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Full text of "The goldfish and its systematic culture with a view to profit. A practical treatise on the fish, its propagation, enemies, diseases, and care of the fish in captivity .."

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THE JAPANESE FANTAIL GOLDFISH. 
( Carassins Japonicus ) 



THE GOLDFISH 



Systematic Culture with a View to Profit. 



A PRACTICAL TREATISE ON THE FISH, ITS PROPAGATION, 
ENEMIES, DISEASES, 



CIRE OF THE FISH IN CIPTIVITY, 



TOGETHER WITH HINTS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF PONDS, ETC. 



HUGO MULERTT, 



PROPAGATOR OF ORNAMENTAL FISH AND AQUATIC PLANTS. 



ILXiXTSTEz-A-TBID 



WITH COLORED FRONTISPIECE AND NINETEEN WOOD-CUTS, DRAWN FROM NATURE. 



CINCINNATI. 
1883. 



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1883, by 

HUGO MULERTT, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



Vio^wvv^ V v\t>(-, v?,\^T, t\^. 



PREFACE. 



'here are not many, if any, homes in the country or suburbs 
of large cities where fish culture could not be indulged in, 
either as an agreeable pastime or with a view of realizing an 
income from it. 

Being accidently drawn into the culture of ornamental fish 
through a genuine love of Natural History, I have, for the past 
ten years, given it my exclusive attention. 

The originality of the method I describe in the following pages 
I claim as my own, and it has been my earnest endeavor to speak 
plainly and to the point, giving the full results of my long 
experience, not intentionally withholding any facts or secrets that 
would in any way have a bearing upon the success of the business. 

This method has the decided advantage of applying equally to 
the culture of goldfish, no matter upon what scale it is carried on, 
whether the establishment is intended to produce hundreds of 
thousands, of fish annually, or be engaged in with limited means 
by the deserving widow or invalid who wishes to add something to 
a restricted income. 

With these objects in view, and to promote a more thorough 
knowledge of the goldfish, as well as to stimulate the study of 
Natural History, I have made every exertion, and should my 
efforts meet \yith the approval of an intelligent public, I shall 
consider that I have not labored in vain. 

HUGO MULERTT. 
Cincinnati, O., July, 1883. 



CONTENTS. 



PART I. 
The Goldfish and its Varieties. 
Chapter I. 
The History of The Goldfish. — Its Origin. Goldfish Keeping in China. 
Goldfish Markets in Chinese and Japanese Cities. The Introduction of the 
Goldfish into Europe. Productiveness of Same in Southern Europe. The 
Goldfish in the U. S. Degeneration of Same. Introduction of New- 
Varieties. Annual sale of Goldfish in this Country. Competition from 
Europe 5 

Chapter II. 
The Common Goldfish. — Its Scientific name. Natural History. The Size. 
The Age. The Food. Maturity of the Goldfish. Mode of Reproduction. 
The First Stages of the Young. The Coloring of their Skin. Important 
Facts regarding the Same. External Influences. Growth of Goldfish. 
Deformities. Enemies and Diseases 9 

Chapter III. 
Japanese Goldfishes, — Their Relation to the Common Goldfish. Japanese 
Classification. The Telescope. Origin of its Name. Its Color. Difficulty in 
Spawning. Reason for their Scarcity. The Fringe-tail. Its Characteristics. 
Its Development. Variation in Markings. Their Eyes. The pure Strain 
secure. Difficulties in Raising them. The Fantail. The Peculiarity of 
the Caudal Fin. Advantage of Double-tailed Fish. The Comet. The 
Nymph. The Ramsnose. The Hognose. Size attained by Japanese 
Goldfishes H 

Chapter IV. 
Chinese Goldfishes. — Their Distinction in Colors." The Mottled Beauty. The 
Superb. The Small Blue. The Moor, or Darkey. The Piebald. The 
Ruby. The Redfin. The Tumbler, The Elegant. The Cross of Lor- 
raine 20 



IV CONTENTS. 

PART 11. 
The Ponds and their Construction. 

Chapter V. 
About Fish-ponds in General. — Distinction of the Name. Reason for the 
Establishment of Ponds. The Monks as Fish-culturists. Profitableness of 
Pond-culture. The German Carp. Old Establishments. Largest Fish- 
ponds on the Globe. Necessity of Pond-cultiire in the United States. Con- 
sumption of food fishes in this Country. Reason for it. Riches of the 
Rivers in former Days. Pisciculture compared with Agriculture. Culture 
of Ornamental Fish 25 

Chapter VI. 
The Construction of Ponds for Goldfish Culture. — The Different kinds 
of Ponds. The Value of a Pond. Location or Site for the Ponds. Arrang- 
ing the Ponds Advantageously. Ways of Constructing a Pond. Ponds for 
Different Purposes. The Number of them. Spawning, Rearing, Storage 
and Winter Ponds. Depth of the Same. The Dams. Their Construction. 
The Inlet. The Outlet. Its Construction. The Water Supply, The Supply 
Channel 29 

Chapter VII. 

The Author's Establishment. — Illustration. Description 35 

Chapter VIII. 

The Propagating Bed. — Construction of the Same. Economical use of Mate- 
rials. Advantages of a False Bottom. Location of the Bed. The Nursery. 

The Rearing Pond. — The Size of it. The Water Level. Circulation of the 
Water. Plants for the Pond. 

The Storage Pond. — Its Purposes. 

The Winter Pond. — Its Construction and Requirements. Other Winter 
Quarters 37 



PART III. 
The Propagation and Care of the Goldfish. 
Chapter IX. 
The Anatomy and Physiology of the Goldfish. — The Scales. The Fins. 
The Gills. The Heart, The Voice. The Air-bladder. The Stomach. 
The Eyes. Hearing. The Act of Sleeping. Taste. Smell. Reproduc- 
tion. Female Organs. The Ovary, The Oviduct. The Male. The 
Spermatic Organs. The Spermatazoa. The Egg. The Fecundation of 
the Egg. The Development of the Embryo, The Perfect Fish. The 
Yolk-bag 45 



CONTENTS. y 

Chapter X. 

Propagation. — Classification of Fish. Artificial Impregnation of the Eggs. 
Natural Impregnation. The Main Points in Goldfish Culture.. 

Selection of Breeders. — The Season. The Condition of the Fish. Their 
Health, Shape, Color, and Habits. The Distinction of the Sexes. Sterile 
Goldfish. Number for a Set. Size. Age 51 

Chapter XI. 
Preparing the Spawning Bed. — Material to catch the Spawn. Catching 
Spawn in Open Waters. Duration of the Spawning Season. Lengthening 
of the Same. Re-mating the Breeders 56 

Chapter XII. 
Care of the Eggs. — Advantages of an Early Season. Gathering the Eggs. 
The Incubating or Hatching Jar. Quota of Eggs to the Jar. Location 
during Hatching. Time required for Incubation. Temperature of the 
Water. The Advantage of Hatching in Jars 58 

Chapter XIII. 
First Care of the Young. — Preparing the Nursery. Removal of the Young 
to the Nursery. Protection against Enemies. Transferring to the Rearing 
Pond. Manner of Catching and Handling the Fish. Temperature of the 
Water during the Change. Time Required 60 

Chapter XIV. 
Setting out the Young Fish. — Filling the Pond. Natural Food contained in 
the Water. Appearance of injurious Insects. Precaution necessary in Set' 
ting out the Young. Number of Young to each Pond. Time required for 
Growth and Coloring. Fish-culture in the Parlor. Hatching in a glass 
Tumbler. Spawning in an Aquarium 62 

Chapter XV. 
Care of the Ponds. — Condition of the Water. Time of Supplying the Ponds 
with Water. The Supply Drain. Grass and Weeds on the Dams. Remov- 
ing extraneous Matter. Cleaning out the Ponds. Care of the Ponds in the 
Winter. Changes to be made 64 

Chapter XVI. 

Fishing the Ponds. — Draining off the Water. Removing the Fish. Assort- 
ing them. Caution in Handling. 

Domesticating the Fish. — The Fish in the Storage Pond. The Gradual 
Change of Diet. The Quality of the Food. Domestication Completed. 
Caution to be observed near the Ponds 66 



VI CONTENTS. 

Chapter XVII. 
Care of Fish in Stores. — Manners of Keeping them. The Supply of Oxygen 
in the Water. Plants the means of Producing it. Location of the Tank. 
Shape and Construction of the Same. Management of the Tank. Pre- 
caution against spread of Disease 68 

Chapter XVIII. 
Care of Goldfish in Aquaria. — The Vessel for an Aquarium. Fitting up 
of the same. The Plants. Their purpose in an Aquarium. Ill-behaving 
Fish. The Quality of Water to be used. Scavengers. Equalizing the 
Temperature. Number of Fish to a Tank. Quantity of Water Necessary. 
Stimulation for the Growth of Plants. The Subject of Food. Best Tem- 
perature for an Aquarium. The use of Ice. Changing the Water of an 
Aquarium. In the Country. In the City. Difference of Taste Regarding 
the Appearance of a Collection. Best location. Ventilation. The Sun. 
Keeping Goldfish without Plants 70 

Chapter XIX. 
Transportation of Fish. — The Shipping Can. Wooden Jacket Can. Rules 
of Express Companies. About Shipping. Filling of the Can. Time of 
Shipment. Delay while in the Hands of Express Companies. Bucket for 
Shipment. Shipping to great Distances. Transatlantic Shipping Can. 
Rules for Shipment. Treatment of Fish while en route. The Same when 
arriving in Bad Condition 77 



PART IV. 
Enemies and Diseases of the Goldfish, Requisites, Tools, etc. 
Chapter XX. 
The Enemies of the Goldfish. — Goldfish Destroy their own Eggs. The Pond 
Snail. The Water Asell. The Water Flea. The Boat-fly. Its Destruc- 
tiveness. Other Varieties. The Yellow-banded Water Beetle. Its Larva. 
The Black Water Beetle. Its Cocoon. Its Grub. How to destroy them. 
The Dragon-flies. Libellula. Aeshma, Agrion. Their Copulation. Mode 
of Depositing their Eggs. Their Grubs. Their Destruction and Enemief. 

83 

Chapter XXI. 
The Enemies of the Goldfish, Continued. — The Crawfish. Its Destructive 
Habits. The Frogs. Useful and Destructive Varieties. Indirect Injuries 
from their Tadpoles. How to Destroy them. Protecting the Toad. Differ- 
ence of their Spawn. The Water Spider. Salamanders and Newts. Their 



CONTENTS. VU 

Tadpoles Destructive. Adults harmless to Man. Water-snakes. Safest way 
to Destroy them. A Snake-trap. Cranes and Herons. Their Mode of Fish- 
ing. The Kingfisher. Turtles and Alligators. The Musk-rat. Their 
Destructiveness. How to set a Trap for them. The Raccoon. The Mink. 
The Duck. The Goose. The Swan. The House-rat. The Cat 92 

Chapter XXH. 
The Diseases of the Goldfish. — Its Healthy State. Its Sickly State. 
General Causes of Diseases. Asphyxia. Its Cause. Its Cure. Tubercu- 
losis. The Cause of it. Slime or Itch. Bacteriae, the Cause. Treatment 
of the Disease. Dropsy. Treatment of Specimens affected with it. Ery- 
sipelas. Improper Feeding the Cause. Its Prevention and Cure. Acci- 
dents. Assisting Nature in Healing Wounds. Conclusion 99 

Chapter XXIII. 
Requisites AND Tools. — Dipnets. Glass Jars. Other Necessaries 106 

Chapter XXIV. 
Profitableness of Goldfish Ponds. — Will it Pay? Difference in Markets. 
Percentage of Young grown to Perfection. Goldfish Culture as Out-door 
Recreation 107 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Group of Japanese Goldfish, 

The Telescope, 

The Fringe-tail, 

Longitudinal Section of a Pond, 

The Outlet Pipe, 

Diagram of the Author's Establishment, 

Anatomical Sketch of the Goldfish, 

Scale from the Lateral Line, 

The Fertilization of the Fish Egg, 

The Head of the Male in Breeding Season, 

The Aquarium, 

The Shipping Can, 

The Water Asell, 

The Water Flea, . 

The Boat Fly, 

The Yellow-banded Water Beetle, 

The Larva of Same,. 

The Black Water-beetle, 

The Dragon-fly, 

The Larva of Same, 



Colored Frontispiece. 


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33 


34 


36 


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46 


50 


54 


71 


77 


. 84 


84 


. 85 


. ' 86 


86 


87 


. 89 


85 



PART I. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS VARIETIES. 



Chapter I. 



' ' Every man is a valuable member of society, 
who, by his observations, researches, and 
experiments, procures knowledge for men." 
Smithson. 



THE HISTORY OF THE GOLDFISH. 



Long before the principles upon which the success of an aqua- 
rium are based were understood, goldfish were kept and tenderly 
cared for, merely because they are beautiful, and besides being in a 
sense pets, upon which to lavish much solicitude and attention, 
served the purpose of an animated ornament, than which it is diffi- 
cult to find a more beautiful and desirable substitute. The very fact 
of their being denizens of a different element than that in which 
the most familiar domestic animals and pets live, served to surround 
tliem with a halo of fascination that prompted their admirers to 
expend upon them any amount of time and pains to keep them in a 
flourishing condition, and ever ready to be displayed before the 
chosen guest in the household. 

Their wonderful tenacity of life, the gorgeous colors in which 
they are clothed, both contributed to make them adapted to life in 
the aquarium and grace the elaborate structures that were framed 
for the express purpose of displaying them to the best advantage. 

The goldfish, we are told, like many other things, originated in 
China, though, so far as this is concerned, its history is involved in 



6 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

much obscurity. The first mention we find of it is in the " Arabian 
Nights' Entertainments," in the story of the Fisherman and the Genii, 
a story, which like those accompanying it, is of Persian origin. It 
is, however, frequently represented in the old Chinese paintings, and 
appears to have been held in great esteem, insomuch as several of 
the ancient and distinguished families among the Chinese carried it 
as a component part of the family coat of arms, or as an ornament 
upon their armor. In short, the goldfish has always been looked 
upon as a kind of superior being, among the finny tribe, theancients 
even dedicating it to their well-beloved goddess, Venus. 

In China, even at the present day, the goldfish enjoys the admi- 
ration of all, and may be seen in almost every house, inhabiting a 
richly-decorated China bowl, or disporting itself in lakelets in the 
gardens, made for its especial care and enjoyment. They are alike 
admired and beloved from the august Emperor on his throne of 
State down to the most humble and impoverished peasant in the 
realm, all seeing in it an object worthy of care, and, it might be said, 
of love. So intense is the fondness for the goldfish in the land of 
Chinamen that it has begotten a study of them and their habits, that 
amounts to a science. All the resources of the knowledge of them, 
thus gained, have been exhausted in the production of new varieties 
by the crossing of different species, and with marked success. 

In the larger cities the fish are regularly brought to market and 
offered for sale, very much as our florists offer their flowers and 
plants. For that purpose they are separated into pairs, and placed 
in little vessels made of bamboo, and, together with some bit of 
water plant, are sold to ready and ever eager purchasers; the prices 
ranging according to the variety and perfection of the specimens. 

The mandarin, in person, may sometimes be seen in the markets 
buying fish for his aquaria, which, indeed, are often made of carved 
ivory, and inlaid with gold. These purchases he makes with the 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 7 

same relish and delight that one takes in making a new and valuable 
addition to his conservatory. 

The most choice and beautiful varieties are obtained from a lake 
in the province of Che-Kyang. 

The first introduction of the goldfish into Europe is variously 
dated, the years 1611, 1691 and 1728, A. D., each having claims for 
that honor ; it may be said also that the variety introduced was the 
poorest and cheapest the Chinese had. 

