Goldfish are a fresh water fish related to the carp and minnow. There are some 300 species of goldfish. The most common goldfish is the Comet. This fish is domesticated and used primarily as a feeder fish. Many Comets end up being eaten by pet fish such as Oscars and Piranhas.
The humble Comet is kept as a pet too. Some are living the wild life in backyard ponds.
Some people feed their pond fish commercial fish food. Some let the fish fend for themselves. I've tried both methods separately and in combination. The fish thrive regardless, or in spite of, my efforts. The weather has proven to have more of an effect on the fish than anything else. This year, for example, we had a mild winter. A greater number of fish survived. A heater is installed to keep a hole in the ice for oxygen to come in, and gases that form from plant decay out. Still, some of the fish don't make it through the winter.
(Wild living is rugged).
A warm spring helped hatch more fish eggs (frog eggs too, but that's a whole other post!). The fish population in the pond is up this summer. Alas, as fall approaches, so increases the visitation from Herons. In both spring and fall, Night Herons and Blue Herons appear regularly to hunt in my pond The fish have hiding places to increase their odds of not being eaten . Many people put long tubes underwater for pond fish to hide. My pond offers a sunken milk crate.
Another risk pond fish face is dragonfly larvae. These nymphs lie in wait, hidden behind a plant stem. They leap onto an unsuspecting fish, pierce his skin with sharp hollow pincers, then suck out his blood.
(Wild living has assorted methods of population control).
Pond fish eat mosquito larvae, little creatures that live in algae and assorted other bugs and plants. They also eat small baby fish.
(Wild living involves cannibalization).
Then there are goldfish who enjoy the indoor lifestyle.
Next time, we'll talk about tame goldfish.