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Discussion Starter #1
Since there are some large changes coming to this tank, I thought I would start a photo log/photo album thing. I know goldfish aren't everyone's preference, so I haven't done this before. But my friends have prodded me enough to put this up.






These are the most recent whole-tank shot. The heater is no longer in use and I should probably remove it, but things have been crazy recently. I have three young goldfish in there. Magikarp the orange ryukin, Ponyo the calico ranchu (dorsal-less fish), and Burbbles the redcap oranda (red and white fish). Each of them are about a year old, but Ponyo was raised by a breeder and the other two were pet store goldfish. Goes to show what a difference quality care from the earliest day makes.

That breeder box in there houses some apple snails I got from John (Boredomb). Ponyo ate one as I put it into the tank, so the rest went into the breeder box to fatten up. And boy have they been doing just that. They are large enough right now to probably not be eaten, but I want to be doubly sure. They will be released in another month or so.





Those little snails are surprisingly hard to photograph. I really hope they get pretty large. I've seen pictures of them larger than the palm of your hand.



While it is an older picture, this is my favorite group shot I've gotten. This was actually taken the day after Ponyo arrived. I really need to write down what settings I used to get this photo.

So expect me to update this from time to time with new cute pictures of the goldfish and hopefully some large ones of the snails. Oh... and a special update coming in a few days ;)
 

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Thanks for sharing the pictures, I love your Goldfish they are beyond adorable ! Very nice home they have and I love that group shot of them, your apple snails are cute too, I hope they keep growing for you nicely so you can release them from the breeder box when they get big enough.
 

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Oh, IZZY!!! I am so unbelievably happy that you started this thread!

*dances*

You know that fancies kind of weirded me out for a while. Cute, sure. . . but things like nasal bouquets and wens. . . well. Just a lil' bit creepy! With their bioload and space requirements, I didn't think I'd ever actually keep one, so I probably never would have changed my mind about them if it weren't for you!

Because of you (and for reasons that I'm sure you'll be getting into soon!) I was put in a position to actually meet and care for one (temporarily) for myself. . . and at this point I can honestly say that I've fallen for them head over heels. I get it, now. Goldies are just lovely things. . . so squishy and sweet. I never realized what amazingly adorable personalities these little guys had!

I'm really looking forward to this particular journal - for many reasons. . . thank you so much for starting it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm so glad you saw the light, Jes! Goldfish are some of the most personable fish I've ever had! And those faces! I wasn't sold on wens when I first started keeping goldfish, now ranchu are my favorite breed!

While it's on my mind, the snails from John have literally doubled in size. I released them into the main tank today. Ponyo tried to nibble at them, but they are too big now! I hope the continue to grow! I will still feed these guys twice a week so they can keep up the good growth!







I apologize for my goldfish. They are excellent photobombers.
 

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Izzy I am glad the snails are doing soo good for ya! I still have some left that I meant to take to the store today and didnt get a chance.

You Goldfish looks awesome as well!
 

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lol! I saw the light, and at the end of the tunnel . . . were GOLDFISH!!! If I had the time to keep up with maintaining the little poopers, I might be sold! Maybe one day. . .

Your little Johnsnails are SOOOOOO PRETTY!!! They ARE getting big quick! I love those purple ones, just. . . so gorgeous!

I also love the names you've chosen for your little goldy crew, lol. . . my lil' sis was way into Pokémon when she was younger, and Ponyo is a show both me and my kiddos love to snuggle up and watch over and over again. I don't have any previous associations with the name ' Burbbles,' lol, but it's one of the cutest names I've ever heard of on a fish!

Any chance for individual shots? PULEEEEZE??!

I know. I know. . . I wasn't expecting goldifsh OR snails to be nearly as difficult to photograph as they are. I'll be patient. You'll get them up in good time. I believe in you!!!

(So excited for this new tank log! What changes are in store, aside from stocking??! DYING to know!!! Also, ummmm. . . any OTHER tanks you have hiding over there that we don't know about??! ;))
 

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I really like the minimalist look in goldie tanks, too. . . I can't wait to see how it changes over time - AND watch the fishies grow ^.^

Okay, girl. . . you asked for it. I'm going to post what *might* be the longest story I've ever put down on TFK up here in just a bit. Might take a few posts to get it all in. You're right, I should have started a tank log of my own on this one. . . Now I get to add it to yours. . . I tried to condense, but girl! You know I just CAN'T!!!