The first seen in France, however, were those imported for the 
famous Madame de Pompadour. Soon afterwards they became quite 
common, as it was found that they throve well in the waters of South- 
ern Europe, especially in Portugal, where they sprang from a few 
small fish, said to have escaped from a vessel newly arrived from 
China. In that country they are now considered a delicacy for the 
table. It wa^ not long until several streams in the neighborhood of 
Lisbon absolutely swarmed with them, and it is from this source that 
all Europe became stocked with them. From Europe the fish were 
brought to America, and quickly won their way into favor. For the last 
forty years, perhaps, these fish have become wild in the United States. 
Some having accidentally escaped into open waters, they soon made 
themselves at home, became thoroughly acclimated, and in conse- 
quence the goldfish has been quoted by several authors as a native 
American fish. It is true that, having been born here, they are in 
one sense native, but are not native in the sense, origin, as having 
originated here. Living thus in a wild state, the fish has greatly 
degenerated from the original standard. Through the efforts of 

Admiral , U. S. N., the cultivation of the goldfish in the 

United States has received a new impulse. 

This gentleman, but a few years ago, brought from Japan a num- 
ber of specimens of the choicest varieties which have since been 
reproduced with marked success. 



8 TrfE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTL'RE. 

The annual sale of goldfish in this country at the present day 
may be estimated at two millions, and of a value of $300,000. 

Although this number is greatly exceeded by Europe, ours are 
their superior in quality, and the 7vholesale prices received for them 
are from one hundred to five hundred per centum higher than those 
paid to European culturists, who are at present endeavoring to 
compete in the American market. 




Chapter II. 

THE COMMON GOLDFISH. 

{Carassiiis aiiratus.) 
Der Goldfisch. Le poisson rouge. 



The goldfish belongs to the carp-family, and by some authors is 
called CypHnus auraiiis, which means gold-carp. A thorough inves- 
tigation of the subject has led the author to the adoption of the 
name used in the heading, which is also used by some other authors. 
Besides being more correct, according to the anatomical structure of 
the fish, is more distinguishing, as there exists a variety of the 
European food-carp, known as the golden carp, or cyprinus aureus, 
which is in no ways identical with the goldfish carassiiis aiiratiis. 

The body of the fish is elongated, compressed upon the sides 
and entirely covered with a coat of uniformly-sized scales. 

The head is short, naked, that is, without scales; the lips well 
developed and without barbies. 

The color is generally an orange-yellow Avith a golden hue, 
sometimes marked with white or black; the abdomen may be either 
white or yellowish. 

The name of the entire family, of course, had its origin in the 
prevailing golden color of the species first introduced into Europe. 

The dorsal fin is long, reaching from the middle of the back 
nearly to the tail; specimens with a short dorsal fin are deformed. 



lO THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

They may sometimes have a divided tail, giving to them, if viewed 
from behind, the shape of a reversed letter " Y." 

The size of the goldfish varies according to the locality in which 
they are raised, and the circumstances surrounding them, it being 
possible for them to attain a length of eighteen inches and a height 
of six inches. It is said that they may live to be a hundred years 
old, but this may be an exaggeration. 

Goldfish enjoy a warm temperature, in bodies of water without 
a current; just such water as ponds afford suit them best, though 
they will make themselves at home in streams and multiply exceed- 
ingly. They are very hardy, and thrive well under circumstances 
that would be fatal to many other fish, this quality particularly 
adapting them for life in the aquarium, specimens having been 
successfully kept in this way, in good condition and health, from ten 
to sixteen years. So far as food is concerned, the goldfish will feed 
upon almost all kinds of vegetable matter, insects, worms, etc., even 
preying upon small fish, and devouring its own spawn and young. 
The food is taken in by a sucking motion of the lips ; the mouth 
being toothless, as in all carps, the mastication is accomplished by a 
few bony tubercles situated in the throat. 

In the spring or summer following the one in which they were 
hatched, goldfish attain their maturity. The size of the fish has 
nothing whatever to do with the ability to spawn, though a large fish 
Avill deposit more eggs than a small one. As an instance, goldfish 
one inch in length, nine months old, spawned in an aquarium kept 
in a parlor; all the eggs hatched and the young grew up. In the 
spring of that year, when the temperature of the water rises above 
60° F., they become lively and vivacious, losing all timidity and 
precaution, so that they easily fall a'prey to their many enemies. 

Two, three or more male fish follow a female, chasing her to 
some shallow place where there is an abundance of water-plants. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



They lash the water in a lively way, twisting the posterior portion of 
their bodies energetically and shooting through the water near its 
surface with short tremulous movements of the fins. At places they 
gather together in a compact mass, one tumbling over the other. 
This is the moment when the female drops her eggs, which are 
immediately impregnated by the males. 

This process is repeated throughout the summer, with intervals 
of rest during the hottest period. The eggs are of the size of a pin- 
head, and may be either semi-transparent, yellowish, or brilliant 
yellow in color. Whether this difference in the color of the eggs 
has anything to do with the coloring the fish will acquire after it is 
hatched still remains an open question. With the eggs of the trout 
the case is different, for the culturist can predict the color of the 
flesh of the fish when grown up; it is possible that this may also 
apply to the goldfish. The eggs are covered with some adhesive 
substance, mucus probably, and adhere to anything they happen to 
touch. The water-plants in the immediate vicinity of the place 
where the fish have been rolling about will, upon examination, be 
found covered very profusely with them. 

The young are hatched out in from two to six days, the period of 
incubation being determined by the temperature of the water and 
the condition of the weather. Direct sunlight has the effect of 
hastening the process. 

During the first few days the young fish are not able to move 
about much ; they hang or lay about among the water-plants, obtain- 
ing subsistence from their yolk-bag, but as soon as this is absorbed 
they swim around on the search of something to eat. 

The color of the skin of young goldfish is at first silvery gray, but 
at an age of six weeks this color begins to change, becoming darker 
and assuming a cloudy appearance, finally taking on the permanent 
color. The whole process is sometimes completed in two days, 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



though in some instances it is deferred until the following spring. 
The perfection and rapidity of the coloring process depend upon 
several causes, foremost among which is the proper selection of 
specimens from which to breed. 

This is a very important consideration, in truth, the prime factor 
upon which hinges the character of the result. 

When hatched, the young fish are further subjected to modifica- 
tion by their surroundings, the temperature of the water, its depth, 
quality, etc., all exercising more or less influence. 

The complete result of the breeding, so far as the coloring is 
concerned, can not be seen until the change has taken place, when 
any errors that have been made are at once apparent. Those fish 
that have failed to receive any coloring are then called silver-fish; 
should they have turned milky white (albinos), they are known as 
pearl-fish. 

The young, when kept in warm ponds — this means that the 
ponds are so located that the sun can warm them thoroughly — may 
grow six inches long in four months. As a general thing, however, 
the length reached in that time is from two and a half to three 
inches. 

In connection with this may be mentioned that all the young of 
the same spawning do not grow at an equal rate, some few doubling 
the average size, while others fail to reach it. The latter are then 
known as dwarf goldfish, and are much in demand for small aquaria. 

Deformities occur oftener in this family of fishes than in any 
other. Specimens minus a dorsal, anal, or even caudal fin, are 
frequent; rarer are those destitute of scales or minus an eye or with 
a lob-sided mouth. 

From the habit of the goldfish to seek its nourishment on the 
bottom of the pond in which it lives, and to its careless sluggishness. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. I3 

caused by its voracious appetite, the goldfish, especially in its 
younger days, falls the victim of innumerable enemies. 

In fact, so easy is it to destroy them, that anything else living in 
its company in the pond and of sufficient strength to master it, may 
be set down as its enemy. 

When arrived at maturity its peculiar mode of reproduction 
renders it a welcome prey to enemies that do not live in water. It 
is likewise subjected to diseases of various kinds, and considering all 
that, it may be said that it is a mere accident when goldfish multiply 
to any considerable extent without the protection of man, or that 
the circumstances under which they increased were exceptionally 
favorable. 



Chapter III. 

JAPANESE GOLDFISHES. 

{Carassius japonicus?) 

JAPANISCHE GOLDFISCHE. PoiSSON D'ORIENT. 



In introducing this variety of fish to the attention of the reader, 
it may be said that the description of the mode of reproduction, 
habits, etc., regarding the common goldfish, equally apply to the 
Japanese and Chinese varieties, as they are members of the same 
family, differing only in shape and color. 

The Japanese specify the goldfish by the shape of the body and 
that of the fins, the coloring in most species being the same. The 
prevailing colors are vermillion, gold and white, if indeed the last 
can be called a color. 

The Japanese classification being rather complicated, the species' 
names will be omitted for convenience sake, and the fish described 
in the manner others have been, though at the same time retaining 
the foreign nomenclature. 

THE TELESCOPE. 

This fish is indeed an odd looking affair. The body is spherical 
very much like that of a frog-tadpole, and covered, as all goldfishes 
are, with medium-sized scales. The fins, are very delicate in struc- 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



15 



ture; the anal fin mostly absent; the caudal fin is double, very large 
and deeply divided. The eyes are large and project forward, having 
the appearance of a small telescope adjusted to the eye (see illustra- 
tion), from this the fish received the name it bears. To make the 




The Telescope. . 

eyes more prominent the Japanese culturist resorts to an ingenious 
device. He places the young fish in small dark-glass vessels shaped 
for the purpose, and which obliges the fish to look constantly in but 
one direction. 

The color of the fish may be either vermillion, white or part of 
both, the markings in that case being very beautiful. The body of 
the fish is all out of proportion to the size of the fins, and in conse- 
quence propulsion is a difficult matter. 

In spawning, the male rolls the female about among the stones in 
a most pitiful manner, sometimes for days together; this is an effort 
of the male to assist in the extrusion of the eggs. When spawned 
the eggs attach themselves to the stones and other substantial objects 
rather than to water-plants, probably because it is amongst the 
stones that the extrusion takes place. 

When the young are first hatched, they appear exactly like the 
common goldfish. They rest upon the water-plants or other sup- 
ports for a couple of days, at the end of which time the yolk-bag is 
absorbed ; then commences the struggle for existence. The double 



l6 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

tail, which is even then large enough to be distinguished, hinders 
the tiny creatures (but one-quarter of an inch in length) in their 
movements in the water. Should they find sufficient food to make a 
bountiful meal, matters become still worse, they lose their balance 
and can not go at all until digestion is completed, in the meanwhile 
falling an easy and welcome prey to numerous enemies. 

For this reason, which is the main one, and because the fish is 
very difficult to propagate, it is exceedingly rare, even in Japan. 

When mature, the telescope fish is about the size of a man's fist. 

THE FRINGE-TAIL. 

The body of the fringe-tail is short, egg-shaped and slightly com- 
pressed; the eyes normal, but very variable in the color of the iris, 
which is that curtain in the anterior portion of the eye that by its 
contraction and dilation, regulates the quantity of light that enters 
the optic. In this fish the color of the iris may be any color, except- 
ing green only, in different individuals. 

The fins are large and of very fine structure; the anal fin is 
double, while the caudal may be either double, treble or quadruple, 
as the case may be, and is larger than the body, drooping very grace- 
fully. (See illustration.) These special 'characteristics, among all the 
fancy varieties, are not fully developed until the second year. In 
the coloring of the body and fins this fish is not surpassed by any 
other, making one of the most valuable and desirable objects for the 
aquarium. There are specimens the back and sides of which are 
deep Vermillion, the abdomen, throat and eyes of rich gold, while 
all the fins are milk white. Others again will be found presenting a 
rich Vermillion on that part of the body forward of the dorsal fin 
including the throat, part of the abdomen, and the respective fins, 
while all back of that is pure white. Some there are with body all 



The goldfish and its culture. 



17 



white, the fins red, and vice versa; others pearly, dotted with irregu- 
larly shaped pink spots, the eyes being blue; again, the entire fish 
will be white, the only touch of color being the deep red of the large 
eyes. In fact, it is impossible within the limits of this sketch to 
enumerate the endless variety of the markings to be seen, and one 
can only get an adequate idea by examining a large number. 




The Fringe-Tail. 



Strange as it may seem, this beautiful species of fish was nearly lost 
to this country through the caprice of private individuals who 
happened, or rather were lucky enough, to possess perfect specimens, 
and were unwilling that others should enjoy the possession of the like. 
But fortunately, a lady both generous and appreciative, rather 
than that the stock should die out, loaned to the author for the pur- 



l8 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

pose of reproduction several fine specimens she had recently 
obtained. The pure stock may now be considered secure for the 
future. In evidence of the extreme beauty of the species, it may be 
stated that private parties paid for fine specimens twenty times the 
weight of the fish in gold. 

What has been said about the difficulty of raising telescope fish, 
may with almost equal propriety be repeated for the fringe-tail. 
Unlike the former, the latter fish spawns against aquatic plants, the 
extrusion of the eggs not being so difficult. 

THE FANTAIL. 

The body is elongated and compressed on the sides; the head 
pointed ; the fins are short and stout, the anal sometimes double, and 
occasionally found wanting. The caudal fin is comparatively short, 
is double, with the upper edges grown together; it is sometimes erect 
like that of the fan tail pigeon {see frontispiece), or projects horizon- 
tally. The colors are mostly vermillion and white; in some cases 
the whole body is white, with the exception of the abdomen, this 
being golden; in others the body is dark red, the belly also golden. 
The color of the eyes is variable. 

It may be mentioned here as an advantage of the double-tailed 
fish, that tlrey are unable to jump out of the water. This fact is 
undoubtedly one to be appreciated by those keeping an aquarium. 

THE COMET. 

This is a noble looking fish, and greatly resembles the fantail. 

Its body is slender, the fins very large and of fine structure ; the 
caudal fin is single and deeply divided. The coloring is identical 
with the preceding. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. I9 

THE NYMPH. 

The body of this species is oblong, and much compressed on the 
sides; the head is short, and fins normal. The color varies from a 
light to a deep vermillion, sometimes white; a background of white 
beautifully dotted with crimson, the throat golden, makes a magnifi- 
cent combination that is very ornamental indeed. 

The sub-varieties of this are the Ramsnose and the Hognose. 

THE RAMSNOSE. 

That part of the body of this fish from the mouth to the dorsal 
fin forms a bow, like the forehead of a ram, this feature giving the 
fish its name. The lower part of the body from the mouth to the 
tail continues a straight line. 

THE HOGNOSE. 

The peculiarity of this fish is just the reverse, concaved, greatly 
resembling the head ot a fat hog. 

All of the goldfish described above do not attain a very great size, 
seldom attaining a length of more than eight inches. 




Chapter IV. 

CHINESE GOLDFISHES. 

( Carassius orientalis ) 

Chinesische Goldfische. Poisson d'Orient. 



The Chinese species of goldfish differ more from each other in 
color than in the shape of the body and fins, the contrary being the 
dominant characteristic of the Japanese species, described above. 

So startling are these colors that one is almost immediately 
reminded of the story in the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments" 
of the enchanted lake, the fish in which were of four colors, yellow, 
blue, red and white, and were people of four races, who had in 
some way incurred the displeasure of a genius, who, in revenge, 
had thus transformed them. 

The Chinese reckon seven distinct species, each with its sub- 
varieties, the most of them very beautiful indeed. Of the species 
King-Yu, the variety called 

THE MOTTLED BEAUTY 

is very remarkable. Beneath, the fish is simply silvered, but on the 
back and sides it is mottled with rich hues of blue, yellow, black and 
rose, the latter color deepening into pure crimson at the gills. 
Along the ridge of the back, especially near the tail, the black 

20 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 21 

becomes very intense, and has the rich appearance of a piece of 
Lyons velvet. 

Another of the same species is 

THE SUPERB. 

This magnificent fish, when fully developed, is nearly fifteen 
inches long. The under part is silvered like the preceding, but the 
back, which is remarkably broad, is splendidly varied with scarlet and 
black, the scales being delicately edged with a metallic gold color. 

