Monthly Archives: February 2014

Ghost Bristols Six Months Later

I’ve officially had my ghost bristol trio for 6 months now!  They were about 8 months old when I got them, so they’re a little over 1 year old now.  Poltergeist is male, Wraith is female, and I believe Haunt is also female.  Poltergeist and Wraith have spawned several times while Haunt just hangs around eating all the eggs.  I have a batch of fry from them which are probably about 2 months old now that I’ve shown in previous fish room tour videos.  
In the past several months, my ghost bristol trio have grown so much!  Here are photos that show what each fish looked like then (August 2013) and now (February 2014).  The photos are not to scale, but still give you a good look at how much they’ve changed.

Before these guys were so small they practically made their 75 gallon tank look like a lake!  But now I’m making plans to upgrade them to a bigger tank because I think they need more swimming room.  If you’re wondering what happened to the fourth fish (I get that question a lot) please see this previous blog post.

Same tank, bigger fish!

Really, you can only fully appreciate how beautiful and cute they are when you see them in action, so here’s a video too!

Can’t get enough of these ghostly creatures?  I don’t blame you.  Here’s a slideshow of my photography featuring them.

Solid Gold Sketchbook

Here’s some of the art I’ve been working on lately.  I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit that up until now, I’ve just been working with crappy Crayola colored pencils for my drawings.  But, I got some new art supplies that I’m really excited about.  I now have a set of 60 Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils and a set of 60 Faber-Castell watercolor pencils, in the spirit of trying something new (trying new art media was part of my New Year’s resolution, after all!).  So here are a couple recent drawings I made.  The first is a sakura short-tailed ryukin that I drew with the Polychromos pencils.  I drew this one intending to list it for sale on my Etsy store, but I’ve already become a little attached to it… so I may have to make some prints to sell.  The second is a close-up of Monocle, my one-eyed butterfly telescope, that I made using the watercolor pencils.  This drawing had a blue wash background that just looked really bad, so I ended up cutting out the fish and pasting him over a clean sheet of white paper.  Much better!  If you’ve seen any of my goldfish art before, you’ll know that I love me a nice plain white background.  I’ve also included a little peek into my sketchbook.  From left to right the sketches are; Luca, Haunt, and a few different angles on a celestial eyed goldfish.  I used my Yujin gashapon as a reference.

To buy my art, click here: Solid Gold Etsy Store

Faber-Castell watercolor pencils and polychromos pencils

Sakura short-tailed Ryukin
Monocle – my one-eyed butterfly telescope
A peek into my sketchbook!

Chinese Goldfish | A Book Review


  • I like this book because it has a lot of artistically photographed pictures of some very unique types of goldfish.  There are many goldfish types in this book that are often not represented in other goldfish books.  One negative thing I noticed though, is that the individual fish they chose to photograph are not always the greatest quality of their variety and are not always in the greatest health.  There were a lot of lionheads with very kinked backs (a serious fault) and plenty of fish fish dark red streaks in their fins.  
    • Something else I enjoyed was the interesting information the book shared about the cultural background of goldfish keeping in China.


      • The revised edition of the book was published in 1990, so the information is extremely outdated.  There was absolutely no mention of filtration for goldfish tanks, and the book even talked about how to keep your goldfish in a bowl, so the information was definitely not very accurate for modern times.
      • I felt the information given was too generalized and just barely scratched the surface.
      • The section called “Introduction to Goldfish Varieties” was not nearly exhaustive; I can think of several common goldfish varieties that were left out completely.

      I’m glad to have this in my goldfish book collection for the interesting pictures and perspective about goldfish in China.  But this book should definitely not be used as a manual or guide to proper goldfish care, so if that’s what you’re looking for, then look elsewhere. 

      Solid Gold’s Interview with TheRick

      Rick, a friend and fellow fish keeper on YouTube asked to interview me for his channel! I was excited to do this interview for the chance to reach other fish keepers who may not know much about goldfish and help introduce goldfish to them in a different way than seeing “feeder” goldfish at a pet store. Be sure to check out TheRick’s other videos too, he has some very nice aquascaped tanks and some good informative videos! 

      Something’s Fishy about this Valentine

      Hello everyone!  In keeping with my tradition of decorating my 75 gallon fish tank for the holidays, here is my Valentine’s Day aquarium.  I didn’t realize this until well after the decorating was all finished and I was filming, but this holiday actually works really well for the bristol shubunkin because of their (sideways) heart-shaped tails!  So cute.
      Did any of you decorate your tank for the holiday too?  As always, feel free to share your pictures on Solid Gold’s Facebook page.  I hope you all have a good holiday, whether you’re out with your special someone or you just get to relax at home with your fish.  As for me, I’ll probably be doing a little of both!  Remember to click “read more” below to see all the photos.

      The Reality of Goldfish Breeding…

      The butterfly fry are 4 weeks old now and I finally found time to do their first intensive cull, which strangely left me feeling simultaneously demoralized and hopeful.  In this cull I was looking for any fry with crooked backs, collapsed tail fins, or a single tail fin.  Since they’re so small yet, those are about the only culling parameters I could use.  Even so, I ended up culling out about half of the fry, which is where the “demoralized” part comes in.  One odd thing I noticed is the vast majority of fry with crooked backs actually had very nicely spread butterfly tails.  It makes me wonder if some or all of the genes controlling the butterfly tail formation in the parent fish are linked to a mutation causing crooked backs.  If so, that would be pretty unfortunate.  But I’m not sure if that’s the case, it was just a thought.

      So,  I’m feeling a bit disheartened about how this batch of fry willturn out, but it’s probably too early to judge them that harshly yet. For years I researched about goldfish breeding, so I know that with thefancy varieties, very few (if any) of the fry actually turn out as niceas the parents.  Still, it’s one thing to read about it, and a totallydifferent thing to experience it for the first time.  I still have hopeof course, thanks to a few of the fry that look to be developing verynicely.  Here are some of the best that I plucked out from the main group.  Aren’t those little tails so pretty?

      Dandy Orandas Butterflies Update

      A few weeks ago I set up my five adult Dandy Orandas butterflies in a 40 gallon tank so we could appreciate them fully for a moment in side-view.  We typically only get to see them from above, since they live in a 127 gallon tub in my basement fish room.  They’re all doing very well and looking beautiful and super cute.  After this they went back into the 127 gallon tub and spawned the very next day, so now I have tons of butterfly fry growing out in the 40 gallon tank.  I hope you enjoy the video and photos!

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