I've been somewhat away from TFK lately, busy times over here - so thank you for being patient with me, I know it's been a bit of a wait. . .

And always and eternally, thank you for adopting my little misplaced friend. . . *hugs*

By 'a bit' I meant hours and hours. Better than days. . . time has been doing this to me lately. . .
 

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The Epic Story of Waddles (part 1)

Izzy asked if I would post the story of her newest goldfish arrival, (AGES AGO, I’m so sorry, live has been out of control lately) so here it is. . .but you’ll have to bear with my meandering as I work my way thorough. The Story of Waddles is a bit convoluted, at least from my perspective. . . and y’all know I fail at short and sweet on a good day. It’s a sad story, but one with a very happy ending - for Waddles, anyway. ANY animal that ends up a tank in Izzy’s home is by default one of the luckiest animals alive! I’m so happy he’s finally found his way to a safe and loving home. . . and am eternally grateful to Izzy for her willingness to adopt a stray into her little goldy group, and give him the chance at a very bright and happy future. Thank you, so much - it means more to me than you know.

Waddles came from a tank that belonged to some very close friends of mine. As far back as I can remember, there has always been a tank in their house. I never paid much attention to it - shoved as it was into the corner of a room filled to bursting with children’s toys and clutter. The lights were always off, there was nothing to see. But the story of this tank started many years before I discovered my fascination for all things aquatic, so I never really thought much about it, or it’s inhabitants at the time. . . and I certainly didn’t bother to wade through the mess in order to get a closer look. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was dimly aware that goldfish lived there, and that it was in the play room because these fish had been won over the years by the eldest of their three daughters - prizes brought home from the local state fair.

About a year and a half ago, my own fishy obsession began when a spontaneous trip to the mall for some Sunday-evening family fun ended with the unexpected result of several aquatic members being added rather suddenly to our family. I got lost somewhere between my own enchantment at the tanks and the sweetly begging voices of my little girls (then one and four years old), who were being so very good that day. . . mine was the same sad story that we see all too often told here, lack of prior research and trust in pet shop employees ending with a poorly stocked, overfilled, and dangerously cycling tanks taking the lives of innocent animals - with the owner being none the wiser in spite of well-meaning questions asked at the time. I’m ashamed to admit now that I was that person, but so happy that my mistake brought me to TFK, where I found so many lovely people so willing to give me the help I desperately needed to learn how to properly care for my babies. . . getting off track a little? Not really. Because this is actually the start of Waddle’s story. . .

Among the mismatched fish that I ended up with were a pleco and a goldie - both commons, but it didn’t take very long for helpful TFKians to point out to me that there was no way I could keep them in my 10g tank. Thinking I was doing the best thing I could do to rectify a bad situation (I was unable to return them to the shop - they refused to accept them, even without credit or refund, and I needed to reduce stock fast to save lives), I gave them to the only people I knew who kept goldfish, on the assumption that they must be doing a decent job of it, and continued on my quest of becoming a better fish keeper. The 10g quickly became a 29, and the tank that has come to be known as Becoming started to, well, become. . .

The family that owned the goldfish tank have been a daily part of my life for many years - we consider them chosen family, and though I see them nearly every day, I don’t often find myself in their home. I babysit their littlest two, and we do other things outside of our homes, because the kids already spend so much time in mine. Months had passed, and though I asked after our little adopted fish, I still hadn’t been to their house to see the tank through my newly-acquired fishkeeper eyes.

Since they are in my house so much, the family was watching first-hand all of the changes that were happening very quickly in my tank. They became inspired, and wanting to have a pretty tank of their own, decided to turn the lights on in their tank. It wasn’t a very pretty sight that greeted them. Water so dirty the fish could barely be seen, some of them were dead or dying, algae covered every available surface. . . just yuck. They asked me what they needed to do to get their tank turned around, and with all of my new-found knowledge, and an API test kit in hand, gave them the best advice I could. . . which started, and pretty much ended, with the importance of water changes.