THE SMALL BLUE. 

This, like the others, is also silvery on the abdomen, but which, 
however, is delicately flushed with pale rose. The whole of the 
sides and back are of a rich azure, which shines with a metallic 
.luster. 

THE MOOR, OR DARKEY, 

is another distinct variety, and is a large fish. The back and sides 
are very nearly black, which becomes violet underneath. All of the 
scales are edged with a red-toned bronze. 

THE PIE-BALD. 
Species Oueii - Yu. 
This is a very beautiful variety, the ground color of which is a 
delicate flesh tint, and upon which there are large patches of rich 
brown, very much like the markings of a pie-bald horse. 

THE RUBY. 

Species Niii-eitbk-Yu. 
This is a fish of exquisite beauty, being of a delicate semi-opaque, 
violet crimson, gradually shading off to pale rose underneath. 
A peculiarly fine variety of this species is 



22 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

THE RED-FIN, 

the body of which is a delicate azure, while the head, tail and fins 
are an intense scarlet. 

THE TUMBLER. 

Species Kin-teon - Yu. 

This is a remarkable fish, and one that seems quite distinct. 
The head and tail are bent upward, giving to the entire fish the form 
of a crescent. 

When swimming it has the habit of throwing itself over and over 
in the same manner that tumbler pigeons do when flying. The color 
of the fish is a magnificent blue flushed with orange making a gor- 
geous display. 

THE ELEGANT. 

This is a variety of the species Ouen-Yu, or "lettered kind," so 
named because the streaky markings are not altogether unlike 
Chinese characters. 

It is of a pure white sparingly dashed with patches of pearly 
pink on the body, and having some exquisite letter-like markings or 
tracings about the head and tail. Another variety of the species is 
rich scarlet, shading off to black on the back, in the midst of which 
is a large cross of pure white having two transverse bands like the 
Cross of Lof-raiiie, by which name the author thinks proper to desig- 
nate it. 



PART II. 



THE PONDS AND THEIR CONSTRUCTION. 



23 



Chapter V, 



" Withholding facts is robbery." 

Orville Dewev. 



ABOUT FISH-PONDS IN GENERAL. 



■ A basin of water in the open air, so arranged or constructed that 
the water may be drawn ofif at any desired time, is called a pond. A 
body of water not under control, in the full sense of the word, is 
usually known as a pool or a lake. The dimension of such body of 
water does not necessarily regulate the name applied to it, as for 
instance, a pond may either be but a few feet in length and breadth, 
or it may cover an estate of hundreds of acres in extent, just as the 
requirements of the case may be. 

In countries far removed from the sea-shore, or any other natural 
source from which fish may be obtained in large quantities, the 
necessity arises for supplying the want by some means or other. 
This can only be done by cultivating them on a large scale, and in 
quantities sufficient to meet the demands of a steady market. The 
cultivation of fish for the purpose of food has been carried on for 
many generations, and so far back as the Middle Ages considerable 
attention was given by the monks to pond culture, in order that they 
might have a reliable source from which to procure fish during lent. 

From those days virtually dates the systematic culture of fish in 
waters that are thoroughly under control. 



25 



26 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

At that time means of transportation were meager and very slow, 
so that the cultivation of fish in the interior was a prime necessity, 
yet notwithstanding the rapid transit on the railroad of the present 
time, putting inland places in close connection with the ocean and 
other natural fish reservoirs, pond culture may be and is carried on 
with both success and profit. Though the railroad has made the salt- 
water fish a great rival of that cultivated in fresh water, the latter 
nevertheless has the advantage of always being marketable and close 
at hand. 

To so successful a degree has pond culture arrived at the present 
day, that one is enabled to propagate the scaly tribe in quantities 
without limit. 

The fish that was principally, if not to say exclusively, cultivated 
in ponds in former days, was the famous German carp; the estab- 
lishments founded threp and even four centuries ago being still in 
successful operation, and may at any time be seen in various parts of 
Austria and Germany. So thoroughly has the industry been studied 
that it might almost be dignified with the name of a science. The 
profits arising from it are enormous, and it may be that interest has 
had something, if not very much, to do with the pond culture as it is 
now carried on. 

To give the reader an idea of its extent in those countries, it may 
be said that the carp ponds belonging to the manor of Wittengau 
number 250, and cover an area of 22,000 acres, the annual yield of 
fish from which is one-half million of pounds. Similar establish- 
ments are found on the manor Konigswartha, in Upper Silesia, with 
205 ponds, covering 9,000 acres; the manor Peitz-Cottbus (Branden- 
burgh) with 72 ponds, covering 5,600 acres. These and many other 
large establishments, to say nothing of thousands of ponds scattered 
all over Central Europe, give ample evidence that the industry is one 
of magnitude and importance. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 27 

In this country the cutting down of timber, the draining of the 
land, and the establishment of new industries have no doubt greatly 
increased the value of the soil, but have also influenced the decline 
in the productiveness of the water. 

This is a matter of serious importance, and one which is already 
claiming the attention of intelligent journalists who see the necessity 
of fighting the evil ere the remedy is beyond our reach. In fact, the 
fish industry of the country is one of national interest, and was, not 
many years ago, the cause of diplomatic difficulty between England 
and the United States, putting the latter to the expense of millions of 
money before the matter was satisfactorily adjusted. In view of these 
facts it will not be long before the necessity of cultivating fish for the 
market will make ifBelf felt, just as it is in Europe to-day. 

The consumption of food-fish, of course, increases with the 
increase of population, while on the other hand, for reasons given, 
the supply is rapidly decreasing in quantity and quality. Besides the 
creeks and rivers are now becoming the sewers into which the wash- 
ings and dirt of the nation are poured, and the gradual destruction 
of our fish is consequently taking place right under our eyes. 

In the author's opinion, the decrease of our fish is not so much 
due to the use of small mesh seines, as many pretend, as it is to the 
increased demand for fish as food. The destruction caused by a few 
careless fishermen is^ more than counter-balanced by turtle-hunters 
and snake-killing boys, the one making it a business, the other 
engaging in it for sake of the sport, who between them catch and 
kill a multitude of these voracious enemies of the fish, which, in 
the water all the time, manage to destroy untold numbers of fish. 

The oft-repeated remark, "in former years this river used to be 
alive with fish," is very well in its way, and is, moreover, true; but 
it must not be forgotten that in former years there were not so many 
people requiring them for food; 



28 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

A bit of forest in which grow a few chestnut-trees was, by the 
then few village boys said to be " full of chestnuts," but now, when 
the village has become a large town or city, the few chestnut-trees 
are not looked upon with the same admiration because, though in 
equally good condition, they do not furnish chestnuts enough to 
go 'round. 

A piece of land of given size supplies in plenty, vegetables for 
one family, but if the family increases in numbers, and additions 
have to be made to the house at the expense of the piece of 
land, it can no longer furnish the original quantity of food. New 
land then is added to the field, or, if that is impossible, that remain- 
ing is forced to increased production by the use of manures. 

Now then, why not apply to pisciculture the rules guiding agri- 
culture, when viewed in this light ? The fish-consuming family has 
inordinately increased, its dwelling is enlarged at the expense of the 
fish-producing rivers which are now made to serve other purposes. 
New additions are consequently necessary and possible by the 
proper use of water-courses that are now going to waste. 

Pond-culture is not solely confined to the production of food-fish, 
there being many large establishments devoted to the exclusive 
culture of ornamental fish. 

The largest of these, are also in Europe, one in Oldenburgh cov- 
ering twelve acres, yielding anually 300,000 goldfish, and affording 
employment to many people. A still larger establishment is that in 
Austria, belonging to Baron de Washington. 

There are besides many smaller establishments scattered about 
all over Europe, and generally near the large cities, just as we find 
florists in the immediate neighborhood of our own cities. 



Chapter VI. 
THE CONSTRUCTION OF PONDS. 



' The fish-culturist recognizes three kinds of ponds, which are 
designated by the source from which they receive their supply. 

First, the creek and river ponds ; these are fed from the source 
that gives them their names, and which may be, in fact, usually is, 
in the immediate neighborhood. The water may be conveyed to 
the ponds either by the action of a pump or by means of a drain, 
the latter undoubtedly being the least expensive, and the most relia- 
ble, besides requiring no further attention than to turn on or off 
when so desired. 

Second, spring-ponds, those fed by a spring, and it may be said in 
favor of such ponds that the supply of water is steady and of uni- 
form quality and temperature, besides being free from mud. 

Third sky-ponds, those that receive their supply from the rain that 
falls, and which is drained off or runs from the surface of adjoining 
fields. 

The value of a pond is based upon the reliability of its water 
supply, the quality of the same, as also that of the soil that forms 
the floor of the pond. Last but not least, is the location of the 
pond. The locality ought to be such that without any special 
expenditure of time, the pond can always be under supervision, thus 
guarding against pilfering upon the part of mischievous boys, the 



30 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

depredations of muskrats, herons, cranes, etc. The water that 
supplies the ponds would better come from a spring or be gathered 
in the manner described for the sky-pond, as by this way one will 
avoid the annoyance and destruction caused by snakes, muskrats, 
frogs, etc., that are always found in small rivers and creeks, and 
which are sure to find their way to the pond, causing much 
trouble, to say nothing of the money value of that which they 
destroy. Besides this, the ponds should have some natural protec- 
tion against the high winds of spring time. This is very well 
afforded by a clump of trees close by, but much better if the pond 
is situated in a hollow between two or three small hills. These not 
only shelter the ponds, but tend to keep them warm by retaining the 
warmth of the sun in the spring, just at a time when it is most 
needed. In a warm and protected location of this kind, the fish 
will spawn several weeks before the ordinary beginning of the 
season, the young, of course, being ready for sale that much sooner, 
and the ponds are vacated for a second crop, thus bringing a quicker 
and more liberal return on the investment. 

Lastly, it is of but little use to locate ponds in a neighborhood 
that does not afford a market for the product, unless, indeed, the 
amateur should be in correspondence with such parties as would be 
likely to find it to their interest to handle his stock. 

The foregoing remarks on ponds and those which follow are 
made with an especial view to the culture of goldfish, so that the 
novice as well as the amateur may get a distinct idea of the proper 
method of locating and constructing them, for upon this depends 
the success of the enterprise, and more so when it is engaged in for 
the purpose of yielding an income. 

We come now to a consideration of the immediate and practical 
points concerning the subject upon which we are engaged and which 
we wish to see in running order. After having determined to 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 3I 

devote his spare time to the cultivation of goldfish, the amateur will 
hardly know where to commence or what to do first, neither will he 
know how to do it. That want the author thoroughly appreciates, 
and it is his aim to supply it in these pages, at the same time bearing 
in mind that the great majority will probably have but a small capital 
with which to commence business, and must necessarily confine 
themselves to such things as are most needed when making a start. 
After a beginning has been successfully accomplished, other and 
useful accessories may be added from time to time that will undoubt- 
edly greatly reduce labor and enhance the enjoyment of the pursuit, 
for if one does not take any interest in what he is engaged he can 
not hope to derive from it either pleasure or profit. 

The first thing then is to determine on a favorable site for the 
location of the ponds. This, as previously stated, should be one 
protected from cold winds and fully exposed to the sun, not for- 
getting that the soil to form the floor of the ponds should be as rich 
as possible. It must also be borne in mind for it is a very essential 
requisite, that every pond must be drawn off at times, and independ- 
ently of all others. When this can not be accomplished by turning 
to account the natural declivity or resources of the site, the series 
must be so arranged that this may be accomplished in sections, or, in 
other words, the ponds so situated that two or three or more, as the 
case may be, can be emptied at will. 

The manner in which ponds are to be constructed in any given 
case is, as a matter of necessity, to be governed by the circumstances 
as they exist, anything favorable for them to be taken advantage of 
and turned to good account. A natural valley or hollow may be 
dammed up at the lower end, thus enabling the culturist to place his 
ponds on top of the ground, so to speak, or they may be made by 
digging out the soil to the required size and depth to receive the 
frames hereafter to be decribed. 



32 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

As before stated, there are many enemies which prey upon the 
goldfish, and all of which are to be guarded against in the construc- 
tion of the ponds in which they are expected to live and increase. 
If left alone and without the protection of man, the circumstances 
must be exceptionally favorable under which they can thrive and 
multiply. For the systematic raising of goldfish, therefore, a series 
of ponds is indispensable, each of which is constructed and arranged 
to meet the requirements of the specific purpose for which it is 
intended. All of them, however, are based upon the same funda- 
mental principle and must have adjustable inlets and outlets, other- 
wise they can not be under complete control, the reason for which 
a little experience will soon explain. The number of ponds needed 
for the culture of goldfish does not exceed four, and in their order 
are the spawning-pond, rearing-pond, storage-pond, and Avinter-pond. 
The spawning-ponds or "beds" are those ponds in which the parent 
fish are placed when the breeding time arives, and are to be kept 
there throughout the duration of that season, and solely for the 
purpose of depositing the eggs. The rearingponds are those in 
which the young fry is placed or " planted" and to keep them until 
they are of a marketable size. The siorageponds are for the purpose 
of keeping saleable stock until wanted, and in a situation readily 
accessible at a moment's notice. The last in order is the winterpond, 
in which the parent fish, and those of the younger that are intended 
for the same purpose, are carried through the inclemencies of the 
winter. 

The greatest depth of all the ponds, the winter-pond excepted, 
should not be made to exceed twenty-four (24) inches, and this to be 
at that end where the outlet is placed. From twenty-four inches at 
one end the depth should gradually decrease until the water depth 
at the head is not greater than six (6) inches. (See illustration.) 

The upper edges of the dams of the ponds should not be less 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



33 



than six inches above the highest water capacity, thus avoiding over- 
flow during heavy rain-storms; neither should they be less than 
eighteen (i8) in Avidth. It is also necessary that the dams be made 
very carefully, so that when soaked with water they will not sink or 
cave in with their own weight. A most excellent material of which 
to build them consists simply of sod cut into suitable pieces and laid 
one upon another, just as a stone-mason lays one stone upon the 
other, the whole when thus laid becomes very solid and compact, 
and capable of resisting considerable pressure, and will withstand 
the wear and tear of the weather and the weight of the body when 
walking over them. Where there is danger prevailing from a 




LoxGiTUDiN.^^L Section of Goldfish Pond. 



sudden freshet in an adjoining creek, it is a wise precaution to build, 
in addition, a strong dam on the outside and in the direction from 
which the danger is expected. For greater safety this dam may be 
in its turn protected with boards, so as to prevent gradual washing 
away. Each inlet, /. e., the point at which the water supply makes 
its way into the pond, is to be guarded with galvanized iron netting 
of a tolerably coarse mesh, about eight to the inch, as a small mesh 
clogs very readily, and only adds the additional care of keeping it 
clean. The outlet is formed of two gutters of which one fits in an 
upright position tightly on the end of the other, which leads through 
the bottom of the dam, forming a right angle. (See illustration.) 
The one leading through the dam is closed tightly on all four 
sides, but on the upright one the side facing the pond is closed 
with adjustable sections cut from flooring boards. By means of 



34 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 




these movable parts the level of the water in the pond can be 
regulated as occasion may require. The overflow, that is, where 
the water is running out, is guarded by a wire screen of the same 
sized mesh as before mentioned, and adjustable in the same manner 
as the other boards protecting the opening. 
When it is desirable to drain the pond, one 
section or board is removed at a time, always 
taking care to place the wire screen upon 
the top by letting it slide down into the 
grooves. (See illustration. ) 
Outlet for Pond. A most important point, and one to be 

insisted upon in the construction of ponds, is to so arrange the water 
supply that it will at all times he ttnder complete control. Each pond 
is to receive its supply independently of all the rest, and the water 
must also, when need be, be cut off from the pond without inter- 
fering with the supply of others. The supply channel must likewise 
have an independent "run," so that the water it contains when not 
wanted for use in the ponds, may find its way out of the establish- 
ment. This point is one of great importance, especially durin-g heavy 
rain-storms, as the large increase \\\ the volume of water would cause 
the ponds to overflow and probably do great damage. 




