1 EAGLETON NOTES: A Chance and Change of Mind

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Friday, 22 June 2012

A Chance and Change of Mind

Ever since I built the pond some years ago people have asked whether I intended to put fish in it and I've always answered in the negative because I have always believed that any fish I put in would immediately be devoured by the black backed gulls.  I very rarely see gulls in the garden but only being a hundred or two yards or so from the sea it's inevitable that gulls pass over the pond constantly.  Someone recently mentioned that goldfish ate algae.  I'm not sure that they do (although opinion on various websites I visited varies).  Anyway the water in the pond is crystal clear and there's plenty of life in the pond so I decided on a whim a few days ago to take the plunge (so to speak) and bought five little goldfish.

I put the bag complete with the goldfish in the pond for a few hours to match the water temperature.  The bag was half in sun and half in shade.  On the whole the fish liked the sun.  Obviously they are discerning fish.

Newly introduced and acclimatising.  The water in the bag's rather cloudy 
I was rather puzzled by the little creature (it is a creature isn't it?) in the bag which I didn't see at the time but which I've magnified.  I wonder if Helen or Ian or CJ or anyone else for that matter can identify it.


Now my knowledge of goldfish is limited to the research published in a splendid book called The Drunken Goldfish.  I thought that I had blogged on that most splendid of books but apparently not.  I shall have to remedy that.  Anyway one of the things I learned was that goldfish immersed in a solution of 3.1% alcohol will swim upside down.  There's lots more too involving goldfish short and long term memory.  Now I always thought that the memory span of a goldfish was about 7 seconds.  However..... Stop me!  You really don't want to know.

After the acclimatisation time was up I cut the neck off the bag they had come in and let the water mingle and the fish wander out.  After a while they did just that.  




The proprietor of the shop where I'd bought them told me that the fish would immediately disappear not to be seen for several days when they would come out to play.  Obviously the fish hadn't read the same book because they spent the day in the sun exploring and eating and apparently deciding on their respective territories in full view of me and any marauding gulls.

However this morning for a few hours the wind blew, the rain attempted to fall (we had .5 mm before the sun came out again) and the fish disappeared into the weed at the bottom of the pond.  I did see one later in the day under the waterlily pads.

The exercise has made me wonder though.  Do goldfish find that the raindrops on the pond make a noise that is unpleasant to them?  If I switch on the water pump and waterfall will they somehow find their environment less congenial?  After all now that I am a custodian of the lives of five fish I have to think of their welfare.

16 comments:

  1. It's hard to tell at that angle GB, but it might be a caddisfly larva. Love the fish and hope they survive, xx

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    1. Thanks Helen. I hope so too. Everyone seems to think that the fish have nothing to fear from the gulls. I hope they are correct. I might have to arm myself!

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    2. Good luck with the fish. You may discover a passing Heron pays a visit to look at them!!

      I thought you'd blogged on The Drunken Goldfish as well. I have (here) but I thought you'd done it first.

      It's s good job Helen answered first - I thought it was an octopus!!

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  2. What a great post! Goldfish are a hardy bunch, for sure. I had one, that had come from a birthday party gift for one of my kids, that lasted TEN years. No kidding. I kept buying "friends" for that fish that never lasted as long as the original.
    I have no idea what the extra little companion is, but I hope it does well, without harming your new fish!
    Keep us posted, please! :)

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    1. Gush, Lisa, I had no idea that they lived than long.

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  3. Like John, I think herons are more likely to be interested in the new additions to the pond than the gulls.
    My parents have goldfish in their tiny pond at the allotment. The first batch lived for around 8 years, and only earlier this year, my parents bought a new group. They are still somewhat shy but adapting well. My Dad has a little sprinkling fountain in the pond, powered by a solar panel, and they don't seem to mind the droplets.

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    1. I agree Meike but, fortunately, I don't see herons in Eagleton very often and I think the closeness of the pond to the house might deter them.

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  4. Wow, those goldfish must make a real splash of colour in your pond! You should try and get the goldfinches (in the previous post) to stay too. (They match in colour!)

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    1. I think that when they emerge from the depths they will be a very colourful addition. I haven't seen the goldfinches agin.

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  5. I don't think fish are at all frightened by water. In fact, I think they probably quite like it.

    And the alien? Just don't go too near the pond.

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    1. Logic is definitely on your side! It's just the noise that I was thinking about. In captivity they were not used to rain nor wind.

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  6. So good to see you are taking your new responsibilities very seriously. I can imagine future blogs about goldfish behaviour problems. Maybe I should get some (not for my pond, it would kill them), I don't seem to be finding much to blog about these days.

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    1. Your blogs are always interesting and you seem to have a real knack when it comes to finding interesting photos and unusual approaches to the weekly challenges. I have got to the stage where I am repeating blog posits because I've forgotten that I ever did one in the first place. Apart from Monica who seems to have the most prodigious of memories no one seems to notice and new people who join the blog won't have seen them anyway.

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    2. You should know by now that it's dangerous to make remarks like that, Graham - it triggers my memory even further! Reading this exchange beteween you and Pauline reminds me that while you were in New Zealand, you promised that when you got back to Lewis, you'd do a proper post on the history of your pottery...

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  7. Oh yes, the history of your pottery. Please!

    'The Drunken Goldfish'. I have that! I love my copy thank you Geeb. Hilarious.

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    1. One day - when I retire! Glad you like it Katherine.

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