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Goldfish Culture

Author锛欳hinese goldfish

An awning, goldfish in a large basin, pomegranate trees—these are the basic elements in the courtyard of a classical Chinese house. When the sun shines through tree leaves and casts its soft rays on the lively and lovable goldfish in the basin, the residence is bathed in calm serenity. The goldfish is favored by the Chinese, who have boon breeding many varieties of it for centuries.

China is the home of goldfish. The earliest mention of golden carp is found in the book Classic of Mountains and Rivers written during the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.). This means that golden carp were seen in China as early as more than 2,000 years ago. During the Song dynasty (960-1279), there were golden carp in the mountain streams below the Pagoda of Six Realms in Hangzhou and in a pond in Xingjiao Temple at the foot of Nanping Hill by the West Lake. A note in the book Evening Talks in the Cool Studio says, There are more than a dozen carp of golden colour in Xingjiao Temple at Nanping Hill by the West Lake. After performing religious duties, the Taoist priests in the temple lean on the balustrade and feed the fish as a pastime.This passage shows that there were already ornamental goldfish in Hangzhou at that time. It was recorded in 1276 that goldfish were bred in basins and tanks and taken to many other places in China. Goldfish was introduced into Japan in 1520, Portugal in the early 17th century and then to all Europe.

The goldfish evolved from the common carp. There were only one or two varieties at the beginning. After generations of careful breeding and several stages of evolution, as many as 200 and more varieties of goldfish now exist while new ones are being continually brought into being. In order to better understand and appreciate the goldfish, we have roughly divided the goldfish into four groups: 1. Common Goldfish. These are like ordinary crucian carp but red, white or spotted in colour. They are easy to breed, not easily startled by the presence of man and usually kept in a park. 2. X-Shaped Goldfish. The tail of this type of goldfish has become bilobed in the shape of an X. It dose not have protruding eyes. Among the rare varieties of this breed are the Pearly, Red Crane’s Crown and Tiger Head. 3. Dragon’s Offspring. Dragon is traditionally considered a creature of good luck in China. The Dragon’s Offspring is regarded pieces or pears as the eyes of the legendary dragon and come in many different colours. Like flowers, the back ones are considered the best. The Black Dragon’s Offspring is also called Black Dragon Eyes. The ones that are in the darkest black and do not revert to red in colour are the most precious. 4. Egg-Shaped Goldfish. The plump bodies of these goldfish are shaped like a duck’s egg. They grow very fast and exist in many varieties. The Bubbly Eyes, the most valuable variety of the Egg-Shaped Goldfish, has a body like other egg-shaped goldfish. But there are two semi-transparent bubbles below its eye-balls. The largest bubbles may cover the entire eyes. When this goldfish swims in water, the bubbles swing with the motion of the body and large tail. Although this golfish is most lovely to behold, it is a delicate species to breed.

The goldfish are natural objects of art bred by man. The qualities of the different varieties are judged differently. For example, a Crowned Goldfish should have a large and high mass of tissues on the head. The two eyes of a Dragon Eyes should be of the same size and shaped like chess pieces. The Egg-Shaped Goldfish should have a smooth back, small and short tail and well-proportioned body. Secondly, it should swim in a steady and elegant style with the lobed tail swaying gently. When it stops, the tail should droop downwards. Lastly, it should be bright and attractive in colour. When buying a goldfish, it is the best to choose one about 45 days old. If a goldfish is too young, it is difficult to see its features.

    In fact, it is not difficult to keep goldfish. Here is a simple and practical method. First, pay attention to the water for filling the home aquarium. Tap water in a city should be exposed to the sun for two or three days to remove the chlorine in it or have the chlorine eliminated by adding a millet-sized sodium thiosulphate pill to every five kilogram’s of water. Secondly, the most suitable temperature of the water is 20-30 degrees Centigrade, though the lowest temperature for the goldfish to survive is minus four degrees. Thirdly, the goldfish should be fed at correct time and in correct amount. After placing the newly acquired goldfish in the aquarium, do not feed them immediately. It will be good for them to let them go without feed for two days or give them only a small quantity of feed. The correct amount of feed is the amount that is consumed by healthy goldfish in 20-30 minutes. In late autumn, the amount of feed can be increased, Give little or no feed to goldfish that are sick. Fourthly, the water in the aquarium is to be changed in a rational way and at an appropriate time. The dirt in the water should be removed to increase the oxygen content of the water. A good method for changing the water is to siphon away the dirty water that make up 1/10-1/2 of the water in the aquarium and then add the same amount of water at a correct temperature. If the water is badly polluted, the goldfish should be netted out and placed in a vessel of fresh water. The aquarium can then be thoroughly cleaned and refilled. This, however, is not suitable for young goldfish. Whatever method is used, it is important to add water gently down the side of the aquarium.