May 2003


The GFSA board of directors discussed the contents of the Goldfish Report in April. Topics included what regular features should be included (a request to bring back the hot-line contact list was put forward) and a review of the advertising rates for the publication. A new set of rates were approved, and Gaye Comtois agreed to take on the role of advertising chairman.

The GFSA is now offering a $10 per year "eMembership", which provides the Goldfish Report to subscribers as a PDF file via email. We hope to get PayPal back on the Website as an accepted payment option; this, combined with the eMembership, should make it easier for many people (particularly international hobbyists) to join the society. We will, of course, continue to offer the hardcopy Report by mail too. To ask about the $10 eMembership, send an email to the GFSA.

If you have let your membership lapse or have been thinking about joining the GFSA, now is a great time - here is a form you can print. To submit material for the Goldfish Report to Matt Lyon, please see the updated society contact info. Articles and photos in electronic form are particularly appreciated.

The current line-up of people filling the GFSA offices is on the society officers page. The events calendar covers 2003 events and activities.

Seasonal Advice

Spring often brings many happy seasonal changes for the goldfish and Koi fancier, but one not so happy thing is disease. There are a number of ailments commonly associated with the warm-up from dormancy that hobbyists must be on the watch for. Traditionally, clean filters and ponds, and possibly salt are enough to deal with most low-level troubles.

One thing that is rarely discussed is the difference in disease resistance between fish. Individual goldfish and strains of goldfish can differ markedly in their ability to resist or recover from illness. The differences can be due to age, condition, genetics or even physical conformation. The classic example of the latter aspect is gut impaction in globoid-bodied goldfish. Line-bred goldfish often seem to have reduced resistance to disease; this may be due to the reduction of genetic variability, loss of vigor in the strain, or simply lack of exposure to diseases in a closed population, which would make the fish more susceptible.

What can you do if you know all this? Not too much. However, you can be aware of the danger of introducing new fish into stock that has been isolated for years. You can also consider that difficulty with goldfish of one variety or strain may not indicate that you don't have a "gold thumb". For example, if you get frustrated with a notoriously finicky variety like Veiltails or Ranchu, consider trying Fantails, Shubunkins, Egg-fish or some other variety, traditionally considered tough, for a while. The other trick is to get fish that are very young, and get a fair number. You may lose a bunch but the survivors may have the long term immunity required to thrive in the presence of whatever diseases and vectors exist in your environment.