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More than I can Chew!

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Very slowly over the course of half a year or so, I've begun to realize that I have taken in more goldfish than I am readily able to keep up with caring for. I delay water changes, skip meals, and spend more time feeling stressed when I think about my fish than feeling connected and happy to see them. I just have too many tanks to care for with my current mental health issues (Depression, anxiety, complex ptsd). It's been extremely difficult to admit this to myself as I love all of my fish. They're so cute and the idea of giving any of them up makes me sad.

I already took my first step in rehoming some of my fish! Misty, my gorgeous long-finned fantail, is now living with an old roommate. He is beautiful in his new home. When we put him in the water he'd only had 10 minutes of floating and acclimating time because my friend was in a hurry. But as soon as he was in the water, he immediately set about exploring and looking for food. There were no signs of distress at all. It was probably the smoothest transition I'd ever seen, and it warmed my heart toward the whole experience because It was so clear that Misty was not distressed or afraid.

After ensuring the cycle is established (I provided him seeded media to kick-start it and this particular person can be trusted to be meticulous in his water testing and water changes), he will also be taking Lilith, one of my runts from Spooks' clutch last year. She is looking beautiful, with a lovely lemony tinge to her wen and tail that I am jealous of, but alas, I already committed to giving her to my friend! (I say her, but Lilith is actually quite obviously a boy!)

It's very hard to pick who to give away and who to keep. I would like to have only 2 aquariums by the time I'm through rehoming, but it's not as simple as just reducing the numbers. Quite a few of my fish have special needs. I have Mumbo, who has a completely non-functional swim bladder. He sits on the floor of his tank all day. I didn't expect him to live this long, so I am going to see if there's some kind of surgical option with a vet to repair or create an artificial swim bladder--at least something to get him off the ground of the tank so he doesn't keep developing that nasty welt on his side. If there is a way to help him, he may have to be in a tank alone or with very slow, docile fish for the rest of his life. If there is no solution, I may have to consider euthanasia. 

Then there's Rupert, who gets depressed if he's housed with fish that are faster and more competitive for food than he is. He's Mumbo's currant tank mate, which works out for the most part although I do sometimes see Rupert nudge and sorta "pounce" on Mumbo sometimes.

There's Budgey Bear, this beefcake black oranda who has a tendency to swallow air all the time and gets stuck floating at the top of his tank. If housed with others, they nip at his fins while he's emulating a balloon. Until I can find a way to keep this little idiot from slurping air,  he has to stay by himself. Potentially he could be housed with Mumbo and Rupert in a single invalid tank, but I'm anxious about putting Mumbo in with a fish that is so large.

Along with all my other goldfish, I have the pond fry that I brought in for the winter. 8  commons/comets that are growing rapidly. They're large enough now that I could probably put them in safely with the fancies, but there's a single mosquito fish male that has survived all the other mosquito fish I purchased. He's less than an inch long and would definitely not be safe to place with the fancies. He seems to be enjoying the company of the fry, though.

I just don't have the obsessive zeal that I used to have for expanding and caring for all these tanks! I miss feeling like I could develop individual bonds with each fish because I had few enough to do so. But giving fish away is incredibly hard to do.

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One of the little calicos I got for experiment had a broken jaw. She must have broken it when she was removed from the Walmart tank because I didn't notice it at first. She could not eat. After a failed attempt to sedate her and adjust the bones, she sadly died. 

I went to get 2 more so I could have 4 for the experiment. I PROMISED that I would not get anymore regular goldfish because I don't like them and still have 2 from last year that I am sorta stuck with. I wanted only fantails or Shubunkins ideally. A regular goldfish to me is a plain orange Common or Comet. A "feeder" usually. 

I did like the cute Sarassa. She was very active and said hi and I have never ever seen one at the local Walmart. And I LOVE the blue base fantail. Reminds me of Shembje. Picked them instantly. 

But I ended up with an ugly regular goldfish anyway. He was actually ALL by himself with the Koi... And again I felt for him and I took him. Now if he survives, I will once again have a regular goldfish that I don't really want. I saw a really cute Oranda with a nice little wen for his size, but Orandas are weak and not suitable for this experiment and a tiny Oranda with a big wen will just grow up to have issues if it survives anyway. 

Moral is, I end up with too many fish because I end up feeling sorry for fish that I do not want and then I end up stuck with some of them. It's HARD to get rid of fish here. VERY hard. And the one time I gave away two fish, the guy quickly sickened them and I regretted it. 

I feel your pain here. I don't have individual bonds with any of my goldfish anymore either. My strongest bond that I have is with my Blood Parrot Mary. 

Edited by myrasosweet

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