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Goldfish - A Splash of Colour

The little orange fish restlessly frisking about in a bowl of crystal clear water- meet the goldfish, the beloved pet. Its small, its cute and yes, a pleasure to all.

The goldfish is a domesticated member of the Prussian Carp native to Asia. The goldfish is the smallest member of the Cyprinidae or carp family. Originally the goldfish was of a light yellowish golden colour but over the centuries, selective breeding and genetic mutation have given the goldfish various colours, colour patterns, forms and sizes. The colour of the goldfish is affected by the spectrum of light under which it is kept as they have cells called chromatophores which produce colour pigments. The maximum length to which a goldfish can grow is 22 inches and it can weigh up to a maximum weight of 9.9 pounds. The lifespan of the goldfish in optimal conditions is 20 years. However, the average lifespan of an ordinary domesticated goldfish is only 6 to 8 years. Goldfish are of many varieties some of which are Black Moor, Bubble eye, Fantail, Pearlscale, Lionhead, Oranda and many more. Some of the rare varieties are Shukin, Egg Fish goldfish and Meteor goldfish.

Long ago in China, in the days of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), raising carps in ponds was very popular and when some of them, due to genetic mutation, displayed a certain gold colouration people began to breed more of these and displayed them in small containers; thus the ‘pet’ goldfish was born. The occurrence of other colours was first recorded in 1276. In 1502 the goldfish was introduced to Japan where a few other varieties were developed. In 1611 the goldfish was then introduced to Portugal and later spread to other parts of Europe. Introduced to North America in 1850, the goldfish became quickly popular in the United States.

Other than the common furry pets like cats and dogs which come along with their many complications, a pet lover with a hectic schedule may always opt for a cute little goldfish which is easier to care for. Of course a goldfish is not the sort of pet which can be cuddled or expected to greet you and follow you around the house but surely they come with a different sort of charm. You can watch your little pet thrive beautifully if you ensure proper and regular care.

A goldfish may look attractive and interesting in a bowl but a larger, rectangular tank will suit your pet better. You must always remember to change the water in your tank at least once a week otherwise the accumulation of dirt and ammonia may harm your fish. A goldfish should be fed once a day in moderation since uneaten food causes the production of ammonia. You can feed your fish cooked peas, potatoes, boiled spinach, worms and mosquito larvae as supplements to the regular meal. Do not forget to remove the excess food from the tank as soon as possible.

The goldfish is an exotic pet. It is easier to adjust to and a delight to have around. Maybe its time to go visit a pet shop and get yourself a ‘splashy’ pet.

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