Chapter VII. 
THE AUTHOR'S ESTABLISHMENT. 



The accompanying diagram will serve as a reliable guide for the 
construction and arrangement of a complete establishment for the 
raising of goldfish. 

It will be observed that the ponds are arranged in a semi-circle, 
not because the "horseshoe" is all the rage, but simply for the 
reason that the little valley in which they are located is encircled by 
small but steep hills running in that direction. As previously stated, 
the disposition of the ponds must of necessity be in accordance with 
the topography or "lay of the land" in the locality determined upon, 
and the amateur will have to follow accordingly, though there are 
changed and modifications that he can make, and in many instances 
with great advantage. 

DESCRIPTION OF PLAN. 
A. — Spawning or propagating beds. 
B. — Rearing ponds. 
C. — Storage ponds and nursery. 
D. — Winter pond. 

E. — Isolated pond for special purposes. 
F. — Catch-basin for stray fish. 
G. — Lodge, where the eggs are hatched. 
H. — Wind-brake and guard against freshets. 
I. — Creek, passing the establishment. 
Star. — Location of springs. 
Arrow. — Direction of water flow. 
Dotted lines. — Supply drain. 
Bracket. — Outlets. 

35 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 




Chapter VIII. 
THE PROPAGATING BED. 



Having now had a general view of the ponds, the reader's 
attention is directed to a detailed study of them, each one separately, 
the method of their construction, and the reason why they differ 
from one another; for, being made each with a specific purpose to 
serve, they of course must be built with that object in view. 

The spawning-pond, or "propagating bed," is situated at that 
end of the rearing-pond where the water makes its entrance. It is a 
division consisting of a board frame eighteen (i8) inches in depth 
and four (4) feet wide by eight (8) feet long, fashioned very much 
like the frame of a gardener's hot-bed. This frame, when ready, is 
to be sunk about two inches into the soil composing the bottom of the 
pond, and very accurately at that; for if this precaution is not taken, 
the fish are very apt to escape from the pond through any aperture 
that may be left. The upper edge of the frame should be not less 
than six inches above the usual level of the water, thus preventing 
the danger of overflow. In the side facing the supply drain, about 
two inches above the water level, and in the other forming the 
division of the rearing-pond, about one inch bdoiu this level, small 
openings for the entrance and exit of the water are cut and care- 
fully covered with galvanized iron-wjre gauze, of about eight meshes 
to the inch. 

37 



38 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

This box, the bottom of which is formed by the floor of the pond, 
is to be. covered with a well-fitting frame, mounted upon hinges and 
also covered with galvanized iron-wire netting of one mesh to the 
inch. This wire screen serves to prevent the approach of numerous 
enemies that would otherwise greatly interfere with the spawners, if 
not destroy them altogether. By following the above given direc- 
tions for the construction of the frame the greatest economy possible 
can be had, for the lumber in the board as obtained from the dealers, 
measures twelve (12) and sixteen (16) feet in length, so that the 
measurements, eight by four feet, can always be had without unnec- 
essary waste of lumber. Besides this, the wire netting is obtained in 
any length, and also four (4) feet in width, so that here too is a 
saving of material, and consequently of expense. 

Inside of this frame, or box, as it may be called when placed 
into position, another frame upon which wire netting is stretched, is 
to be sunk. The size of the mesh is to be such as is best adapted to 
the size of the fish that are to be placed in the pond. It is very easy 
to see that this false bottom subserves a very useful purpose, and 
often saves time that at the moment is otherwise valuable. When, 
for one reason or another, it is desirable to remove the fish, the only 
requirement is simply to raise the frame to get it into shallow 
water, when the whole contents of the pond can be examined at 
ease. 

A spawning-pond, such as the one described, can be, and with 
propriety too, constructed separately and wholly isolated. But if it 
is made a division of the rearing-pond, a good advantage is secured, 
namely, the stream of water that passes through it will carry into the 
rearing-pond such of the young fish as were hatched from undiscov- 
ered eggs. They will thus escape being devoured by the parent, and 
besides will get into the place intended for them, and where the 
chances for their growing up are vastly in their favor. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 39 

THE NURSERY. 
This is merely an apartment • temporarily established in the 
storage-pond, which serves the purpose of protecting the young 
during their earliest infancy. 

THE REARING POND. 

This pond differs from the preceding in several respects. To 
begin with, it is five times as large, the size eight (8) feet by twenty 
(20) being in many ways the most convenient, as experience has 
abundantly proven. 

In constructing this, as well as the others, it is not absolutely 
necessary that the outlet should be directly opposite the inlet, 
though such an arrangement insures the most complete changing of 
the contents (the water) by the current passing from one end to the 
other. The location of the outlet and inlet must be determined by 
the judgment of the builder when seeking to get the best results he 
can, from the circumstances and surroundings of the locality in 
which he places his ponds. It /s necessary, however, that the inlet 
should be one or two inches above the water level, so that the fish 
will be prevented from getting into the supply drain, should there 
happen to be a defect in the guard. In constructing the pond, the 
remarks applying to ponds in general are to be respected. The 
dams must reach six inches above the water level, and the floor be as 
uniform as possible, with a regular incline of from six (6) inches 
depth at one end to twenty-four (24) inches at the other. The 
deepest part to be at the outlet, insuring a perfect and even drawing 
off, whenever that may be needed. 

One or two plants, such as Nymphaea only, should be planted in 
the soil of the bottom, as their floating leaves afford shelter to the 
fish in very hot weather. Besides it offers greater convenience for 
the fish to reach deep water upon the approach of danger, as in such 



40 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

cases fish always dart to the bottom, and being there, they get out of 
the way much sooner. If placed, near the outlet, it is also easier to 
gather the flowers when the plants are in blossom; this is probably a 
small point, but one that will be appreciated upon trial. Should the 
plants not be available, one or two pieces of board left floating on 
the water will answer the purpose. If it is impossible to isolate the 
rearing-ponds from each other, the consequences are not at all 
serious, but things should be so arranged that the very large fish are 
not mixed up with the small ones, as the latter would then be 
deprived of their share of the natural food the pond itself supplies. 

THE STORAGE POND. 

This pond is for the sole purpose of keeping the saleable fish 
where they can easily be secured when desired, assorted according to 
variety, color and size, and kept in good condition till wanted. 

It is to be so located that it will not interfere with the draining off 
of the other ponds. 

Its construction does not differ in anywise from that of the 
rearing-pond, as indeed it can be used for rearing, if not wanted for 
nursery purposes (of which we will treat further on), until wanted 
for its destined purpose. 

It is best, however, to divide it with boards into different parts of 
equal size, so as to secure a general fit of wire covers. 

THE WINTER POND. 

This is best located close by a spring, so that the constant flowing 
in of a stream of water of even temperature will jDrevent the surface 
of the pond from freezing over entirely, in which case the fish would 
die. The depth of the pond ought not to be less than three feet, 
and its sides closely lined with boards or masonry, thus affording 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 4 1 

protection from enemies and preventing caving in. The flow of 
water is to enter at one end, traverse the length of the pond, and 
leave at the opposite extremity. The dimensions of the winter 
quarters need not be very large, as during the winter season, fish in 
a natural state, pass that time in a semi-torpid condition, eat no food, 
and are .not revived until they get the warmth of the sun in early 
spring. 

A compartment of four (4) feet by eight (8), and of the above 
depth, will carry about fifty fish of eight to ten inches in length 
safely through the winter. 

Where it can be done, the fish may be wintered over in a green 
house cistern, or in aquaria where they may be under close observa- 
tion, and at the same time be of some ornamental value. If in the 
open air, the winter-pond is, of course, to be covered with wire 
netting to keep out the various 'birds and animals that would prey 
upon them; it is also well to protect the greater part of the top with 
boards, keeping out as much snow as possible. 





42 



PART III. 



The Propagation and Care of the Goldfish. 



•13 



Chapter IX. 

" Nature my school, the water my field.' 

THE ANATOMY OF THE GOLDFISH. 



Before we enter into the details of the propagation of the fish, 
it is necessary to learn something about its anatomy. 

A study of the accompanying cut (which is merely diagramatic) 
will greatly assist the reader in getting a clear understanding of the 
internal arrangement of the several parts with which it is most 
necessary to be familiar. 




ANATOMICAL SKETCH OF GOLDFISH. 



We will consider first the scales, as they are almost the first thing 
to strike the eye. These scales are so arranged upon the surface of 
the body that they overlap each other just in the manner that a 



46 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



carpenter lays shingles on a roof, being disposed in such a way 
that the friction incident upon the movement of the fish in the 
water is reduced to the smallest proprotion. As the fish grows 
older and larger the scales increase in size. 

Near the middle of the body and running along eacn side of the 
fish, there is a line or row of scales that possess peculiarities distin- 
guishing them from other scales. 

The.se scales are pierced with a tubular aperture, and the tubes of 
which they are the exit are quite distinct, and form the so-called 

"lateral line." Through these 
tubes a slimy substance or mu. 
cous is exuded, which covers the 
entire body, seemingly for the 
purpose of making the fish water- 
proof and of further reducing the 
friction in the water. These 
tubes always point from the m. - 
SCALE FROM LATERAL LINE. {Enlarged.) trix, or root of the scale, towards 
the tail of the fish. It is scales of this description that naturalists 
refer to when seeking to learn the species to which the fish belongs, 
because the peculiarities of their structure differ in them. (See 
illustration.) 

The next thing most noticeable are the Jins, these being named 
according to their location upon the body of the fish and subserve 
various purposes. The />ec^oral fins (fig. a.) ar^ those situated in the 
place corresponding with the fore-legs of animals, the ventral fins 
(fig. b.) being placed where the hind-legs of animals are found. 
The dorsal fin (fig. c.) is that one found upon the back of the fish. 
That fin situated behind the anus receives its name from that part, 
and is known as the anal fin (fig d.), while the tail of a fish is prop- 
erly called the caudal fin, (fig. e.) 




THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 47 

The water in which the fish lives is very nearly as heavy as the 
fish itself, the latter then requiring comparatively little strength to 
move about. The motion necessitating the greatest expenditure of 
power is that of propulsion forward, and is accomplished by the 
action of. the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are used to change the 
water in the neighborhood of the gills, thus serving as adjunct 
respiratory organs. 

The ventral fins are mainly useful as a brake when the fish wishes 
to come to a sudden stop when in motion, or for a backward move- 
ment ; the dorsal and anal fins serve the purpose of balancing the body. 

The gil/s, which are organs of respiration, are situated on each 
side of the head, protected by "opercles" or gill-covers, (fig. f.) 
The gills themselves consist of bony arches which are covered with 
a tissue containing a large number of blood-vessels. As a rule there 
* are four of these arches on each side of the head. The life-giving 
principle that supports animal life is a gas called oxygen, and as this 
exists in the water, the function of the gills is to extract it. When 
the water passes through them, as it does when taken in by the 
mouth of the fish, and is pressed through the gills, it comes in con- 
tact with the blood-vessels, the oxygen being absorbed into the blood 
for the nourishment of that fluid and the body generally. 

It will thus be seen that it is not the water that the fish breathes, 
as many suppose, but the air contained in it, as can be proved by 
placing fish in water from which the air has been taken, by pro- 
longed boiling or otherwise. 

Fish that are kept in a vessel will come up to the surface where 
' the air can be mixed with the water when that in the water of the 
vessel has become exhausted. It would seem from the fact that as 
the fish breathes only the air and not the water, that it could just as 
well live in the open air, where it could get plenty. Such is not the 
case, however, for the gills are so constituted by nature that they 



48 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

need something to keep them apart, so that their surfaces may be 
exposed and perform their functions properly, otherwise they would 
close together, the blood-vessels would cease to absorb the oxygen, 
resulting, of course, in the death of the fish. It is necessary, then, 
that a stream of water should constantly flow through them, as it 
does, the absorption of oxygen then going on as nature intended. 

The heart of the fish lies just behind the head and between the 
gills (fig. g.). It is a muscular organ consisting of three parts, an 
auricle, a ventricle, and an arterial bulb. The venous or stale blood 
is pumped into the gills by the heart, where it receives a fresh supply 
of oxygen. From the gills it is sent to an arterial trunk, lying along 
the under side of the vertebral column, (fig. h.) from which it is 
distributed all over the body of the fish. 

As fish have no lungs, they can not possess a voice. 

The goldfish is supplied with a divided air-bladder (fig, i. i.) which 
can be filled or emptied at will. This bladder is a sac formed of a 
tough membrane, and is situated between the spinal column and the 
stomach, (fig. k.) 

It appears that the air-bladder is either for the purpose of increas- 
ing the weight of the fish when empty, and decreasing ife when full, 
thus exercising a modifying influence upon the weight of the fish 
when compared with that of the water. 

The eyes of the goldfish are well developed, but so far as hearing 
is concerned, opinions differ, and the question is still disputed. It 
may be stated that if fish hear at all, it is with great difficulty. 

It is the custom in some places where fish are kept to call them 
to their feeding place by the tolling of a bell, and they come, but it 
is a question whether they come because they hear the sound, or 
that they see the motion of the person ringing the bell, or that of 
the bell itself; this, then, can not be cited in proof of the theory 
that they hear. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 49 

Music or the report of firearms does not affect them at all, but 
the flash from the discharged gun will scare them. 

Do fish sleep ? Yes. 

In the act of sleeping they do not close the eyelids, for the very 
good reason that they have none; neither do they select the night 
for the purpose. Goldfish have been seen asleep in the broad sun- 
light of the forenoon, and the same varieties have also been found 
sleeping at midnight. Their time for resting then, does not occur 
at stated periods, but whenever the desire comes upon them. The 
fish may very easily be observed in slumber, remaining perfectly 
still, the only motion being that of the breathing apparatus and the 
pectoral fins, the action being very slow but regular. All the other 
fins are at rest, and the pupils of the eyes appear to be drawn back. 
The other senses taste and smell are very well developed. 

We come now to the consideration of the process of reproduction. 
The organs for this purpose are distributed between two individuals — 
the male and the female. The female organs consist of two sacs 
located immediately below the spinal column on each side of 
the air bladder, uniting towards the posterior end in a single 
oviduct which discharges outside, behind the anus (fig 1.). These 
contain the eggs by thousands and which increase in size when the 
spawning season arrives, greatly distending the ovarian sacs. The 
ripe egg when it separates from the ovary, passes through a tube 
{the oviduct) (fig. m,) the opening of which, as before stated, is 
outside, immediately behind the anus. (fig. n.) 

In the male fish the spermatic organs which are located the same 
as the sacs in the female, secrete a thick white fluid which contains 
innumerable small organic bodies, which when discharged and in a 
fresh condition, move- about, enter the egg, impregnate it and start 
the development of the embryo. These bodies which are called 
spermatazoa, consist of an anterior thicker part, the so-called head. 



50 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

and the more attenuated part or tail. In the water these little organ- 
isms can live but one or two minutes, but when taken from the fish 
and placed in a bottle kept at a proper temperature, they may be 
preserved alive for six days. This discovery was made by a Russian 
fish culturist in 1856 and is very important to the artificial propagation 
of fish as it enables the crossing of different species. 

The eggs when first spent in the water have the shape of a slightly 

1 ^ / pressed in rubber ball, and as soon as they 

\}^ ""^o^-^ come in contact with liquid, they expand and 

t V^ suck it in through a microscopically small 

^ vl) k^ hole. (See illustration.) The spermatic germs 

y-i^ „^ — "X""" of the male being preseiit in this liquid are thus 

-^'^>>-Tp_^^,j''\. introduced and fertilize the egg. 