I’ll really never understand how skeptical people are by the thought that cleaning a fish tank on a regular basis is actually necessary, or how insistent they remain after having the reasons why it’s important clearly explained. This is a road block that I’ve now run into on more than one occasion, and the adults in this home, unfortunately chose to take that point of view. Yet another case of dying fish in toxic conditions being ‘fine,’simply because most of them have somehow managed to survive. And I’m not exaggerating when I say toxic. . . I can’t remember the exact reading for ammonia or nitrites, but at that time they were present on the lower end of the range, the tests for phosphates and nitrates, however, tested so high that the colors were far darker and more vibrant than the highest reading on my key cards. Off the charts high - by a LOT. Having just learned as much as I could about beneficial bacteria, bioload, and stocking - and after just barely managing to bring some of my fish through the dangers of a cycling tank - was pretty aware of how unhappy those fish must be, and deeply distressed by the thought that I had actually sent fish that had once been mine to this disastrous tank to suffer and die.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the tank was only a 30 gallon breeder tank, nowhere near large enough to house the common goldfish who had been living there. But in their opinions as long-time fishkeepers (as opposed to my month or three in experience) their fish were ‘fine.’ Some of them had been in that tank, without ever having had a water change done, for three years, maybe longer! Those original fair-won goldfish were huge, some of them easily 9 inches or larger, the tank was a 30 gallon breeder - to them, a very large tank. They weren’t even sure how old the oldest of the fish was. Their eldest child was adopted at the age of five, and she came with the tank already in her possession. More goldies had been won at the fair every year since - and they obviously had never bothered to pay any attention to them, so had no idea how many fish were even in there. Of course, not being able to see them through the water wasn’t helping much. The oldest (who was then 9) didn’t really seem to care one way or another about ‘her’ fish, so I asked if I could at least rehome them. No. Because their 2 year old twins really loved the fishies (that they couldn’t even see?), so they didn’t want to give them up. I tried everything I could think of to convince them, and failing that was just about to just go in and clean up the tank myself (the owners wouldn’t have minded, and I felt really obligated to the fish that I had sent to live there) My husband, who is far wiser than I will ever be, stopped me from taking that pointless and frustrating task on. . .

Still, the family was inspired, and in spite of all I had told them, and the fact that the water was so filthy the fish couldn’t be seen, they went out and got a fist full of fancy goldies (they aren’t sure, but I think this was the point that Waddles was brought home) a few doomed Apple snails, and an ADF, plus a new Halloween-themed substrate (black and bright orange gravel *puke*). At least they listened to my advice to change out the gravel piecemeal, and in so doing were forced to do several water changes on the tank. The first clean water aside from top-offs that it had ever seen.

I tried for a while, every time the subject came up, to convince them to do a water change, or let me rehome the fish and, if they felt it was that important to keep a tank for the kids (who got more than enough tank time at my house every day), at least start fresh with a lightly stocked tank with animals better suited animals for the tank size, but after a while I stopped pushing - it wouldn’t lead to anything but annoyance on both our parts. Time passed. An entire year went by. . .

In the meantime my little Becoming had been busy growing and thriving, from a 29 into a 55g. The whole family is in my house enough to enjoy my tanks, and from time to time expressed that they wished their tank looked like mine - I always offered to help, in the same way, with willingness to do water changes and necessary tank maintenance being the only condition for my help. Their eldest daughter (who technically is the owner of the goldfish tank) comes to stay with me through the summer, and on days when schools are closed. She fell very much under the spell of Becoming, and the other tanks I had laying around my house, and started asking questions - good questions. I told her about the nitrogen cycle, she helped me run water tests, we watched torn fins heal up, and plants grow in. . . we would spend hours during the little one’s nap time of parked in front of Becoming and talking about all the animals who lived there. . . she really got into the details of fishkeeping more than I ever expected her to, and it wasn’t long before she started asking questions about her own tank, and what she could do to turn it around.

In the meantime, her tank was fixing itself - to some extent - as nature will. Her fish were dying off, one by one. Slowly, but surely. Almost all of the newcomers were gone, and finally the older fair-won goldfish began to die, too. . . Finally, there was only one left. A little black fancy, the only one that she had picked out herself, named Mr.Waddles. She had gotten particularly attached to the endearing Waddles (and ONLY Waddles, it seems) - it would be impossible not to, he’s just such a sweet little thing.

