half, isn't it? How many of you have the same problem?

I found Terry from the Goldfishsociety somewhere around 2000, and he introduced me to goldfish quality and what to look for when buying a fish. I had never been to a show before, and there was one coming up in our neighborhood. It is a beautiful park still today (Flamingo Gardens), and I thought I'd drag the rest of my family along, so they could entertain themselves while I'd enjoy the show. Well, something happened that even I couldn't predict - hubby changed his mind!! I didn't do it, Terry didn't do it. One creature I never thought of did that - the koi. My hubby saw some of those huge monsters in the show tanks, and fell instantly in love. The koi managed something in one silly day what my goldfish had tried unsuccessfully in almost 2 years - win my hubby over.

From there on out sailing was a whole lot smoother, and the addiction was shared by the both of us now. Hubby has his koi, I had my goldfish. We did quite some strange things back then - tossing out furniture to acomodate tanks. A dresser in the bedroom went, one of our two sofas as well, and hubby built 3 tanks and a gazebo for his koi and some of my goldfish - on a rental property! There were more fish tanks than furniture in our little 600 sft home - 1 125 gl, 1 160 gl, 1 75 g, 1 55 gl and numerous 20 gl. When I look back, it dawns on my how crazy that really was, and how cramped we lived. And I don't say "Because of the fish we lived so cramped" - no. The fish started to enrich our lives, our family. It sounds weird making that statement about something so "unimportant" than a goldfish, but its the truth. By then I volunteered to print the goldfish report for the GFSA, and became a board member til this day. Its quite a bit of work, but I enjoy it very much. I also figured out that I like to write articles, and every now and then I come up with something to put into the report - nothing to technical though. I am not a "technical" person, but I do love the human interest aspect of the fish keeping. How we all got into it, what the problems are that we have to overcome, and so for.

When we moved twice - from south Fl to Orlando to south GA - we always took our fish with us, and we always put more thought in the moving of those little buggers than we did about our own stuff. It is fascinating how deep we go into things that we love, and how much we do for them and take care of their well being. :heart

We have had rubbermaids inside and outside the house, fish tanks all over the place, and I could never imagine being without them. I gave up naming most of my fish - I simplyl ran out of names. There were over 130 fish to take care of, and I am sorry, I can't find names for all of them. Some special ones that stuck out from the "crowds" got names however - there was Buttercup, my very first ranchu, which I got when I drove up to JoAnn Burke in Alabama, who back then ran DandyOrandas. That was an 8-hour ride one way, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Then there was Lipstick, the beautiful huge Redcap Oranda, which I picked out from a batch of newly arrived goldfish that day from Oski from GoldfishUSA down in Homestead, FL. He got the delivery that very same day, and we were down there to help him unpack them and make them comfortable. To our shock, a lot of the fish arrived dead or barely breathing due to lack of oxygen, and Lipstick was the only surviving fish, about 7 inches long, in a bag full of about 40 beautiful fish. Oski asked me which fish I wanted for my help that day, and without hesitation I said "That one". He said he'd better keep him at his place for a while to not stress him out more, but I insisted to take him home that day. Oski wouldn't have been able to give him personal attention, and it took me over a month to get him healthy. He had everything from Ich to fish lice to fin rot, a little dropsy, and part of his wen had an infection. After 5 long weeks, Lipstick was up and running, and I had him for 3 more years - made a 75 gl tank his home together with some tank mates. I didn't know how old Lipstick was when I got him, and I was so happy that he gave me those 3 wonderful years - I LOVED that fish!

Then there was Maya, my first oranda I got from Roland on Ebay - a beautiful calico girl. Buster, a huge calico ryukin also from Roland. I just love those calicos, and those guys were huge and beautiful. Then there was Hotlips (also a ryukin), who came from Rick Hess years ago, and won Reserve Champion and Best in Class at the south Fl show years ago. Then there was Whitey, a huge all-white ryukin that some lady dropped off at Petsuper*market, and poor Whitey was stuck in a tank full of tiny goldfish. He was big at about 8 inches, and clearly the employees didn't know what treasure they had swimming there. I was happy, paid the 19 $ they wanted to have for him, and laughed all the way out about the deal I just got for such a high quality goldfish.