^ ' ' A — Spermatic Corpuscle. B — Gerininative Disk. 

Fektilization of Fish Egg. C—NutHtive Yolk. 

The fecundation of the egg consists in the entry of the spermatic 
corpuscles and the subsequent production of a subdivision of the 
germinative disc, which phenomenon is called the process of "seg- 
mentation " or "furrowing." This is followed by a series of successive 
changes, of which the final result is the embryo, which, subsisting or 
being nourished by the yolk, gradually develops into the perfect fish. 

The young fish when first hatched is supplied with a sac called 
\ht yolk-b(jg, from which it derives its nourishment during the early 
period of its independent existence. When this has been exhausted 
it is then ready to seek other food and this it finds in various 
niicroscopic organisms that exist in profuse abundance in the water. 
As the fish grows larger and gains strength, other and coarser food is 
sought and devoured. 



Chapter X. 
PROPAGATION. 



Among fish culturists it is tlie universal custom to divide fishes 
into two classes according to the season in which they spawn ; we 
thus have summer spawning and winter spawning fish. They are 
further more distinguished as they differ in the mode of depositing 
the eggs, as some are laid on or in receptacles usually called "nests," 
especially prepared by the fish for that purpose, and others again are 
dropped loosely into the water without any precautions having been 
taken for their protection. In the latter case they again differ in 
being either "adhesive" or "non-adhesive," in the one instance 
adhering to anything they may happen to touch and remaining until 
hatched, in the other sinking to the bottom or floating about at 
random on the surface. 

The goldfish belongs to the summer spawning class, builds no 
nest and its eggs are adhesive in the full sense of the word. In those 
fish depositing non-adhesive eggs, the extrusion of them by hand, 
and their artificial impregnation is profitable, but with the carp-like 
fishes, a higher percentage of young is obtained when the spawning 
is allowed to proceed in its natural manner. Besides, their eggs not 
being mature all at the same- time, would make the operation of 
extrusion an oft-to-be repeated affair, and which, furthermore, would 
greatly endanger the life of the fish and require much time and 
attention. ' 

51 



52 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CLLTLRE. 

Goldfish raising is therefore confined to:-^ 

I. Guiding Nature with regard to the '-survival of the fittest, " and with it 
of course the pure strain. 

II. Assisting Nature by securing suitable spawning resorts. 
III. Regulating the spawning season, nn^l 

IV. Protecting their spawn and young. 

SELECTION OF BREEDERS. 

As soon as the spring weather sets in with sufficient sunshine to 
affect the temperature of the water, the fish in their winter quarters 
rise near the surface and become lively again. This is the time to 
get the spawning beds ready for action. Whatever month or date 
that may be, is determined by the respective locality of the ponds, 
viz., their situation in a northern or southern climate, and there, 
whether they are exposed or protected. The beds are then filled 
with water to the proper level, and all details concerning the pond 
are attended to, so that it will be in complete running order. When 
all is ready, the fish from which it is intended to breed are selected, 
and right here reside the fundamental conditions upon which depend 
the production of a good and saleable crop of fish. The fish used to 
breed from should be healthy in every respect, of good shape and 
color, and of gentle, fully domesticated habits. All these qualities 
will be inherited by their young. In regard to the color of the fish, 
it is of great importance to know at what age this was acquired, as 
such fish that colored at an age of six to eight weeks transmit the 
same tendency to their young on an average of 98^. In contrast 
with this, those fish whose coloring was delayed until the second 
year, when bred, produce but 5% of young that will color in the 
first year, while the remainder do not assume their red, yellow, or 
white coloring until the second year, a great many never changing, 
always remaining "silver" fish. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 53 

The coloring attained by the fish generally remains so, though 
there are instances in which the red markings may become milky 
white, and what was previously white changes to red, or black spots 
may appear, or if present, be lost. This may occur either wholly or 
in part. A satisfactory reason for this phenomenon can not be 
given. 

The selection of faultless beauties for breeding purposes, how- 
ever, is not absolutely necessary, such specimens are best kept for 
exposition purposes. Any iish whose fins may have become injured 
in any way, by accident or otherwise, but have grown again in some* 
crooked or objectionable shape, are nevertheless perfectly fit for the 
spawning bed, if they are otherwise in perfect condition, though for 
ornamental purpose they would be of little account. 

It may be remarked in this connection, and with propriety, that 
certain peculiarities in the shape of foreign fish, /. c., those newly 
introduced, are in the course of time, lost, when imported into the 
United States, the change of climate, locality, food, etc., producing 
gradual changes in their typical forms, assuming or acquiring, so to 
speak, an American type. In view of this, the culturist should 
never neglect to infuse new blood into his stock whenever a favor- 
able opportunity offers, for by so doing he can keep it up as near to 
the original standard as it is possible to do under the change of 
circumstances. 

At the breeding season the sexual differences are plainly revealed 
to the practiced eye of the patient observer — not before. Upon 
close inspection the bony plates that cover the gills, the gill-covers, 
or opercles, will be found covered with small white prominences, 
usually denominated tubercles. Those fish bearing this distinguishing 
mark are male fish. These tubercles appear on the fish when it 
is in condition for reproduction, and disappear when that 
function ceases to be in an active state. This period may be of longer 



54 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 




Head of Male Goldfish. 



or shorter duration in different individuals, and it will also be seen 
that the number of the tubercles will vary in the different specimens 
upon which they are observed. (See illus- 
tration.) The usual method of distinguish- 
ing the male from the female by not- 
ing the presence of a short dorsal fin 
is not reliable; in fact, it is not only 
misleading, but false, as such short, or 
more properly speaking, "deformed" 
dorsal fin, is found just as frequently 
upon female fishes. The tubercles are 
bharp, very similar to the projections upon a 
rasp, and seem to have for their function 
the assisting of the female to pass its eggs through the canal. This 
theory is apparently substantiated by the fact that the male uses 
them in such a manner by pressing against the belly of the female 
that one is irresistibly led to the conclusion that they can exist for 
no other purpose. 

The females to be selected must show an expanded belly, which 
evidences the maturity of the eggs, as it has been stated before, that 
when arrived at that period, they increase in size, and it is by this 
appearance only that the culturist can decide that the time for the 
female to spawn has arrived. 

It is worse than useless to place in the spawning bed fish that are 
not in perfect condition to perform the functions, as some goldfish 
are sterile, and will only disturb the arrangements that have been so 
carefully made for that purpose. Whether these particular fish will 
remain sterile for a season or for as long as they live can not be 
decided. As a rule, it is best to select three females and four males 
when of good size, or six females and four males, when the former 
are small yearlings, for each spawning bed. It is also important to 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 55 

match the sizes of the fish ; should this not be possible, in case the 
females are larger than the males, two or three males may be 
required to mate with the females. The best age for spawners is that 
between two and four years. 

The selection having been made, all those fish not wanted for 
present use are returned to the winter pond. 




Chapter XI. 
PREPARING THE SPAWNING BED. 



As the goldfish deposits its spawn upon plants that live in the 
water, it is necessary that the natural condition of things be closely 
imitated in preparing the bed in which the fish are expected to 
spawn. These plants can be obtained from any neighboring creek 
or marsh (that with a gravel bottom preferred). Those marsh plants 
possessing fibrous roots are either pulled or dug up with their roots 
entire; they are then washed thoroughly to cleanse them of the 
adhering mud, and closely examined to see that there are no eggs of 
other fish or insect larvae upon them. Having secured enough of 
these for the present, say half a dozen good clumps for each bed, 
they are then placed loosely in the water of the bed, along that side 
where the sun shines upon them in the morning. On these roots the 
females will deposit their eggs Later in the season, when aquatic 
plants have commenced to grow, these roots can be removed and 
replaced with such aquatics as the Horn or Waxworth {Ceratophylluni 
demersum), and the Canal Pest (^Anacharis canadensis). These plants 
are especially good to catch the eggs when dropped by the fish. 

The water supply is now shut off from the bed, only an occa- 
sional supply being let in to preserve the proper height at which the 
water should remain. 

If the goldfish are kept in places where it is impossible to get 
them out, and their spawn is wanted, large bunches of the fibrous 

5G 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 57 

roots can be tied to a string fastened to the shore, and allowed to 
float about upon the water. When containing spawn, they can be 
brought out merely by pulling the string, when the eggs can be 
removed and talcen care of by the one in charge. 

When the fish are wintered over in shelterec^ localities, as a green- 
house for instance, the spawning season will commence a great deal 
in advance of that outside. In such a location, spawn may be 
expected from the middle of February, while that event seldom takes 
place in the open air earlier than the latter part of April or the begin- 
ning of May. When the spawning has begun, it is continued until 
the setting in of frost, with now and then an interval of a week 
or two. 

In northern climes, where the season is short, it may be length- 
ened by placing over the spawning bed and nursery frames covered 
with glass, the principle being the same as that of the gardener's 
hot-bed. If this is done, it must not be forgotten that in fair weather 
an abundance of air should be admitted, and also that. the bed is to 
be protected from great and sudden changes of temperature, as 
either would be fatal ; in fact, the breeder is to exercise his intelli- 
gence in the matter, for he certainly must know that as he is keeping 
up a kind of artificial climate, he must not forget to preserve it as 
evenly as possible, otherwise one cold night would (if the frame had 
not been replaced after airing the bed) destroy many days of patient 
toil. I 

If, in between spawning periods, the fish should rest longer than 
is desired by the breeder, the males are to be changed from one bed 
into the other, and the water in the latter well aerated by letting a 
stream flow through it for a whole day, when the spawning will soon 
be in full process again. 



Chapter XII. 
CARE OF THE EGGS. 



"In the morning sow thy seed, " says Solomon: — This advice 
of the Sage of the East has many appHcations to the affairs of 
every day life, and amongst other things it may well apply to 
the subject under consideration, not in its literal sense, but in the 
spirit of the admonition. As the early morning is the best time to 
sow seed, so is the morning of the season the best time to spawn the 
fish, as they are then in their best condition for that process, and 
besides the young Avill have a much better opportunity to grow with- 
out molestation, their most inveterate enemies not appearing until 
after the season is further advanced. Thus it is that a greater per- 
centage survives, which, becoming marketable before the main crop 
arrives, bring higher prices and give the culturist encouragement by 
a quick return upon his labor and capital. 

Again our quotation hits the mark, for the earlier the spawn is 
taken from the bed the greater will be the reduction of losses, as by 
leaving it exposed, the spawners themselves devour it. 

The early morning is the favorite time for the goldfish to spawn, 
though it is sometimes kept up until noon. The fish are seen chas- 
ing each other and rolling over the material thrown into the water 
for that purpose. Upon inspection of the loosely floating clumps of 
roots, we discover that they have adhering to them a great many 
small round Avatery-white, creamy or yellow colored balls about the 
size of a pinhead; these are the eggs of the goldfish. The bunches 
of roots are then carefully removed from the water, and the individ- 
ual rootlets bearing the eggs are either cut off with a knife or pair of 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 59 

scissors, or thej^ may be detached v/ith the thumb-nail. Great care 
must be taken not to disturb the eggs or injure them in any way 
while detaching the rootlets. They are then placed in a one-gallon 
candy jar, filled with clear water of the same temperature as that of 
the bed. Such a jar is best not over-crowded, about one hundred 
eggs being as many as that capacity can safely and conveniently 
carry, the object being to give the young fish, when hatched out, 
plenty of room, both to move about and obtain sufficient fresh water 
for respiration. When the jars have received their quota of eggs, 
they are takeri into the house or put into some other convenient 
place selected for the purpose, but in such a situation that they will 
constantly be under close supervision. 

It is best to set them near a window^ within the reach of the 
morning sun, there to remain untouched until the eggs are hatched. 

The time required for the hatching varies from two (2) to six (6) 
days, it taking place most rapidly in warm weather. The temperature 
of the water, most advantageous for the hatching is between 60° F. , 
and 90° F. , more or less is dangerous. 

This method of caring for the eggs secures to them a more 
effective guard against enemies, as well as muddy water, heavy rains, 
and hail storms, all of which would militate against them if hatched 
in the open air an~d in the ponds. The candy-jar system furthermore 
recommends itself for the hatching of the eggs in this, that the whole 
process is under complete control and offers every facility for close 
inspection at all times. The jars can be obtained anywhere, are 
cheap, and are very convenient to handle, in short, just the thing for 
the purpose. For convenience of study, the marking of dates, 
names of varieties, etc., together with any notes that it is desired to 
make, a piece of paper can be pasted upon the outside of the jar, 
it will always be there, and the record kept upon it can always be 
seen at a glance. 



Chapter XIII. 
FIRST CARE OF THE YOUNG. 



About the second or third day after the young have left the 
eggs, they become strong enough to swim freely about in the water, 
and can then be transferred to the nursery, temporarily established 
in some part of the storage pond, which is generally not in use at 
this season. Here they are carefully guarded until they become 
about half an inch in length. For this purpose the storage pond is 
filled with water to a height of six inches at the deepest part ; all 
living creatures, especially insects and their larvae, are to be removed 
with the aid of a fine dip-net. No plants should be placed in the nurs- 
ery, as it is important that it always be under the control of the eye. 
Each morning the young are carefully inspected, and any enemies 
that may happen to have made their appearance must instantly be 
removed and killed. During the remainder of the time, a cover is 
kept over the frame in order to prevent the dragon-flies from deposit- 
ing their eggs in the water, as these, when hatched, are very destruc- 
tive to the young fish. 

As the different lots of eggs are hatched in the jars, and the 
young become strong' enough to swim about, they are placed in the 
nursery until a division of four by four (4 by 4) feet contains from 
four hundred (400) to five hundred (500) fish. The next division 
is then prepared and stocked in the manner described, and so on 
until all the spawn has been so treated. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 6l 

At the expiration of about a week from the time the first young 
were placed in the nursery, the strongest are taken out in the follow- 
ing manner: A candy jar is filled half-full of water from the nursery, 
and set right in the center of the bed and resting upon the bottom of 
it. The largest fish are now slowly and gently caught with a 
small dip-net, one at a time, and immediately in the same careful 
manner placed in the jar, counting them as they are transferred. It 
is not advisable to place more than fifty of these little fish in the jar 
while removing them, neither should they remain in it longer than is 
necessary to transfer them into the rearing ponds, the whole time 
consumed in the operation should not exceed a few minutes. 

The morning is the proper time of day to perform this operation, 
as the temperature of the water in the various ponds is at that time 
most uniform. If the manipulation is done at any other period of 
the day, it becomes necessary to gradually equalize the temperature, 
as a difference of a few degrees only would prove fatal to the tender 
young if suddenly removed from one water to another. 




Chapter XIV. 
SETTING OUT THE YOUNG FISH. 



The day before the fish are transplanted from the nursery into th.;' 
rearing pond, the water is let into the latter, but not sooner than this. 
The reason for this is, that the water, if allowed to stand longer, 
would produce an over abundance of food, and with it, of course, a 
host of dangerous insects. If the young fish were put in the pond, 
while in this condition, the insects would at once give chase and 
devour them. 

The little food these tiny fish require, during their first days of 
existence, is found in sufficient quantities in the new water. By the 
time their enemies make their appearance, especially those of the 
insect kind, the fish have grown too strong for them, and are very 
well able to look out for themselves. 

In transferring the young from the jar, to the rearing pond, it is 
much better to sink the jar and allow the fish to make their escape at 
will. This precaution enables them to gradually become accustomed 
to the change, thus avoiding a shock by the sudden emptying of the 
jar. 

In this manner the young are "planted" in the rearing ponds, 
at the rate of 250 to each pond, of 8x20 feet in size. Here they 
remain until they have acquired their coloring, and have grown 
large enough to be saleable. 

