It may not be the cutest, cuddly, or exotic animal in your home, but there's something about the goldfish that appeals to pet owners around the world. These descendants of Prussian carp were first domesticated in China 2,000 years ago. Mutations produced fish with brilliantly colored scales, and after years of breeding, the staple food we know today was born. Here are some facts about the iconic pet that is there to know.
. 1 THE CLASSIC GOLDFISH WAS ALMOST YELLOW.
iStock.com, Tomislav Brajkovic
Goldfish come in many shades, but it is the orange variety most closely associated with the species. This may not be the case unless a rule was enforced during the Song Dynasty. Around 1
. 2 THE GOVERNMENT HAD PUMPED YOU IN AMERICA.
Goldfish became the favorite fish for American pet owners in the late 19th century, and that's partly thanks to Washington. After The Atlantic received the US Commission of Fisheries in 1878 an import of Japanese goldfish and decided to give it away as a publicity stunt. D.C. residents could submit applications for Goldfish glass bowls, and at the height of the program, 20,000 pets were spent a year. The campaign lasted until the 19th century, and at one point one-third of all households in the city owned a goldfish provided by the government.
. 3 YOU HAVE FIXED THE WHITE HOUSE.
A Violet Goldfish
A notable DC resident who was aboard the late 19th-century goldfish craze was President Grover Cleveland. Among the hundreds of fish he imported to Washington were Japanese goldfish. And he is not the only president holding a goldfish. After Ronald Reagan was shot dead in 1981, a 10-year-old from New York sent him a goldfish named Ronald Reagan the Second with the note: "I hope you feel better and it helps you get better, here's a companion .. Just feed him daily and he'll be fine. "(White House staff put the goldfish in a former jelly bowl bowl.) President Nixon's dog Vicky became famous for hunting the goldfish in a pond in the White House . 4 THERE ARE OVER 100 VARIETIES.
A goldfish with bubble eye.
It is perhaps the most recognizable, but the common goldfish is not the only species of the species worth mentioning. Goldfish are available in dozens of breeds that vary in color, shape and size. Some varieties are known for lumpy growth on their heads, while others are prized for their speckled scales. Some spectacular varieties include lion heads, pompoms, veiling tails, bladder eyes and shubunkins
5. YOU CAN LEARN YOU TRICKS.
Are you having trouble teaching your dog? Maybe you are luckier with a goldfish. The species can be trained to perform tasks such as recognizing colors, retrieving objects, and swimming through labyrinths. The R2 Fish School offers a complete training package with a miniature sports field to turn your fish into a top athlete. One of her graduates currently holds the world record because he knows most of the tricks of all fish.
. 6 You have an ear for music.
A Lion's Head Goldfish
Partly because they are easily trained, goldfish make popular test study subjects. In one such study, conducted by Keio University, goldfish were taught to distinguish between the music of two classical composers. A group was trained to nibble on a ball of food when they heard pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach. A second group was taught to do the same, but with Igor Stravinsky. When the scientists exchanged the composers, the fish were no longer interested in eating, suggesting they could tell the difference between the two styles.
. 7 GIANT GOLDFISH IS A HUGE PROBLEM.
Your goldfish may look cute and tiny in the tank, but in the wild they can grow to monstrous proportions. Specimens that live in Australia's Vasse River have the fastest growth rate of all goldfish species, reaching up to four pounds. Their growth momentum could be impressive if they were not so catastrophic to the environment: goldfish are an invasive species and they are sometimes responsible for damaging local animal populations and spreading disease. So if you have a sick fish at home, make sure it's dead before you flush it out. Or better still, bury it in your garden (it's more worthy anyway)
8. THE OLD GOLDFISH HAD 43.
Buying a goldfish should not be a lifelong commitment. You can only hope it will take a few years at the most, but with proper care and good genes, a goldfish can get much older. The world's oldest goldfish, a carnival award called Tish, died in 1999 at the age of 43. According to his owner, the secret of Tish's longevity was occasional sunlight and moderate nutrition.
. 9 FISH BOWLEN ARE PROHIBITED IN ITALIAN PARTS.
One can hardly think of goldfish without imagining the classic glass fish bowl, but animal welfare groups say we should rethink the vessel as a pet habitat. According to the Humane Society, fish owners should, for the first time, purchase a 20-gallon tank or more to give their aquatic companion a place to swim. In 2004, the northern Italian city of Monza prohibited animal owners from keeping fish in round bowls, and a year later Rome passed a similar law.
This story first ran in 2017.