My other love, besides the ryukin, are shubunkin. I just love those slim lined beautiful fish with their gigantic tails, and I know that one day I'll have a loud full of Bristols again. One other love I'll have again - veiltails! I always look at amazement at the beauty of those particular fish, how graceful they carry their finnage, how elegant they swim through the water. To me, that is the ultimate goldfish - that is what it is all about. Such grace, such beauty! :heart

There were some disasters in an otherwise pleasurable hobby - hubby lost 20something of his koi when he let the water hose run into the pond overnight accidentally (he fell asleep), and the koi died from the chlorine exposure. Or that one hot summer day when the dog accidentally knocked an extension cord out of the outlet - that same extension cord that supplied power to one of hubby's koi ponds. The big koi were without oxygen and running filters all night, and the algae covered tank took all the oxygen out overnight, and all the koi in that tank were dead the next morning - that was the most horrible thing ever! You come out in the morning to feed your fish - and hubby loved to do that first thing in the morning, with a cup of coffee in his hands - and you had to stumble upon THAT! :cry

We now moved back to south Fl due to lack of work in GA, and there are quite some major changes in life that are just too depressing to go into. One thing though, something I rather not talk about since it makes me so darn sad - I am fishless at the moment. No more fish, no more tanks bubbling away in the house, no more koi or ponds. Nothing. It is very hard, and I look at all your fish pictures in the gallery, and start to cry. Sometimes its hard to even be here and hear all the exciting stories or problems. I still walk into all the local pet stores, looking at fish, and I can't bare going out of there emptyhanded. When I see a nice quality fish, I usually call Terry, and sometimes he goes and picks it up for himself. I went to Joe's the other day with my camera to take some pictures of his beautiful aquarium store - he is working on a website right now, and I supply the pictures for it.

I am going back to Germany/Austria, where I was born - that is the major reason why I am fishless right now. Can't take the fish with me, and I am thankful that for the most part I found new homes for my fish with dedicated people who know what they are doing. I was quite amazed how many goldie keepers actually are in south GA. We'll be living with my mother-in-law for the first month or so, and we already talked about how long its going to take before we have fish again. My best guess - about a week after we arrive! :rofl3 I haven't cared about fish when we last lived there, so I never cared about pet stores either. Well, without being there, I already know where all the pet stores are in town, and I do know what the best therapy for me is after the long trip and the lousy changes we are going through - a stroll through aisles of fish tanks.

I don't know what to expect in terms of quality or even the availability of breeds, but I do know one thing - I'll have fish again, faster than I'll have a job. I'll go and take a trip to the UK, where all the beautiful Bristols and veiltails are bred, and I'll see the British shows. I heard I don't have to sit in an airplane anymore to go to the UK, so that is a HUGE plus.

That is the one thing that keeps me sane right now - the outlook of having fish again, going exploring in a unfamiliar territory, finding out about available meds there, etc. Until then, I'll keep looking at all the beautiful pictures here, and the wishful thinking that I can hop over to Singapore and snatch some of Mr. Lim's beautiful orandas while he isn't looking. Gosh, I mish my fish!! I can't imagine how my life would be without them on a long term base - they are part of my life just as much as my family or our dog. He goes with us to Austria, of course.

So, that is my attempt of a blog - I assume it is somewhat like a diary for everybody to see. If I can find my disk with the fish pictures on it, I'll see what I can find on there. Its in a box "somewhere"... :rolleyes:

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Thanks for sharing all this Andrea! Do you have a set date for when you'll be moving?

their brains being on the outside of their heads!
:rofl

Before I got into fancies I would refer to them as 'brain fish' and I thought they were rather gross!

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We would love to see pictures. I really enjoyed reading about your start and journey and getting your hubby sucked in. It must be so hard without fish right now, but soon you will have them. I can't tell you how frustrating it was for me on here when I was just cycling and had no fish. But you will get them soon! And we will all be waiting for pictures.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Regular Member

Goodness wish I could talk my hubby into doing without some of our furniture. No one ever sits on the couch it could go. lol That would be a great spot for me to set up both my empty 30 gallon and 20 gallon.

When are you moving? Soon I hope.

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That was a very nice blog and it was great to read how you got into fish. I'm sorry about your bad luck, but remember that things always turn around eventually. I'm sure life will be going your way and you will have fish very soon!

Austria has always seemed like such a beautiful country. Be sure to send lots of pics and good luck with your move Andrea!

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  • 5 months later...
  • Regular Member

I do not know whether you are completely settled again in Germany. How is it going?

Any plans yet for pets that live in water?

Edited by Quasi
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