Goldfish Email List

The Goldfish Email List is managed by Brian Skrab ( Brian took it over in January 1998 from Jon Aseltine, who had previously managed it for several years. Jon also transferred the full archives of the list to Brian, who has put them on-line in a searchable form. These archives had reached in excess of 64 megabytes of material by January 1998 and represent several megabytes of incredibly valuable and rare goldfish keeping information, unfortunately concealed in many megabytes of noise.

Brian has provided information on how to subscribe, submit items to the list, and how to unsubscribe. Please save or bookmark this information! People who don't follow these instructions add substantially to the workload of the list manager and can spoil it for everyone when this critical person decides they don't have the time to deal with endless, misdirected unsubscribe requests. A few seconds on your part to review the procedures will spare three to four hundred other people having to read you mis-sent message.

However ... if you think you've correctly followed the instructions and it isn't working, contact Brian directly. His company runs a "spam" filter which sometimes rejects legitimate efforts to subscribe.

Goldfish List Etiquette

The goldfish list is one of the more civilized 400 person discussion lists I have seen. We'd all like to keep it that way. Towards this end, I would suggest "lurking" for a little while, to get a feel for the level of discussion and who is who. If you have an emergency, well, post-away (everyone will understand).

There are some conventions that border on rules:

  1. The goldfish list is non-commercial. Goldfish professionals are welcome on the list, but are asked to refrain from explicit advertising of their products or services.
  2. Don't reply to the digest version of the list without first fixing the subject line. And certainly don't include a whole digest in your reply!
  3. Don't post material that is not at least peripherally related to goldfish. If you must, preface the subject with "[ngf]" for non-goldfish. Example:
    Subject: [ngf] cross post from catalytic converters list
  4. Make sure the subject line of your note is appropriate to the material in your note.
  5. Only quote as much material from a posting you are referencing as is needed to make it clear what you are referring to. DO NOT put in a 2 line comment on a 30 line note, and include the whole original note as a quote.
  6. Do not post binary attachments to the list. No pictures, no audio of your goldfish eating ... nothing but "plain text", please.
  7. Don't be intimidated by all these rules! Enjoy yourself!


To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to the following address:

Be sure to include the command "subscribe" (without the quote marks) in the BODY of your message.

If you wish to receive a digest version of the list, send your subscription message to:

Again, include the "subscribe" command in the BODY of your message.

Once you have been subscribed, you should receive instructions for posting to the list. Just in-case...


Send your posts to: 


To unsubscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to the following address:

or to

if you are a digest recipient. In either case, be sure to include the command "unsubscribe" in the BODY of your message.

Searching the Archives

Send search requests to "". You need to be a list subscriber to use this.

To get a listing of the available directories of files, use the "index" command placed on a line in the body of the email message. For example, the command


yields the following result (as of January 1998):

	>>>> index
	total 3274
	drwxr-xr-x  2 majordom  daemon     4608 Jan  4 14:13 digests-1996
	drwxr-xr-x  2 majordom  daemon     8192 Jan 12 20:43 digests-1997
	drwxrwxr-x  2 majordom  daemon     1024 Jan 16 05:07 digests-1998
	drwxr-xr-x  2 majordom  daemon      512 Jan 13 23:29 goldfish-faqs
	-rw-rw----  1 majordom  daemon    21712 Dec 31 21:24 goldfish.9712
	-rw-rw----  1 majordom  daemon  1628547 Jan 16 09:41 goldfish.9801

To search for a specific word, just include it on a line in the body of your message with the "search" command and the directory/files you would like searched. Like this:

		search fish goldfish-faqs/Buying_Goldfish

The command above will search the file Buying_Goldfish in the goldfish-faqs directory for the word fish. If you would like to search all of the files in a specific directory, simply replace the filename with a asterisk * Like this:

		search food goldfish-faqs/*

The command above will search all of the files in the goldfish-faqs directory for the word food. This particular query returns a result that looks like:

	>>>> search food goldfish-faqs/*
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:Recipe G1: Spinach/Peas/Fish food
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:market. A small bottle was about $4 and should make several batches of food.
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:Store food in freezer till ready for use. It will keep about a week in the
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:I started feeding them this food.
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:pearlscales. I am feeding modest amounts of this food to two large pearlscales
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:Recipe G2: Gelatinized Food With Flakes
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:RECIPE FOR GELATINIZED FOOD
	goldfish-faqs/Food-Recipes:The following recipe makes approximately 750 grams (1.5 lbs) of food:

and so on. If you wish to find a phrase or group of words together, separate them with a period. Like this:

		search goldfish-faqs/*

The command above searches all of the files in the goldfish-faqs directory for the phrase "fish food".

Once you find a file that has an item of interest in it, use the get command to request that the file be mailed to you. You need to specify the directory and the file name. Note that we use "/" and not "\".

As with all list commands, you can send multiple commands in the same message. Just place each command on a separate line. Like this:

		search digests-1997/*
		search gravel goldfish-faqs/*
		get goldfish-faqs/Buying_Goldfish


Summary of All List Commands

Retrieves a listing of the files in an optionally specified directory. The index command can be used with or without arguments. Examples:
	  	index goldfish-faqs
Lists all of the lines in specified file(s) that match a specific pattern. The search command requires at least two arguments be provided, in the following form:
		search pattern file(s)
	  	search food goldfish-faqs/* digests-1997/100
Retrieves a specific file in the archives. You will receive one message displaying the status of your request, as well as one separate message for each file you requested. Examples:
	  	get goldfish-faqs/Buying-Goldfish
		get goldfish-faqs/Handling-Goldfish
		get digests-1997/100
Retrieves a listing of several useful commands for this and other Majordomo mailing lists. The help command requires no arguments.
Is rather self-explanatory -- it unsubscribes you from the list. The unsubscribe command requires no arguments.
Subscribes you to the mailing list. The subscribe command requires no arguments.
Retrieves subscription information for the list. The info document contains instructions for using this particular mailing list, as well as contact information for the list manager.
Retrieves the introductory information that is mailed to new subscribers to this list.

If you have any questions or problems with the search feature or any other list commands, contact Brian.