This may be variously from six weeks to four months, according 
to circumstances, and the care expended upon them. 

62 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 63 

FISH CULTURE IN THE PARI OR. 

Though the instructions detailed above were given with reference 
to cultivation in the' open air, yet by following them the same thing 
can be done in the parlor, but on a small scale, and with limited 
resources. The writer has often delighted his customers by furnish- 
ing them with sprigs of water plants, upon which eggs were adherent. 
These they hatched in a glass tumbler, placed upon the window sill, 
gradually increasing the size of the vessel, and consequently the 
quantity of water as the young grew up, until they were finally ready 
for permanent residence in the aquarium. Such specimens are 
generally looked upon with great pride by their owners because they 
are h-ome-bred and grew up in the midst of the household, where all 
could watch them and learn a bit of natural history without an effort. 
The spawn for this purpose can frequently be obtained from any 
well managed aquarium, if the habits of the goldfish are understood. 




Chapter XV. 
CARE OF THE PONDS. 



It being the intention to raise goldfish for aquarium purposes, 
this final end must never be lost sight of, for with that end in view 
we direct all our efforts to make the net result in every way- 
satisfactory. To that effect the water in which they are grown 
should have no current, neither must there be a continuous supply of 
fresh water from the outside. The natural habitation of the goldfish 
is standing water, and if they are cultivated in like conditions, they 
will the better be fitted for the life of confinement in the aquarium. 

It is only necessary to add water to the ponds now and then, 
just as the fluctuations of the season may dictate, and only in 
quantities sufficient to preserve a uniform height in the ponds. 
When additional water is required, it should be turned on from the 
supply drain, in the day time only, as one can then watch it better 
and keep out any extraneous matter that may happen to be in the 
drain. 

Under no circumstances should it be allowed to run in during the 
night, nor in the absence of a reliable person who could turn it off in 
time, in case a storm should come up. Any possible damage to the 
ponds can be prevented by keeping out the accumulated water 
during a heavy fall of rain. 

The supply drain should always be kept free from obstructions of 
any kind, and especially when a storm is approaching, it ought to be 
examined to see that it will quickly carry off the rainwater without 
interruption. 

6-1 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 65 

The grass and weeds that grow along the edges of the dams are to 
be kept closely cut, for, if permitted to remain, they not only detract 
from the appearance of the establishment, but they afford excellent 
shelter for the numerous enemies that constantly threaten the fish. 
The ponds themselves require a daily examination, and anything 
found in them that is not wanted can be removed. Bits of cut 
glass or leaves from neighboring trees do not harm anything particu- 
larly, but they are liable to clog the outlet and cause the water 
(should a storm of rain arise) to rise to an undue height. 

Besides these, there will often be found insects, larvae, etc., which 
can be removed with a dip net, while other and larger enemies may 
appear that will require the services of a trap or the exterminating 
influence of fire-arms. 

When the fish have been taken out of the ponds in the fall 
(which is done by draining off the water, to be described elsewhere), 
the soft mud is removed from them with a hoe. This mud, when 
frozen thoroughly, will make a first-class compost for flower beds in 
the following spring. The wire guards from the inlets and outlets, 
together with the adjustable sections from the drain pipe, are taken 
into the house for safe keeping during the winter, the ponds being 
left in a dry state until again needed the succeeding spring. The 
frosts of winter will kill any remaining vermin, purify and fertilize 
the soil of the bottom while the absence of water will offer no 
inducement to muskrats, whose advent would greatly damage the 
dams. 

Any projected changes, alterations, improvements, or the con- 
struction of new ponds should be completed in the fall, so that 
everything will be in readiness for the spring; then a late season that 
crowds spring-work in the fields and garden will be of little conse- 
quence, as the culturist is prepared to take advantage of the first 
coming of warmer weather. 



Chapter XVI. 
FISHING THE PONDS. 



For the purpose of taking the fish from the ponds, the water in 
the latter is drained off. But before this is done two or more large- 
sized clean tin vessels are to be provided — tin buckets or wash-boilers 
will answer very well. Also two dip-nets must be obtained, the one 
with a handle about seven feet in length, the other a smaller hand' 
net. The storage ponds are then prepared for their final purpose, 
and when this is all correctly done, the movable sections at the out- 
let of the pond containing the fish are removed one at a time. 
When the water is sufficiently low, the fish are carefully taken out 
and at once put into the tin vessels, which have previously been 
partly filled with clear water, assorting the fish according to size, 
color, etc., at the same time. When this is completed, the fish are 
put into their respective quarters in the storage pond with as little 
delay as possible. It is also at this time that the breeder makes his 
selection of those fish he wishes to breed from; these ought at once 
to be put into the winter pond. 

During this fishing process it is impossible to avoid making the 
water muddy; so, to prevent the weakening of the fish, the supply 
drain is opened, allowing a constant stream of fresh water to flow 
through the Dond. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 67 

Again the writer admonishes caution; do the work gently and 
neatly, as every broken fin or lost scale reduces the value of the 
fish so injured. 

DOMESTICATING THE FISH. 

When in- their respective ponds, it is not necessary to feed the 
goldfish, as nature provides them with all the food required for their 
proper growth and nourishment; but when removed to the storage 
ponds, additional food in small quantities may be given to them. 
This may consist of stale (but not moldy) white bread, dried in an 
oven or the open air, and crushed to resemble fine hominy or corn 
meal. Either of these, or both, in small quantities is strewn on the 
water; the fish being unaccustomed to it will eat but little at first, 
neither will they snap at it immediately. Gradually, however, they 
take kindly to it, and the quantity may be increased, keeping pace 
with the appetite they evince for it, giving it to them at a regular 
hour each day. 

This feeding is not intended for the purpose of making them 
grow, but rather to prepare them for the change of diet that will 
ensue when transferred to their future homes. 

When the fish take such food and thrive upon it, they may be 
considered domesticated, and can be disposed of as pets, they then 
being in condition to take readily to the more confined life in an 
aquarium. 

When performing work of any kind on or near the ponds, 
or other receptacle where fish are kept, or in feeding or hand- 
ling them, a patient and gentle manner is advisable, as it tends to 
tame the fish by giving them confidence. On the other hand, if 
they are frequently scared, they become of a wild, restless nature, 
and will dart away on the slightest provocation. 



Chapter XVII. 
CARE OF FISH IN STORES. 



When fish are kept in tanks as merchandise by dealers, the loca- 
tion of such receptacle should be well lighted, airy, and not per- 
mitted to freeze. As was stated in another chapter, it is the oxygen 
contained in the water that the fish breathes, and it is therefore nec- 
essary to consider what means can be employed to keep up a contin- 
uous supply of it. One way, the most in use, although the worst for 
the retail customers, is to keep a stream of water constantly flowing 
through the tank. Now, this is wrong. Goldfish are intended to live 
in standing water, and should not be made accustomed to the con- 
trary, as the reversing again of the character of the water often 
proves fatal to them. 

The proper way to keep fish is in pure standing water, to which 
the necessary oxygen is supplied by the action of aquatic plants; 
these every dealer in fancy fish is compelled to keep on hand, if he 
understands the principles upon which the aquarium is managed, and 
if he wants to make the handling of fish a financial success. 

Aquatic plants, when in a healthy condition, exposed to the light, 
consume the carbon in the carbonic acid gas which is produced by 
the fish as refuse matter, and give off the oxygen, which in turn is 
appropriated by the fish. This answers the question as to how many 
fish can be kept in a certain tank, for it is easy to understand that a 
locality favorable for the growth of plants will produce the greatest 
amount of oxygen in the water. Large fish consume more oxygen 
than small ones, so the proportion of fish to the tank must not be 
greater than the supply of oxygen the tank can produce. Besides all 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 69 

this, a light focation is more beneficial to the color o the fish, and 
also affords a better control of the contents. Such a store-tank may 
consist of a large aquarium with glass sides, or it may be a wooden 
.trough thirty (30) inches in width, ten (10) or twelve (12) inches in 
depth, and of any convenient length. The frame to form the sides 
and ends is made of one and one-half (i^) inch stuff, the bottom 
being formed of flooring boards, as they are fitted with tongue and 
groove. To make a tight job, pieces of flag leaves, such as are used 
by coopers, are laid upon the edge of the frame, and the strips of 
flooring board nailed down securely, one at a time. The groove 
in each piece is thickly painted with pure white lead ground in oil, 
the tongue of the next then being tightly fitted into it, and so on, 
piece after piece, until the bottom has been completed. The best 
way, probably, is to nail the flooring crosswise upon the frame, as 
that makes the trough very strong and capable of carrying a con- 
siderable weight of water, the smooth side of the boards is of course 
turned towards the inside of the tank. 

Such a tank, however, when in operation should not contain a 
greater depth than six (6) inches of water, rather less probably, both 
for the convenience of catching the fish and the better admission of 
light. The trough must be kept clean, every now and then removing 
all the contents and thoroughly sponging the interior. 

This may appear to contradict the author's method of managing 
an aquarium ; it may be said in explanation that dealers' tanks are, as 
a rule, overstocked, and therefore require a somewhat different treat- 
ment; they are, in comparison with a regular aquarium, the same as 
a hotel is, compared with a private residence. 

While in the hands of the dealer the fish should receive a limited 
but regular supply of food, and should disease make its appearance, 
the sick fish are at once taken out and put by themselves. 



Chapter XVIII. 
THE CARE OF GOLDFISH IN AQUARIA. 



An aquarium may be made of any water-tight vessel, the material 
of which will not alter the qualities of the water by impregnating it 
with anything that would stain it or give it an offensive odor, either 
of which would be detrimental to the health of the fish. 

The shape of such a vessel is usually determined by the require- 
ments of the duty it is expected to perform, and should not, therefore, 
be wider at the top than at the bottom, for then the fish would leap 
out ; neither should it be too narrow at the upper part, for this would 
exclude the atmospheric air by a reduction of the water surface. 
The old-fashioned fish-globes are about the worst vessel that can be 
selected for the keeping of goldfish as pets ; they will do well enough 
for a temporary display of the fish, but for permanent use they may 
be compared with the Black-hole of Calcutta. Besides they are 
extremely dangerous, in regard to their round shape, as there are 
several cases on record where fish-globes, hung near a window, set 
fire to the lace curtains or the carpet, the globe acting like a con- 
densing lens. 

When the vessel in which to keep the pets has been selected, it 
is thoroughly cleansed with water only, the bottom is then covered 
with well-washed river, or white sea-sand, to a depth sufficient to 
allow the planting of one or more varieties of aquatic plants. The 
number of these from which to make a choice selection is large, but 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



7i 



in these pages only the leading and more desirable ones need be 
mentioned, the list being arranged according to their relative value 

as oxygenators. For use during the winter season, we select all or 
jjart of the following varieties : 

Myriophyllum spicatum. Sagittaria natans. 

Ludwigia Florida?. ' Ceratophyllum roscea. 

Cabomba viridis. 

Either one of these, grown as a single specimen, if of sufficient 
size, will do the work of aerating the water during the colder season. 




AQUARIUM. 

If the tank is of a sufficiently large size, specimens of all of them may 
be introduced, and as all bear differently shaped and colored foliage, 
they will greatly enhance the attractive appearance of the aquarium. 
For the summer season we may make our choice from the following : 

Ceratophyllum demersum. Ceratophyllum rosoea. 

Anacharis canadensis. Vallesneria spiralis. 

Sagittaria natans. Potomogeton crispus. 

Potomogeton pussilus. Cabomba rosfofolia. 

In both seasons we can add to the aquatics named, various kinds 
of marsh plants and those aquatics that float upon the surface, all of 
which add to the ornamental beauty of the collection. It may be 
mentioned that the plants put in a vessel containing fish are not 
placed there for tlie fish to eat, as many suppose. Some fish, how- 



-2 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

ever, have the habit of biting and tearing the plants from a spirit of 
mischief, very much Hke the restless horse that gnaws its crib. 

This destruction of the plants can be obviated by placing in the 
aquarium such varieties as the fish objects to, for it is a fact that they 
manifest a liking for one kind and a repugnance to another. 

The roots of the plants are imbedded in the sand, and bits of 
rock or pebbles placed around them to retain the plant in place, so 
that it will not be shifted about in the water. The vessel is then 
filled with "pure drinking water" to within a couple of inches of 
the top (See illustration); the water, if not fit to drink, can not be 
fit to be put in the aquarium, so that it is very essential that it be of 

prime quality. 

When the water is in, one or two frog-tadpoles and a couple or 
more of pond snails are put in for the purpose of consuming any 
decaying vegetable matter that may appear, and to keep down as 
much as possible the growth of conferv^e; the number of tad- 
poles and snails must be determined by the size of the vessel and 
the rapidity of growth of the algae, etc. 

When ail these preparations have been made, the aquarium is 
ready to receive the fish. 

Before they are put into it,' however, the temperature of the 
water in the vessel in which the fish are brought must be equal with 
that in the aquarium. This is easily accomplished, and does not 
subject the fish to any risks that would either make them sick or be 
fatal to their lives. 

When the temperature has been equalized, the fish are gently 
introduced to their future home, taking care that they are not 
plunged in so roughly that they become frightened. This perform- 
ance may, under some circumstances, consume an hour's time, 
when, for instance, the fish have been carried a distance during 
severely cold weather, as then the changing of them from the 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 73 

transporting vessel into the aquarium must be made with great 
care. 

The shape of the aquarium and the location in which it is placed 
determine the number of fish that can comfortably live in it. Should 
the location be bad as regards light, the amount of oxygen generated 
in the tank will be less, while if the situation is highly favorable in 
every respect, the evolution of the life-giving gas wil) reach its max- 
imum degree. 

The quantity of water required for a given number of fish is 
regulated by their size and the nature of the treatment they have 
received before they came into our possession. If, for instance, they 
were raised or had been kept in running water, or were newly caught 
in a large pond, they will naturally require a much larger quantity of 
water than if they had already been accustomed to a life of captivity. 

As a rule, and it is a reliable one, each fish of three or four 
inches in length should be supplied with a gallon of water in which 
to live. Of course this norm may be disregarded for a limited 
period with impunity, but for the continuous wellfare of the fish it 
must have its proper share of water. 

The location of the aquarium should be such that the plants in it 
will be stimulated to their full capacity of growth, as this is the prime 
factor upon which depends the maintenance of the aquarium in a 
proper condition. 

The subject of food is one that is but little understood by the 
majority of people, and is also a matter of no little importance. 
Most persons, in their anxiety to supply their pets, greatly overdo the 
thing ; the waste material accumulating in the water, remains until it 
putrefies, thus polluting the water and rendering it detrimental to the 
health of the fish. 

The feeding time should be but once a day, and that at a regular 
hour, the food to consist of flies or prepared fish-food, such as is 



74 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

obtained from the dealers. The quantity administered ought not to 
exceed what they will immediately consume. Once a week they may 
be given finely chopped fishing-worms, or raw beef scraped from the 
piece, but only in such quantities as to allow each fish a small mouthful. 
If any remnants of the last meal are found in the water, they should be 
removed at once, and the feeding entirely suspended for one or two 
days following. In cold weather the goldfish has but little or no 
appetite, while on the other hand, they eat voraciously in the sum- 
mer. The best ten.psrature for the water is somewhere between 
60° F. and 90° F. , though the fish can stand it as low as 32° F. and' 
as high as 110° F. without injury, if the change is not suddenly 
made, and a corresponding supply of oxygen present. Cold water 
retains the most oxygen, and also has the power of absorbing more 
of it from the atmosphere than warm water does. The warm water, 
however, is most favorable to the growth of plants, so that the 
quantity they furnish fully makes up the difference. It is poor 
philosophy to put ice into the aquarium to reduce its temperature, 
and it is equally foolish to Avrap an aquarium in a bag and allow ice- 
water to drip upon it, as this is hardly the thing to do if the person 
cares anything for the parlor carpet. 