One day she came over and she asked me if I would teach her how to do what was needed in order to get Waddle’s tank cleaned up, so he could be happy and live a long time. She was very upset, at having lost all the others, and afraid that he was going to die soon if something wasn’t done. She was right. Though my husband had been right in stopping me from getting involved the first time, he didn’t even bother to try to dissuade me from teaching a little girl how to maintain the tank alone. I contacted Izzy, along with a few other Goldie lovers on the site, and they gave me a lot of advice, including articles, books, and websites where I began my own quest to gain as much knowledge as I could about Goldfish and their needs. In the meantime, I learned all about old tank syndrome, and what would be required to get this awful tank cleaned up without losing Waddles in the process - not an easy thing after all the years of neglect, and the bioload of too many Goldfish. . .
 

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The Epic Story of Waddles (part 2)



When I arrived on the scene, the water level was already 10-15 gallons below full, the filter so clogged it wasn’t even running anymore, and the water so filthy and brown (flash used in the tank images taken by an adult owner of the tank make it appear to be clean compared to what greeted me IRL - the water was disgusting). That was before I even touched the substrate, which was so filled with mulm and rotten food it literally turned my stomach. The tank smelled awful, the filter slime smelled worse. . . so began a long process in which I went over every week, twice a week when I could, for months, and did my best in getting this poor fish into clean water. For a while, I did everything myself. She helped where she could in filling up buckets, double checking temperatures, adding dechlorinator - but I couldn’t in good conscious allow a child to put her hands into a tank that filthy. It was really far worse than anything I could have imagined supporting life.

As time went on, things got better. The nitrate levels sloooooowly lowered after (I think?) Around 6 weeks of at least 50% water changes, they were finally at a point where I could test them and get a reading at the highest level on my API kit. But the water, at least, was clear, and Waddles was still swimming. I was concerned by the fact that he flashed a few times after every water change, but he otherwise appeared to be taking the changes to his environment like the tough little guy that he is (still amazed that he lived through that, goldfish are such strong and adaptable animals). One by one we got rid of the algae-covered decorations in the tank, cleared the tank walls of algae, and were slowly working on removing gravel (also algae encrusted) to further lower the levels of waste in the tank, with the eventual goal of setting it up again in a minimalistic way better suited to a goldfish - and far easier for a little girl to keep clean.


Together we studied my books every week, learned all the parts of a goldfish, and the things that they needed to thrive, including what they needed to eat, and why. They had never been in anything remotely resembling a feeding routine, as I’m sure you can guess. Though sporadic feeding and insane amounts of algae probably went a long way in helping their fish to survive just a little bit longer, it certainly wasn’t doing Waddles any good at this point. We tried to switch him from flake food to pellets, but he didn’t seem to recognize them as a food source, which worried his young owner, and she ended up going back to flake. I also brought over treats like brine shrimp and kept little Waddles in constant supply of duckweed - a thing he immediately recognized as a snack, and throughly enjoyed.

He was obviously a bit happier than he had been, his colors had deepened, and he was far more active than he was when I first came on the scene. But he was a very shy little fish, and though I spent as much time at the tank as I could while I was over there, and she claimed to when I was not, he never really lost his shyness when people were around the tank. I hoped that would come in time, she was very excited to try hand-feeding her little pet, and having a more personal relationship with him.

Things were going well, and though we were still pulling an insane amount of old detritus from gravel, and the nitrate and phosphate readings were still far too high, they were finally dropping. She was now doing all of the maintenance on her own, with me more or less keeping her company and double checking as she did it. Waddles still flashed a time or two after every water change, but otherwise seemed well enough to our inexperienced eyes. Then I got sick with a stomach bug and missed a week going over. She also missed that water change. When the girls were ill the following week, she missed that one, too. Life started getting busier for me, and maintaining TWO tanks out of the house was getting to be an impossible task. She was now fully capable of doing the basics on her own, and comfortable enough with the routine to have no problems with it. I told her that I’d be stopping in every two weeks for a while, and then once a month - making sure she understood that, as she had promised initially, she was going to be required to do this on her own - but that I’d always be around to pop in if she saw signs of trouble, and that in another month or two - when the nitrate was finally down to something resembling normal - I would help her out with the tank transformation, by then we had pegged down exactly what she wanted to do. She agreed, and for a little while did a really great job with things, sometimes weekly, sometimes bi-weekly - the water was changed, and the gravel was siphoned and slowly being removed. She brought over water samples every week or two, and everything seemed to be on-track and going great.


