Saturday, December 3, 2011

Goldfish Teeth

Wait, goldfish have teeth?  Why yes, they do!  Their teeth are called pharyngeal (far-in-jee-uhl) teeth because they're located at the very back of the mouth, in the pharynx.  These teeth are not sharp, but rather are blunt, and are used for crushing and grinding food material.  Goldfish are continually losing and regrowing their teeth, similar to a shark.  At the base of each mature tooth, there is a small developing tooth.  When the old tooth falls out, the developing tooth is ready to take its place.  Losing their teeth does not hurt them and the fish typically spit out the detached teeth from their mouths.  If you're in the right place at the right time, you could actually witness your fish spit out its tooth! 

Don't worry, the teeth are far back enough that there's no risk of you being bitten by an inquisitive fish!  It's easy to find these teeth on the floor of your tank if you don't use a substrate.  I have collected many of them over the past few years, leading my friends and family to conclude that I'm absolutely nuts!  And maybe I am... :)

I keep my collection in this little tooth case.  What would the dentist think!




















Here's a photo of the teeth in my hand to show their small size.




















Want to see more?  Here's a video!

So there you have it, goldfish teeth!

11 comments:

  1. WOW! that is sooo cool.... do you think it is better to have substrate or not. I do. I have one tailed goldfish(common). Do you think that I can put them with a butterfly telescope or a calico telescope? please tell me!

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    1. Hi Martina! It depends. With no substrate the tank is so much easier to keep clean, and it's very safe for clumsy goldfish. However, some goldfish keepers like to have some substrate because they notice that their fish really like to keep busy by picking through the substrate for morsels of food (it's their natural instinct to do this). In that case, you can keep a very thin layer (just enough to cover the bottom) of a heavy sand substrate. Sand is better than gravel for a couple reasons; 1) goldfish can choke on gravel once they're big enough to fit it in their mouths, and 2) gravel has a lot of space between the pieces which allows food and fish poop to fall down in there and get trapped. Not very sanitary! Since sand grains are very fine, the food and fish poop sits on top and can still be removed by the filters pretty easily. Many people like the sand substrates made by CaribSea; look up Tahitian Moon Sand or Sunset Gold.

      I would keep telescopes separate from single tails for sure. In my experience, telescopes have a much harder time finding food than other goldfish, especially single tails. I suppose you could make it work if you hand-fed the telescope every day, but that can become tiresome and just creates an extra challenge. It's much easier if all the fish in the tank have about the same food-finding abilities. :) Also, if you end up with a female telescope and a male common goldfish, spawning behavior, when it happens, will be much too rough on the female telescope. She could be injured badly or killed.

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    2. Thank you Jennie! I will really take substrate or no substrate in consideration. :)

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  3. i had 3 goldfish and 3shark in about 120 liter tank.they live without any problem.but past week one goldfish had some problem.it had red scales,light damaged fins and floate down on the water.I took him into seperate tank and put heater(with 30 degree),light and oxygen pump.Then i add 3 drops of Anti Fungus in it.But it can't cure floating and its one pelvic fin had red,some scales had red.i also change the water every day.after a week its tails was normal.but it float and one large round red wound in his side body.please help me

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  4. Hello Jennie! I was searching online for gold fish and found your channel. I must say, now I'm addicted to it. Keep up the good work! I have 8 comets and 2 blackmoors (all small ones) which I got last Christmas. They now live in a tub. I am still not able to figure out the effective way to clean / filter that one. Also, I'm thinking of adding sand as a substrate, ofcourse after cleaning. Though confused whether fish poop and sand will make the water cloudy. So what has to be done to maintain clear water in a tub, and what is the effective filter options available?

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  5. Hi Jennie...Your video on the growth of your white ryukin was awesome ..how did you attain such tremendous growth.. Can you tell about your care taking?

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  7. Jennie I just wanted to say thank you for this video and your sight. We have adotted our special needs grandson. He wanted goldfish. So we set up an aquarium and your sight h as helper with a lot of our questions. One being from our very bright inquizative little boy, "do they have teerh"? Well you had the answer. Pretty cool! Thank you for helping us to educate, encourage and inspire our grandson.

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