Buying one or more goldfish for your family pet can start a fascinating hobby and provide a pet for a child when you cannot own a dog or cat.
You might not think your goldfish is very interesting, but you would be wrong. They are fascinating pets.
Teach your kids the history of their pet
In ancient China 2,000 years or more ago, people started keeping goldfish as pets. They raised them in ponds and water gardens. At one point, only the imperial family could own gold colored fish as gold was the color of kings.
The peasants learned to breed red and orange fish. Over a period of many years, goldfish bred for mutations in color were unable to live outside, so people started bringing them inside. People brought them to Europe 400 years ago. In the wild, goldfish revert to a drab olive green or gray color.
Chinese men once gave their brides a goldfish for a traditional first anniversary present.
Goldfish belong to the carp family and are freshwater fish. A group of goldfish is called a ‘troubling.’ They can live 40 years and grow to a foot or longer.
They can recognize faces and shapes. They even see more colors more than you or your kids and can remember things for several months, perhaps longer than that.
You might be surprised to find out that goldfish do not have stomachs and do not pee. They filter out liquid waste through the gills.
Goldfish sleep with their eyes open because they do not have eyelids. They sink toward the bottom of the tank and move their fins from time to time to stay afloat.
In very cold water, they go into a form of hibernation and survive until things get warmer.
A female goldfish can lay hundreds or thousands of eggs at a time, but most never hatch.
Your goldfish and you
Teach your children to never try to pet the goldfish, no matter how much they love it. It can damage the coat and endanger its health.
Some goldfish will eat from your hand, once they get to know you. Watching fish swimming in a tank is relaxing and may even reduce blood pressure
Buying a goldfish for a pet can be a rewarding experience. Include the child when buying the fish and equipment, setting up the tank, feeding, and cleaning. Older children can research setting up the tank and the care and feeding of their pet.
Children feel a sense of accomplishment as take care of their finned pet and excited when their fish recognizes them and they get to know each other.