Monthly Archives: June 2013

Look How Much We’ve Grown!

I’ve had Luca and Felix for 6 months now, and they’ve grown so much!  It’s been interesting to watch their changes over time.  At first Luca weighed more than Felix, but now Felix weighs more than Luca.  They’re still equal to one-another in length though.  I’ve also noticed recently how much their eyes have been growing.  Felix even has slightly uneven eyes right now because he’s in a growth spurt.  It’s normal for telescope eyes to sometimes grow unequally as they mature and develop, but they usually even out again.  Looking forward to another good 6 months!  

Laguna 60 Gallon Tub Before & After

Only a fellow goldfish keeper could understand being so excited about a big old plastic tub, but last week I scored a Laguna 60 gallon basin for only $17 from my local fish store!  It was used and pretty grimy, so it needed some cleaning.  Luckily, we finally had a nice sunny day over the weekend, so I spent a good chunk of time cleaning it up.

Before… ew I’m not gonna put my fish in that! 

After scrubbing with water to remove dirt, rinsing, scrubbing with vinegar to remove hard water stains, rinsing again, and finally scrubbing with bleach to sterilize, and then rinsing one last time.  Much better!

The tub holds 60 gallons and the dimensions are 42″ x 28.5″ x 12″.  There is a 1.25″ diameter hole about an inch down from the rim on one side.  I think when you buy the tub brand new it comes with a plug for that, but my used one didn’t come with anything.  I might go look at the hardware store for something to plug it with, but it’s not that big of a deal anyways.

The plan is to put this tub in my basement for a place to spawn my goldfish and grow out fry, etc.  🙂

Easy DIY Spawning Mops

When goldfish breed, the male fish drives the female into soft plants so that when the eggs are laid, they get stuck in the plants and they can develop safely.  Rather than using live plants all the time, many breeders simulate plants by making what are called spawning mops.  These are handy because they can be easily removed to a fry grow-out tank when spawning is finished, and they can be sterilized after use, unlike live plants.  This guide will show you a cheap and easy way to make your own spawning mops.

You’ll need some acrylic yarn in any color you’d like.  But just keep in mind two things; first, eggs will be much easier to see on a darker color, and second, some people think that fish breed more readily on green yarn since it looks like real plants.  You’ll also need scissors, tape, some cork bottle stoppers, and a hardcover book.  The book should be almost as tall as the aquarium you’re going to use the mops in.

Step 1
Cut off a length of yarn and lay it horizontally across the book.  Use a couple pieces of tape to hold it in place while you work.

Step 2
Begin winding the yarn vertically around the book.  Go around about 100 times.  You can do fewer or more times depending on how thick you want your mop to be.

Step 3
Move the horizontal piece of yarn up to the top of the book, and use it to tie a knot at the top.

Step 4
Take your scissors and cut the yarn at the bottom of the book.

Step 5
Take a cork, place it in the middle of your mop (where the knot is) and fold the mop in half to completely cover the cork.  Then, while holding the top tight with one hand, tie a length of yarn around it to keep the cork held securely in place.

Step 6
Boil some water in a large pot.  Once it has reached a rolling boil, remove the pot from heat and soak your spawning mop in the hot water for about 15 minutes.  Do not leave the pot on the heat while the spawning mop is soaking, because the boiling water will tangle the threads of the mop and it will be difficult to fix.  I found this out the hard way.  :/  After it has soaked, rinse it off in cool water, and it’s ready to use!

Even my cat, Sami, approves!

 If you prefer a video demonstration, feel free to check out the video version of this guide as well!

Goldfish Skeleton

I just got this goldfish skeleton display in the mail today!  It’s super interesting to see up close what the real skeletal structure of a goldfish looks like.  This is a common goldfish, so a typical fancy goldfish would probably look quite a bit different.  It would be awesome to have a fancy goldfish skeleton to display next to this one to illustrate their differences.   

Right side.

Left side.  The operculum is removed on this side to show the gill structure.

The projections in front of the gill filaments are “gill rakers” that protect the gills.
Anal fin.  You can see the leading ray has little projections on it.
The dorsal fin also has projections on the leading ray (no, not breeding stars!)
Caudal fin.
Its face!  Even as a lifeless skeleton, goldfish still have such personality.
Top view.
The details are so interesting.

I browsed around for where to find this at the cheapest price, and a website called Gorilla Scientific seemed to be the best deal.  The shipping was super fast too; I’m really happy with the purchase.  So if you want one of your own, I’m happy to recommend them.  Here’s the link!

Photo Update

After a nice 95% water change last night, I took some photos of the fishies!  Here’s the 75 gallon tank (85 gallon capacity with sump). 

Clover (male red/white ryukin)

Luca (male white butterfly telescope)

Felix (male red/white butterfly telescope)

Now for a little update about them… Clover has been an occasional bottom sitter for a long time now, whichis sometimes common in older and larger fish like him, so I don’t worrytoo much about it. Ever since Clover was tiny he’s been prone to fin congestion (redblotches) in his tail fin despite good water quality, and I wonder if that’s related in some way to the bottom sitting.  A goldfish breeder on Goldfish Keepers Forum saidfish with longer fins can sometimes have chronic fin congestion whichleads to bottom sitting later in their lives.  So that could explain his bottom sitting habit.  Anyways, I’m getting a little off topic here!  Last week I noticed him upside down a quite abit too.  Not floaty, just resting upside down near the bottom of the tank.  It was so discouraging to see, especially after recentlyhaving to euthanize Callisto for her chronic swim bladder problems.  Clover’sabdomen is nice and firm, like it should be, so that’s good.  I’m notsure why he would be going upside down, but I decided to fast him for awhile to see if that would help.  And it did; after a couple days offasting, he always remained upright.  Then I started feeding him a small amount of Saki-Hikari pellets, and again, he was back upsidedown occasionally.  So I guess maybe he just can’t handle those pelletsanymore.  Now I’ve switched him to only Repashy gel food (plus bloodworms a few times a week), and he’s doing better.  Maybe only Luca and Felixcan have the Saki pellets from now on, and that’s fine.  It just makesfeeding them a hassle, because I have to isolate Clover in a colanderwhile the other guys eat.  Speaking of those two, they’re doing greatand growing fast!  They love to root through the sand in search of food, especially Felix!  I’ve been hand-feeding all of them a lot lately, and even shy Clover has been much more outgoing and friendly than usual.

I usually do 90% water changes, but last night I did a 95% change.  I had to remove the fish to a big bucket to drain the tank that much, and I kept them in the bucket for about 45 minutes after refilling the tank to let everything settle before putting them back in.  I think they actually liked that better than being in the tank while it was filling, so maybe I’ll always do that from now on.  In other news, I’m still trying to teach them their names, but I don’t think they’ve caught on yet.  That’s all for now!