August 8th, 2012 at 10:36 am
“Goldfish are boring,” said my son when my daughter won our first fish, Honey, at a carnival. “They all look exactly alike.” This part is definitely not true. Goldfish come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors (including gold, red, orange, yellow, black, white, silver, and calico patterns). They can be plain (like common goldfish) or fancy (like Oranda).
Goldfish can make great first pets for young families. They don’t require a huge investment of time or money. Time-release feeders allow you to go away for short trips without having to find a pet sitter. Most rental properties will allow fish, even if they don’t allow other pets. Plus no walking and no shedding, which makes them a win-win in my book.
Goldfish have been kept as pets for more than a thousand years. They are a type of carp that have been selectively bred for color and other characteristics. With hundreds of varieties available, goldfish are the most common pet fish. Here are a few more interesting facts:
- Goldfish were first bred as pets in China.
- They can be kept in bowls (although this is not recommended), aquariums, or even outdoor ponds (depending on the variety).
- Goldfish can live to be 12-20 years old (the world’s oldest goldfish lived to age 43).
- Goldfish can grow to 12-18 inches.
- Goldfish can actually be trained to perform tricks.
My kids really loved Honey. She was our first pet and we enjoyed her company for almost five years. If you’re looking to take the plunge into pet ownership, I’m telling you, a couple of goldfish are a great place to jump in. If you want a little help selling the idea to your kids, check out these books.