Until one day, she was at my house because schools were closed, we were watching tanks, as was our nap time routine, and she burst into tears. She said that she didn’t think she could keep Waddles, because she didn’t think she could continue to do water changes, even once a week, consistently. Maintenance of a Goldfish tank is no easy task, especially recuperating one left for so long in such bad conditions, and with a gravel bed. Even if it had been a fresh setup, Goldies have a high bioload, and it takes a good amount of work to keep up with them. She’s only ten years old, and I was surprised that she even had the strength to lug 5 gallon buckets around to begin with. She was very upset, but I was so proud of her for thinking it through, and making the right choice to give up a pet who she loved very much, and who she had put so much effort into saving, so that he could go on to live a long and happy life. . . it was not an easy decision for her to make.
 

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The Epic Story of Waddles (part 3)

The next question then became what to do with our little friend. . . any animal deserves to be kept in the best of conditions, but we had both become very attached to this particular baby, and put so much work into making his world a better place. . . re-homing him couldn’t be as easy as donating him to a fish shop at this point, and we weren’t willing to give him to just anyone. Waddles NEEDED to have a happy ending - and preferably one that his heartbroken little owner would somehow be able to see, so that she knew she had made the right, if heartbreaking, choice. But nobody that I know (and trust with fish) keeps Goldies. I considered keeping him myself for a while, but I don’t have anywhere else to keep another tank that size, and I really have been trying to get down to only one tank - too much maintenance for me right now keeping up with them all, much less a Goldy tank.



That’s where Izzy stepped in to play hero for all of us, most especially Waddles. She had been getting updates and offering advice on how to deal with the tank since the beginning, (thank you Izzy!) and so was very familiar with him and his sad story. I was overjoyed when she said that she’d be happy to give him a new home - and I still am! (Izzy is the greatest!)

Shipping fish, any fish, was something that I had never done at that point, and it made me really nervous, to say the least (I was kind of freaking out at the thought, actually) I felt that the first thing to do was to REALLY step up on water changes and get his water as clean as possible before we even considered shipping. This really should have been done ages ago, but getting over there more frequently for daily water changes was impossible for me, I only was sometimes able to swing twice a week, she has a lot of things going on, school, girl scouts, sports - she’s a busy kid. I was nervous to add to his stress, but after a few days of trying, decided (with Izzy’s blessing, as he was now HER fish! ^.^) to move him into my home for a week or two so that I could really concentrate on ensuring that he was leaving a good environment in the freshest water possible.

Waddles, of course, too the transition like the little soldier he is, though he was REALLY skittish for the first day or two, he came around quickly. He had been given a QT tank in my room - the calmest and quietest area of the house. He missed his initial shipping date, because life has been getting in the way of everything lately, but that was definitely in his favor, as he was given more time to de-stress in a calm environment, and get used to TRULY clean water for the first time in at least a year and a half or so by this point.



Waddles spent about a month under my care, and I fell more in love with the little sweetie as each day passed. In the time he spent here, he got daily water changes, good food, and all the duckweed he could eat. I made a point to spend time sitting by his tank, just reading through books and being still, until he became comfortable enough with me to come out of hiding, and even to anticipate feeding times (which were a couple of times a day, he was spoiled!). He never did get used to any food beside flake, but we found a happy compromise where I fed him good food in his little hiding corner, and he happily sifted through the (very thin and rinsed in tank water) layer of gravel brought from his old home to find it.

Waddles is such a shy, sweet, endearing little thing! The largest fish I’ve ever had under my care, though he isn’t very big. It was fun to actually HEAR him in his tank, the clacking of gravel, and the sound of the thermometer in his tank that he always managed to get unstuck somehow, knocking against the tank walls as he insisted on ‘playing’ with it. (My fish don’t make a sound, one of the things I love about them) Such a fun little guy, and in the time that he spent here I got even more attached to him. . . I’m officially a Goldfish girl now, even though I don’t own one, nor have no plans to in the near future, Waddles has made a convert out of me. He’s so cute and squishy, with those chubby cheeks in complete juxtaposition with the air of grandiose importance that he somehow manages to portray. Silly, sweet little Waddles. . .

