Perhaps one of the most favorite goldfish I have ever owned in my many years of experience as an aquarist has been a gorgeous fantail goldfish that looked kind of like a ryukin. This was my first fancy goldfish – a goldfish that has two tails instead of one. She was large and plump with orange and white coloring (though mostly orange) and I got her from the pet store when I was 15 years old. At the time, I had just finished trying to breed betta fishes because I never could get the baby fry to live. I actually got 56 out of one spawn, but that didn’t matter because they all died and the dad ate some of them too, sadly enough. Anyway, I picked out Penelope from the store and fell in love with her at once. She was pretty big, probably around 4 inches long at the time, and I was very excited because I already had a 10 gallon tank set up ready to receive her when she got home. I remember carrying the plastic bag in the car with pride, eager to get her home as soon as possible and trying to cushion her at every jolt.
The first thing I did when I got home was plop her right into the tank, which had no filter at all, only a bubble stone. The problem was I did not know anything about goldfish care, and of course, this meant the tank had not yet been cycled and did not bode well for her health later on as we will learn. I set up this tank under my bedroom window on my large desk, which was the perfect stand size for it but not an ideal location. So, I put this cute goldfish into the tank recently filled up with water and added some gravel to the bottom with some plastic plants for shelter and decorative purposes. At the time I had not bought any food for her to eat, so I simply went to the freezer and brought out some frozen peas. I didn’t know much about how to feed peas to a goldfish for her care. I simply dropped the peas in whole into the water and then wondered why she couldn’t seem to fit them in her mouth, so I split the shells open and squeezed out the insides for her to eat and that worked much better. Now that I think about it I think I also fed her some flakes, because the next morning when I woke up there was a long trailing item in the tank that looked like a tapeworm. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was poop, but it scared me because I thought there was a parasite in the tank! I removed it with a turkey baster. I do remember that when I woke up the next morning, she swam over to the side of the tank to greet me as the sun came up. It was so sweet that I fell in love with that goldfish even more than I did the first time I lay eyes on her.