When the fish come to the surface of the water to breathe, it is a 
sure indication that the oxygen has become exhausted. A fresh 
supply is easily introduced by simply stirring the water with the hand 
or dipping it up with a cup and pouring it back again, it is much 
better to do this than to put in a lump of ice. 

The frequency with which an aquarium is to be cleansed depends 
altogether upon circumstances and the individual taste of the owner. 
An aquarium kept in the parlor of a suburban residence, and in a 
locality surrounded by flourishing shrubbery, needs re-arranging 
twice a year only, viz: in the spring and fall. On the other hand, 
an aquarium located in a smoky city and kept in a close, badly 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 75 

ventilated apartment, must be emptied frequently and a new supply 
of fresh water put into it. 

Some people object very strenuously to the formation of algse 
upon the glass sides, and on that account clean the vessel very 
deligently, removing every particle they can find. Others again 
change the water because it does not form, their taste preferring the 
fish in all the natural surroundings of a rural locality. 

The former carefully wipes each pebble till it shines, and would 
polish the fish too if it were possible, while the latter will walk for 
miles to some creek in order to procure some moss-covered rocks; 
so divergent are tastes in this matter. 

One must be able to exercise his own judgment as to the best 
time and when, for the changing of the water in the aquarium, 
as it may sometimes be better to leave it undisturbed foi* some 
length of time, and at others to change it several times. 

The best means to clean the glass sides from the adhering algae, 
when an aquarium is emptied, is by the use of a rough sponge or 
rag dipped in whiting ; this will remove every speck without scratch- 
ing the glass. 

The best side of a room for the aquarium is that having a window, 
near which it is to be placed, as the light can be increased or 
reduced by opening and closing the shutters. 

In the winter this position is the best, for the constant ventilation 
that goes on in the immediate vicinity of the window protects the 
water from the injurious effects of coal and tobacco smoke, and the 
poisonous fumes from the gas-burner ; in the summer, in close hot 
weather, before a thunder storm, it can be easily and effectually 
aerated. 

There remains yet one point : "Should the sun shine upon the 
aquarium?" This too is a matter of taste, though we would 
recommend a middle course, that is, let the fish have the sun part of 



76 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

the time. In winter allow them to enjoy the full light of the sun, but 
towards spring and during the summer shelter the tank from the 
direct rays. 

If the goldfish are kept in water that contains no acquatic plants, 
it will have to be changed frequently as the oxygen in it can not, in 
most cases, be replaced from the atmosphere as rapidly as it is 
consumed by the fish. 




Chapter XIX. 
TRANSPORTATION OF FISH. 



The vessel best adapted for the shipment of live fish, to any 
reasonable distance in this country, is a tin can, clad with wood. 

The shipping can should be perfectly smooth upon the inside, so 
that the fish will be subjected to the least percentage of injury while 
?n roide. At the upper end the can should taper off, forming a kind 
of neck or shoulder, similar to that seen 
upon the common coal-oil can. This makes 
it easy for the contents to slide out when 
the vessel is to be emptied. The opening at 
the top is five (5) inches in diameter, and 
closed with a perforated lid that is fitted in 
like the top to a milk can. The perforations 
consist of half a dozen one-half (^) inch 
holes, punched through from the under side 
of the lid, thus leaving the sharp rim of the 
holes on the outside where they can do no 
injury to the fish within the vessel. (See 
illustration.) shipping Ca\. 

Those cans very extensively used in the coal oil trade, and usually 
designated "wooden jacket cans," are about the very best thing 
that could be invented for our purpose. 

As the Express Companies demand that tin vessels be protected in 
some manner or other with wood, we find in these vessels the 




78 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

fulfillment of all requirements of that nature, and at a slight increase 
in weight. Besides, these cans are readily obtained in the large 
cities, {and smaller ones, too, in all probability), the only necessity 
being the enlargement of the opening to make it a complete shipping 
can for fish. 

When it is desirable to make a shipment of live fish, it is 
necessary to take into consideration their size, the length of time 
they will be upon the road, and the season of the year in which they 
are transported, all with reference to the all-important supply of 
oxygen, without which, of course, the fish cannot live. 

The shipping can is filled with pure water, to four-fifths (4-5) of 
its capaciiy only, thus providing ample space for the water to splash 
about during the journey, as it is by this constant motion of the 
water in the vessel that it is aerated and made capable of supplying 
the fish with oxygen. 

The hour of shipping ought, if possible, to be so arranged that 
the journey on the road may be made at night, as it is cooler in the 
summer, does not expose the fish to the great heat of sunlight and 
the arrival is made usually sometime in the morning or forenoon 
when those at the destination are on hand to receive them. The 
cans must be plainly labeled, stating the nature of their contents, so 
that they may receive more care in the handling from the express 
agents, consequently running less risk of damage. It is also 
advisable to notify the party to whom the fish are sent that the 
shipment has been made, in order that he may take them from the 
agent as soon as possible, otherwise, if they are left to remain quiet 
at the express office or freight depot, the fish will be in great danger 
of their lives from want of proper care. 

If the shipping can is an ordinary small tin bucket, such as are 
on sale at the tinsmith's, the ventilating holes would better be 
punched in the center of the lid, the remainder being left unmolested. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 79 

forming a shoulder against which the water can splash without being 
spilled. In all cases the lid must be securely fastened with strong 
twine or^wire, so that a jar will not displace it. 

The above" directions apply more especially to shipments that do 
not occupy any great length of time in the transit. 

If the fish are to be sent great distances over our own country or 
exported to foreign parts, the safest plan is to put them in a vessel 
fitted up like a regular aquarium. Japanese goldfish have been sent 
to Europe with perfect success in the following manner : 

A one-gallon candy-jar, (such as are used for hatching spawn) is 
fitted up in proper style, with sand, water-plants, snails and tadpoles, 
and filled nearly to the top with pure water. In this may be placed 
four two inch fish, the top then covered with a perforated tin lid, 
and the whole set aside for observation for about a week. Dur^ 
ing this time a tin bucket is obtained of such a size that the entire 
candy-jar aquarium will nicely fit into it, the top of the jar being 
neither higher nor lower than the upper edge of the bucket. This 
tin bucket, or sheath, if you will, serves as a perfect guard against 
breakage, and should any accident occur to the jar, the bucket is on 
hand to act as a substitute. Furthermore the tin is provided with a 
convenient handle to carry it by, and for greater security the jar can 
be retained in its place with a heavy wire bar across the top, so 
adjusted that it can be removed at will. 

On board the ocean steamer, the buckets are suspended by the 
handles, the water is not changed, neither are the fish fed anything. 

As will be seen, the uncovered shoulder of the jar will admit 
plenty of light, so that the plants can act on the water and keep it 
fresh, neither can the water in the jar be lost by splashing out, as 
when this does happen, it merely falls into the bucket, from whence 
it can be returned; the perforated lid admits the air, but at the same 
time prevents the accidental escape of the fish. 



So THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

This description of a trans-Atlantic shipping can is not at all 
expensive, and is further recommended by its reliability. Make it a 
rule, however, to ship only such fish as are in perfect health and 
fully domesticated. 

While on the road the water in the can should be changed only 
in exceptional cases, and then with great care. If the fish become 
weak it is a sign that they are not in good condition, and that a 
mistake has been made in preparing them for travel, and the simple 
changing of the water then will not prevent their dying. The rule 
is, do not crowd the shipping cans. 

When, upon the arrival of a lot of fish, there happen to be any 
dead ones in the vessel, and the balance weak or in a dying con- 
dition, or look slimy and pale, with bloody streaks on the fins or 
around the scales, it is a sure sign that suffocation has been the cause 
of the death of some, and will speedily cause that of the others. 
The living ones should at once be placed in a large vessel in the 
open air, filled with fresh water, to which a good handful of common 
table-salt is added. A clean wash-tub -answers the purpose nicely, 
and besides, has the merit of usually being close at hand. 

This treatment, if resorted to immediately, will, in most cases, 
restore the fish to good health. 




PART IV. 



Enemies and Diseases of the Goldfish. 
Requisites, Tools, etc. 



81 



Chapter XX. 

" Knowledge is power. " 

THE ENEMIES OF THE GOLDFISH 



It has been stated elsewhere in these pages that the raising of 
goldfish consists largely in the protection of them against their 
enemies, and to make the defense most effective it is essential that 
we know something about the transgressors, for by being acquainted 
with them and their habits, we can more intelligently combat them. 
For this end the author has described them in the following lines, 
adding to those that are less familiar to the general reader, an outline 
of their natural history and viewing them in the successive stages, 
during which they endanger the life of the fish. 

Before beginning the description of insects, however, it is proper 
to say that the spawn of the goldfish immediately after its deposition, 
is sought for by other fish and devoured, the spawners themselves 
also engaging in this nefarious practice. Those eggs that have 
escaped the notice of the fish are consumed by various smaller 
enemies, foremost among which is 

THE COMMON POND SNAIL, 
(Lymnea fragilis.) 
which devoures them. 

THE WATER ASELL. 
(Asellus aquaticus.) 
This little creature, of which the accompanying illustration gives a 
good idea, is a crustacean, not more than one-half of an inch 



o4 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. * 

in length. It crawls about upon the bottom of the ponds and over 
the water plants, searching for food, part of which consists of fish 
eggs, to which they are very destructive, devouring them wherever 
found. 

Another voracious enemy of the crustacean tribe is 

THE WATER FLEA 

(Gamarus pulex.) 

or Flea Crab, Buck Crab, etc. This lively little creature is closely 

related to the shrimp found in the ocean. It furrows through the 




The Water Flea {enlarged). The Water Asell {enlarged). 

water in any direction lying on its side, because its back is naturally 
bent. (See illustration.) In all stages of its growth it feeds upon 
the fish eggs, but in turn, furnishes an excellent food for young fish. 

THE BOAT FLY 

(Notonecta glauca,) 
or "Shoemaker," as it is commonly called, is a most voracious 
insect. The body is long, contracted posteriorly, convex above 
and flat below, having hair at the sides and extremities, which, 
when spread out, supports the insect upon the water. The 
head is large and presents, a large eye upon each side, giving 
the possessor the power of vision in all directions. The color 
of the body is a greenish grey, the wings are white, of the legs, 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 85 

the four nearest the head are short, but the third pair are very 
long, different in shape from the others, very much resembling 
boat oars. When in the water, the insect swims upon its 
back, using the hind legs as oars for propulsion, while the front ones 
are instrumental in seizing its prey. Young fish, tad-poles, and 
other insects, all contribute to supply it with food, to the former, 
especially, it is a very dangerous enemy. The instrument or weapon 
with which the insect makes the attack upon the victim is a strong, 
conical beak. 

It is believed that when making the attack, the boat-fly injects 
poison into the wound it makes, as seems to be proven by the fact 





The Boat Fly. Lakva of Dragon Fly. 

that when once attacked, though subsequently escaping, the victim 
always dies in a short time. When upon land, this fly crawls along, 
in an upright position, dragging its oars behind it. In the evening, 
and at night, it likes to leave the water and make excursions to 
other ponds or creeks ; from this habit the culturist may take 
warning. Its eggs are deposited against the stems of aquatic plants 
in the early spring, and again in mid-summer, so that one season 
produces two crops of them. 

The young make their appearance soon after, immediately 
following the example of the parents by swimming upon the back 
and eating almost anything they happen to meet. The accompany- 



86 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



ing illustration shows the insect as seen from below when in the 
water. 

There are two or more varieties of this fly that differ in coloring, 
and of smaller size than the one described, though all are extremely 
destructive to the young fish — the one just delineated, more 
especially. 

THE YELLOW-BANDED WATER BEETLE. 
(Dytiscus marginalis.) 
This rather pretty beetle, lives entirely below the surface of the 
water, never leaving it, except during the night when the air is 





Yellow-Ban'ded Water Beeti-k and its Larva. 
damp or in rainy weather, and then for the purpose of making 
excursions to other localities. The body is of a greenish black 
color, encircled with a brownish yellow band — this feature giving 
it its name. When taken from the water it exudes a milky fluid of 
a most offensive and disgusting odor. The hind legs are shaped 
very much like those of the boat-fly, and serve the same purpose. 
This beetle is very courageous, attacking fish of any size, as large 
ones have been caught, into whose flesh the beetle had eaten large 
holes, the beetle itself found in the hole hard at work eating up the 
fish. The larva, which is produced twice within the same season, 
lives and grows ui^on tadpoles and young fish. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 87 

When of sufficient size, and the proper time has arrived, it 
changes into a pupa, which in turn, becomes the perfect beetle. (See 
illustration.) 

THE BLACK WATER BEETLE. 
(Hydrophyllus piceus.) 
As the name indicates, this beetle is black, shining with a rich, 
purple lustre. (See illustration.) It is of larger size than the preced- 
ing, and strong in proportion. 




The Black Water Beetle. 

The beetle itself is a vegetarian, and as such, is not directly 
dangerous to the fish, its larva, however, is voracious without limit, 
destroying all that comes in its way. 

The female of this species spins a white cocoon around the 
posterior portion of its body, with the aid of its hind legs, the cocoon, 
when completed, being the size of a hazel nut. Li this it deposits 
its eggs, and after closing it carefully, fastens it to a floating leaf, 
adding to it a little projecting point on the top, which by the 
way resembles a small mast, retires to the water underneath and 
mounts guard. After a few days the young grubs make their 
appearance, at first resembling little whitish worms, but possessing 
six legs near the yellow head. 

It is by the motion of these legs that the grub is joropelled through 
the water, continually on the search for something to eat. When at 



88 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

rest on a water-plant, the head with its fearful apparatus, formed of 
a strong pincher with two pairs of adjuncts, which can be moved in 
any direction, is placed in such a deceiving position as to almost 
always lure an unsuspecting little fish, tad-pole or insect, within its 
reach. 

As the grub gets larger, it turns darker in color, until having attained 
a size of about four inches in length, it has become nearly black 
on the back; the under part is then of a creamy white, and the sides 
have been fringed with hair. In this state its appearance is extremely 
repulsive, being about as ugly as anything can be imagined. The 
earliest and best time to destroy them is when the cocoon has been 
finished, and the female is standing guard in the water beneath, both 
can then be captured and obliterated, in this way great damage is 
prevented before there has been an opportunity for development; 
very much on the principle of the old proverb: "A stitch in time 
saves nine. " 

The grubs breathe through the posterior part of the body, and 
have to come to the surface occasionally for that purpose, at which 
time they are easily caught with a dip-net. . 

In general appearance, the color excepted, the grub of the black 
water-beetle resembles that of the preceding. 

The beetle, moreover, is very prolific, spinning several cocoons 
at two different periods, namely, in the spring and high summer. 

Other varieties of this insect exist, the one under discussion being 
the most dangerous to the fish. So far as the others are concerned, 
it is sufficient to remember the injunction, allow nothing alive to 
remain in the company of the fish when newly hatched. 

THE DRAGON FLIES. 

The dragon flies (commonly known as snake-feeders) may be 
divided into three classes, all very destructive enemies of the fish. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



89 



1. The Libelhda possesses a short, flat body, about two inches 
in length. (See illustration). 

2. The Aeshma is longer than the above, its slender, round 
body sometimes measuring six inches in length. 

3. The Agrion is not large, the body small and slender, varying 
in length from xyi to 2^^ inches. 

The wings of the first two named, are, when the insect is at rest, 
always expanded horizontally, while those of the latter are folded 
together, pointing backward. 




The Dragon Fly. 

The hind part of the body in all of them is long, slender, and 
composed of ten rings. On the forepart of the body, they have 
three pairs of legs, and two pairs of transparent, webbed wings, the 
latter in some species glitter like gold, in others they are dotted with 
spots of different color; in the Agrion species they are of the same 
color as the body. The coloring of the bodies of all, especially the 
aeshma, is very brilliant, being of a bright green, blue or scarlet, 
and sometimes mottled and spotted with various colors. 

