Goldfish are a temperate breed that can be found in cool streams, lakes, and ponds throughout Asia and part of Eastern Europe. However, the ones you will buy for your tank have been bred in captivity. Once you?ve decided that the Goldfish is the right one for you – you will need to find the right kind of goldfish. Take your time and find out more, rather than just rush out and buy the first goldfish you find in the first pet store you come by. Decide on how many you want to buy. If you really want just a single Goldfish, please do a re-think on the issue because it can get lonely and boring for a lone ranger in a tank! Once you?ve though it out, here are some of the things you must keep in mind:
? Choose the right pet shop. Ask people you know who are committed fish keepers for reputed goldfish dealers. These are the people who care and would have professional knowledge of breeding and nurturing goldfish. See if they give a proper fish guarantee. When you enter the shop, look around at all the tanks. Make sure that the tanks are not overcrowded with fish. See if all kinds of fish are thrown together in one tank or care is taken to separate the various species. Look out for dead floating fish. The dead fish could have spread an infection to the other fish.
? Question the Goldfish Dealer. If the dealer claims that the goldfish are imported, then find out which country they are from and when they arrived. Ask him or her is the correct quarantine procedures have been adopted before putting up the goldfish for sale. If they were bred, find out when they were bred and how the fish have been kept till now as in what kind of medications if any has been used and for how long. Find out if the dealer has used salt in the water.
? Observe how the fish swims. This is a good gauge to identify healthy fish. A fish should be active, swimming with ease and style and poking around curiously at nooks and corners. Choose a goldfish that looks active and doesn?t wobble or tilt to one side or just rest at the bottom. Tap the tank and see how the goldfish reacts. A fish that is slow in its reaction might be a sick one. Make sure that it?s not opening its mouth too much for air, as it might be an indication of problems with the gills.
? Check out the fins. Make sure that the dorsal fin is straight and stands up. The backs of the goldfish should be smooth, without unsightly bumps. Also check that all the fins are healthy, even and are not rotted away or damaged. In all, a Goldfish should have a dorsal fin (unless it is a goldfish without a dorsal fin), pectoral fins that extend out on sides, two anal fins or one right in the middle. Beware a goldfish with just one anal fin that?s placed kind of off to one side. It could mean that the other anal fin is growing inwards and that could be fatal to the goldfish.
? Inspect the looks. Make sure that you give the goldfish you are choosing a thorough look over. See that the fish has a nice symmetrical shape and make sure they don?t have large heads compared to their body. It would do good to feel the fish to check if the skin is too slimy or too dry but at least ensure that the skin is free of spots and odd bumps and that the gills are red. There should be no redness in the anal region and definitely nothing sticking out or leaking out. The outside of the mouth should be free from redness and white strings and the eyes free from white flecks.
? Bag ’em right. Where you?re buying goldfish, you will have to put them in the ubiquitous plastic bag, but do so with care. Make sure that the dealer leaves enough space on top for the oxygen and the right amount of water. The right amount of the water is that which covers the fish. Do not allow the dealer to add any medicine or drops or anything else. Don?t make the bag too tight and avoid a big bag that might lead to too many folds in which the fish could get trapped and hurt. The bag should be tied till it is adequately taut.
Dane Stanton is an expert on Goldfish Health Care. For more information about buying the right Goldfish, visit his site at – http://www.infotrate.com/goldfish.htm