|Newly introduced and acclimatising. The water in the bag's rather cloudy|
Friday, 22 June 2012
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.
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.