His slightly extended stay also was good for the younger members of his original family, the toddlers still spend three days a week in my care, and their older sister is often in and out. They were able to get a little bit of distance from their fishy, while he was still in a place where they could visit him, and I got a chance to try to help the tots understand that he wasn’t going to be at Aunt Jesi’s forever, but was going on to a new and better home, with fishy friends, where he would be really happy. Their older sister was given a *bit* more time to come to a place of closure - she was really attached to her fish, especially after all that she had put into trying to make him okay. It made her feel better to be able to see on TFK and on Izzy’s blog, the type of care that the person she was giving her buddy up to on faith of my word would be a good place for him. She helped me build the box that we shipped him in, cutting pieces of Styrofoam and I think just being involved in the process made her feel much better about how things turned out in the end, and brought some kind of closure for her.



Waddles made his journey safely to Izzy’s home, though he sustained some fin damage along the way, all reports say that he’s settling in wonderfully, and healing up well. . . I am beyond happy that Waddle’s has come through all of that, and managed to snag the last spot left in the tank of one of the only Goldfish keepers on Earth that I would be happy to give him to. . . an amazing caretaker, who I KNOW will love him just like his previous owner and I do, and do a far better job at keeping him than either of us know how.

And now you know (if you managed to get through all of those words) just why it is that I am SO excited that Izzy decided to start this little thread, where we can be given updates of how he (if he actually IS a he), and his goldie buddies, are doing in their lovely tank, and see as Waddles settles into his new and happy forever home, especially the little girl who was so heartbroken and made a very grown-up decision to let him go . . . Thank you Izzy. There really aren’t words that I have to express how grateful I am to you for bringing Waddles home. *HUGS*
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for posting this, Jes! Waddles really has been through a lot. He (maybe she... honestly can't tell right now) is really a little trooper.

He's doing swimmingly in his QT. Because of the conditions he came from he's going through a month-long QT with prazi and garlic-based foods. Oddly enough Jes wasn't kidding about him not recognizing pellets as food. Took him at least a week to realize that my gel cubes were food.

I don't have any really recent pictures of him in QT, so more photo updates will have to wait until tomorrow, but the snails in the main tank are growing like no tomorrow.
 

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Yay, Waddles! <3

Just sooo happy he's finally safe and sound and HOME! I'm SO glad that he's doing well for you, Izzy. I can't wait for the first shots of him in his new home - whenever you get there! *hugs*
 

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That's a great story! I don't have any goldfish, but I think they're beautiful.
 
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Awh! That was a lovely story, and I'm so happy that some good came out of a crappy, crappy situation!

I will never understand people...'our tank is filthy, we've gotten advice from someone with a gorgeous tank that is distinctly opposite to what we're doing...so let's go get more fish!' I hope they learned their lesson :/ What are they gonna do with the tank?

I am really glad you took the time to write that though Jes! Incredibly inspiring, and he's just the cutest little fishy EVER <3 I just wanna pinch his cheeks and hug him, hahah :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know I've been promising you guys updated pictures of Waddles, but that little (well not really) bugger just isn't cooperating! The only way I can get a good shot of him is with the flash, and after it going off twice, he does NOT want to come near me.

But, I do have good news. Waddles is regularly eating from my hands now!! He has a very gentle nibble (unlike some of my other piggies <_< ). If everything continues to go as well as it has, he'll be going into the big tank next (not this coming) Wednesday!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I also totally forgot to mention this. I did a bit of reading on the social nature of goldfish (for a completely unrelated thing) and uncovered something rather startling: reports of goldfish that had been kept alone so long that they became aggressive towards other goldfish when reintroduced. Needless to say, this worried me greatly.

So I dug around the house and found a large, portable mirror. I placed it next to Waddles' tank with hopes that it would let him get used to other goldfish around. Well, today when I went upstairs, I found him planted by the mirror and just chilling with his "mirror buddy." This gives me a lot of hope that he won't be aggressive when introduced to the other goldfish. :)
 
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