July 2002

The Web Site

The Web master apologizes for a late July update. It has been a hectic month with little goldfish activity to report. If there are goldfish hobbyists out there who would like to contribute to the upkeep of this site, there are a number of tasks we are always looking for help with. Please drop me a line.


The GFSA seeks new and reprintable articles and pictures for its bimonthly magazine. Contribute something to the Goldfish Report! Please provide any articles, news items, photos, comments and requests to the editor, Vince McCarty, for inclusion in the Report.

Seasonal Advice

With the warm weather in the northern hemisphere, we spend a lot of time in our tanks and ponds caring for them. It is worthwhile to stop for a moment and think about our own health. There are relatively few diseases directly communicable between fish and man. But there are some. There are also some pathogens that may be endemic in our fish containers but harmless to goldfish that may not be harmless for people. There are basic health and safety considerations that you should keep in mind.

Electrical safety: ensure all the devices you use around the tanks and ponds are suitable for that type of use, are in good repair, and, most importantly, are plugged into ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected outlets. Make sure you test your GFCI outlets for proper functionality several times per year (do it when you replace your smoke detector batteries ... another must for the fish room).

Cleanliness: the best practice is to wear gloves that fully cover the parts of your arms that come into contact with fish water. Short of this, keep your nails short and wash thoroughly with soap and hot water after working in tank or pond water. Never put your hands into the water unprotected with cuts or open sores. Don't start siphons with your mouth; submerge the tube in the water, put a thump over one end and pull that end out.

Medications: many fish medications are potentially skin absorbable and most are definitely not safe for direct exposure. Some are powerful dyes that are proven carcinogens, others are based on commercial pesticides or powerful disinfecting substances that are potentially dangerous if mishandled. Keep these substances away from children, follow the directions carefully and wear gloves when handling medicines and medicated water.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."