The eyes are large and prominent, giving the insects a very large 
field of vision. 



90 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

They all fiy very rapidly, feed upon insects of every description 
that they catch flying about, and from this fact they may be made 
useful to destroy the mosquitoes in bedrooms and elsewhere. Al- 
though very voracious, they are perfectly harmless to man — they 
can not injure him in any way. The manner of their copulation is 
somewhat curious. The male fastens the extreme back part of its 
body to the neck of the female, and thus attached, both fly about for 
one or two hours, when, over some water, they separate. The 
female then deposits her small white eggs by immersing the posterior 
part of the body in the water, attaching them to the submerged 
surfaces of water-plants; there they remain until hatched. 

- The larvai or grubs of the dragon-flies 'live in the water; those 
of the libellula are short and thick, while those of the other genera 
are more slender, corresponding with the shape of the adult. The 
color of these grubs varies from blackish-brown to a brilliant green. 
They breathe through the posterior part of the body, which apparatus 
is also used to propel them forwards through the water, making them 
good swimmers. 

They are extremely destructive to young fish and fish-eggs, upon 
which, together with tadpoles and snails, they manage to make a 
good living. Instead of hunting their victims, they lay concealed in 
the mud with the eyes only protruding fr.om the surface. Whenever 
a victim comes within reach, they produce their concealed pincers 
by a rapid motion, rarely missing the mark they aim at. (See 
illustration.) 

There are instances on record where one of the larvre of the 
libellulse, which was overlooked in the fish-tank, destroyed two 
thousand (2,000) young fish in a week's time. 

After they have attained their full growth, the grubs leave the 
water, climb upon some object projecting from it, when the perfect 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 9I 

fly makes its appearance through the back of the grub, rising upon 
its wings into the air as soon as they are unfolded and dry. 

The eggs are also produced twice in a season, the grubs from the 
last deposit, living in th,e mud during the winter, and produce in the 
early spring the first dragon flies of the season. 

Their natural enemies are the frog and the water-spider. The 
latter, small as it is, compared with their own size, is, nevertheless a 
powerful antagonist, attacking them when in the act of depositing 
their eggs. The attack is made upon the eye, the largest dragon-fly 
thus being easily overpowered by its small, but intelligent enemy. 

How strange it is that just those animals with which man has the 
least sympathy are among his best friends ! Such are the toad and 
the spider ! 




Chapter XXI. 

THE CRAY OR CRAW-FISH 

(Astacus fluviatilis) 

Is also known as the fresh-water lobster, and should be killed 
whenever and wherever met, as it is very destructive to the eggs of 
fishes. 

It will also occasionally catch a young fish, and often injure 
others by snapping at them, tearing away parts of the fins and flesh, 
thus rendering a beautiful and valuable fish wholly valueless as 
merchandise. 

The main damage done by the craw-fish, however, is the under- 
mining of the dams, which is not only annoying and costs much time 
and labor for repairs, but makes it possible for the fish in the several 
ponds to get mixed by passing from one to the other. 

THE WATER-FROGS 

TRance var. ) 
As the heading indicates, there is a recognized distinction between 
frogs, there being water-frogs, tree and grass frogs, the latter in no 
ways molesting the fish in the ponds, in reality on the contrary, 
making themselves very useful to the culturist by destroying harm- 
ful insects. The common frog is the one we have to guard against, 
both itself and all its varieties, whose destructive habits far outweigh 
the little benefit derived from them. Just as soon as they have 
completed their gradual metamorphosis, and become perfect frogs, 
they prey upon anything that has life, including young ducks, turtles, 
snakes and cray-fish, as well as fish. Besides this, the adult deposits 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CILTURE. 93 

its spawn in the ponds, and when the tad-poles are hatched, they 
consume a great per centage of the natural food found in the pond, 
thus depriving the young fish of proper nourishment, in this way 
being indirectly injurious. 

The frogs are furthermore dangerous, through their habit of 
wandering in the night from one locality to another, during their 
spawning season, and thus often unconsciously introduce into the 
ponds, the spawn of minnows, which being adhesive, sticks to the 
skin of the frog, and is, of course, carried about by it. 

The frogs make their appearance early in the spring, and it is at 
that time that they can be most effectually destroyed in the following 
manner : water is let into one of the ponds, to the height of several 
inches, in this pond they will collect at night, in order to deposit 
their spawn. Next morning, most of the frogs themselves can be 
caught with a dip-net, and the spawn also removed and exposed to 
the sun to dry up, by merely placing it upon the ground, where the 
sun can reach it. If this process is systematically carried out, during 
their spawning season, not many frogs will trouble the establishment 
during the season. When it appears that all are captured, the pond 
is drained off, so that any tad-poles that might have been hatched in 
it will die by being dried up in the sun. 

In destroying the frogs the culturist must be careful not to 
mistake the common American toad (Buffo americanus) for the frog, 
as this innocent creature is worthy of our protection. They may 
very easily be distinguished by their color, which is brownish and 
yellow, the skin moreover being warty. Their eggs also differ from 
those of the frog by the manner in which they are joined together; 
those of the frog are found in one compact mass, a lump, in other 
words; those of the toad, in strings; the eggs of tree and grass frogs 
in sheets. If the amateur will bear these distinctions in mind he will 
have no trouble ridding himself of a pest and preserving a friend. 



94 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

It will pay to remove the toad-spawn carefully, and put it into a 
pond where it can hatch unmolested, which is completed in June or 
July. 

Toads in the neighborhood of ponds and gardens are a blessing, 
and should not, therefore, needlessly be exterminated. 

One of the natural enemies of the frog is the water-spider, which 
attacks the young in the eye and kills it. Although the water-spider 
has been repeatedly mentioned as a friend, it is not out of place to 
keep an eye on him, as he also frequently catches young fish. 

SALAMANDERS AND NEWTS. 

All the varieties of those tailed batrachians frequent the water in 
the spring, for the purpose of depositing their eggs or young — some 
being viviparous. In all the stages of their growth, from the tad- 
pole state to the perfect animal, these creatures are destructive to 
both the fish eggs and the young fish, they should therefore be kept 
out of the ponds. 

The newts spend their entire life in the water. In certain 
localities they may exist in such vast numbers that it is necessary to 
take especial precaution to keep them away. 

Neither of these creatures, however, is harmful to man, the larger 
varieties living in the river, such as the water-dog and the hell-bender, 
excepted, nor are any of them poisonous. 

They may, with perfect safety, be handled with the bare hand. 

As the season advances various other enemies, in addition to those 
already mentioned, make their appearance. Most particularly must 
a sharp lookout be kept for 

WATER SNAKES. 

These will be found concealed near the water's edge, or in the 
corners of the several ponds. They lie hidden from view, the head 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 95 

only exposed, all the while playing the tongue in the water. This 
they do to allure their prey within reach, the fish mistaking it for a 
worm rush to their certain destruction. 

The best means of exterminating them is by the use of some kind 
of fire-arm. A smooth bore, 22 caliber Flobert gun, loaded with a 
cartridge containing shot, and a good marksman at the proper end of 
it, generally makes a combination that forever prevents that snake 
from exercising his fishing propensities. 

If young snakes are about, they may easily be discovered by placing 
pieces of board here and there about the ponds; these boards are 
lifted up in the morning, often revealing two or three of the little 
snakes that had sought shelter there, when thus found they are easily 
despatched. 

A good snake trap was accidentally discovered as follows : 

A wire coop made of ^ inch mesh galvanized iron wire netting, 
served as the dwelling of a couple of muskrats, which the children 
kept as pets. These having died, the coop was used to confine live 
frogs, and kept outside of the establishment in the water, just at the 
point it leaves the ponds. 

The next morning a large water snake was found caught in the 
meshes of the wire, and dead. 

It had evidently tried to get into the coop, and help itself to a frog 
or two, and was thus caught, the wire preventing the entrance of the 
entire body, the scales of the reptile at the same time precluding 
the possibility of retreat. Since then this trap, and smaller ones, 
have been used with very good results, and being simple they are 
easily made. 

Following the snakes, and at the time the ponds are filled with 
water, one must be on the watch for fish-eating birds, among which 
are 



96 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

CRANES AND HERONS, 

which, seeing the surface of the water below whilst flying above, are 
attracted by the glisten, and immediately descend to reconnoitre. 
These birds visit the ponds at regular hours, wade in the water and 
catch with consummate skill all the fish they can get. The fact that 
their stomachs are sometimes found to contain nothing else than 
crayfish must not mislead the amateur into the belief that they prey 
only on these crustaceans, as the following fact abundantly proves 
that they prefer fish whenever they can be obtained. A heron was 
seen flying towards the ponds ; to secure the ever-ready shotgun 
from the lodge, sneak within range and fire, did not take more than 
five minutes' time. Yet within that short interval,, the bird had cap- 
tured and devoured three 2^-inch long, brilliantly colored goldfish, 
which, though already dead when taken out of the bird's stomach, 
were still perfectly bright, showing conclusively that they had just 
been swallowed. 

If these birds discover that fishing in the ponds pays well, they 
will become frequent visitors, and, if not killed, soon clean out the 
establishment. But, as before stated, they come at regular hours, 
thus affording the one on duty at the ponds an easy chance to be on 
the watch to kill or trap them. 

THE KINGFISHER. 

This bird may likewise be expected to visit the ponds, but it gen- 
erally advertises its arrival with a lusty kar-r-r-r-r-ack ! that may be 
heard quite a distance. 

It. selects projections over the water, such as a branch of a tree, 
a post, or the outlet pipe of the ponds, from whence it shoots down 
upon the unsuspecting fish, seldom missing. It also supports itself 
upon its wings immediately over the water, darting down upon its 
prey with like success. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 97 

These birds, although not so easily shot as the crane or heron, 
may readily be caught in a trap, if the latter is somewhat concealed 
and laid on the post or outlet pipe, which the birds mostly frequent. 

; TURTLES AND ALLIGATORS. 

These reptiles are both extremely destructive; the latter, of 
course, not being found in the Northern States, need not be looked 
for in that locality. Neither of them, no matter how small, should 
be permitted to remain in or near the ponds. 

THE MUSKRAT. 

Not only do these animals destroy the dams of the ponds, but 
they will also destroy the entire stock of fish, if not stopped in time. 
Luckily for the fish-culturist, they are easily mastered. One or two 
muskrat traps of the old-fashioned style (Hawley & Norton's No. i), 
used by professional trappers in the Far West, can be procured at 
almost any hardware store for thirty cents apiece, the chain included. 
The muskrat holes are looked for and will be found leading into the 
bank and a little below the surface of the water. At a short distance 
from such a hole (the length of the chain on the trap), a peg is 
driven securely into the ground, and the free end of the chain 
fastened to it. The trap is then set without bait, and laid a little to 
one side immediately into the hole, in such a manner that the animal 
in going in or out is obliged to tread upon the plate that springs 
the trap and over one or the other end, thus it is always caught by 
one of its legs. 

If the trap is placed at right angles with the hole, so that the 
animal has to walk over the bows, these latter, in coming together, 
will throw the rat upwards, and fail to catch it. 

It is advisable also to catch the muskrats in the surrounding 



98 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

neighborhood of the ponds, as they make excursions during the night 
to the ponds in order to fish. 

This long list of enemies may be increased by adding the raccoon, 
the inmk, and water-fowls such as ducks, geese, and swans. 

In stores where fish are kept in tanks they must be watched and 
protected from hoiise-rats and cats, both of which will occasionally 
make a descent upon the tanks if not prevented. 




Chapter XXII. 
THE DISEASES OF THE GOLDFISH. 



The goldfish, when in perfect health, carries the dorsal fin in an 
erect position, in other words, fully expanded. Its colors are very 
distinct, the body of the fish glistening as though highly polished. 
The fins appear very clear, translucent, allowing an examination of 
their structure, they are also very flexible moving in the water with 
animation and grace. When closed by the fish, the gill covers fit 
tightly against the head. 

Liveliness is not always an indication of good health, and, on the 
contrary, sluggishness is no positive evidence that the fish is ill. 

But when the brilliant red color fades away into an off-colored 
pink, or the milky white portions of the body become intermixed 
with bloody streaks, or the fins of the fish appear to be coated with 
something unusual, or seem inflamed and stick together, or are carried 
close to the body, or when the gill covers appear so swollen that they 
will not fit tightly in their proper place, then the health of the fish 
has failed, and danger is close at hand. 

Most of the diseases of the goldfish are the direct result of ill. 
treatment while kept in captivity, and nearly always originate in the 
breathing apparatus; the gills, when affected, fail to supply the blood 
with oxygen. Some of the diseases, to which the fish are subject, 
originate from improper methods of feeding, and always manifest 
themselves in disturbances of the stomach, and other digestive 
organs. 



loo THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

Again there are diseases that make their appearance periodically, 
the origin of which is involved in as much obscurity as that called 
" pink-eye, " which attacks horses, and of which all have heard more 
or less. 

ASPHYXIA. 

This affection is the one most commonly met with. The fish 
become weak, the colors fade away rapidly, the appetite is lost, and 
the fish finally die if the disease is permitted to run its course without 
hinderance 

The cause of the disease may be looked for in the interrupted 
functions of the gills. These organs become inflamed by the irritat- 
ting and poisonous gases that may exist in the water, or by the sudden 
changes of temperature in the same. 

If the disease has not already advanced too far, the ailing 
individual or individuals, should be taken from the collection, placed 
in a vessel containing a sufficient quantity of water, and in which a 
number of flourishing aquatic plants are growing. 

An even teaspoonful of common salt is then dissolved in the 
water, the whole then put in a light, well ventilated place, and kept 
at a temperature between 70° and 80° F. During the first few days 
no food is necessary, and should not be given, after which the 
feeding may be re-commenced, beginning with very small quantities, 
administered at a regular hour each day. As the fish brighten up, 
and approach convalesence, the quantity may gradually be brought 
up to the usual amount. 

TUBERCULOSIS OR CONSUMPTION. 

The first sign of the presence of this disease shows itself in the 
indifference manifested by the affected individual. They are seen 
swimming about in a careless, purposeless way, now and then 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 



Stopping to make the vain attempt to remove something from their 
gills that annoys them. They are apparently coughing. Their 
appetite decreases. It is evident that the gills are out of order, 
they thus failing to take up oxygen for the blood. 

As the disease progresses the fish becomes lean, as seen back of 
the head, on the back, and the sinking in of the abdomen, causing 
the head to appear too large and out of proportion. The gills 
become agglutinated which results in the destruction of their 
structure by decay. Having arrived at this stage the fish is too weak 
to balance itself and swims head downward, finally standing on it, 
because it is the heaviest part of its body, and dies in that position. 

The duration of tliis disease varies in different individuals and 
seasons, it being of shorter duration during cold weather. 

The origin of this disease may be traced back to unnatural 
treatment while in captivity, as fish in native waters never get it, and 
in well managed aquaria they very seldom have it, while in those 
badly managed they frequently die of this disease. The cause of 
the disease arises from invisible organisms called tubercular baccilla, 
these being inhaled by a fish whose breathing apparatus is in the 
least out of order, infest these organs and destroy them. 

The disease proves fatal in all cases, or has invariably done so in 
the writer's experience, who has so far failed to discover an effective 
remedy. The disease may be avoided by keeping the aquarium in 
perfect condition. 

SLIME OR ITCH. 

This disease generally appears during the colder season of the 
year, seldom manifesting itself when the weather is warm or hot. 

The body of the fish becomes coated with a layer of some whitish 
substance, the deposit beginning on the back near the head. 

This white, slimy substance, when examined under a powerful 



I02 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

microscojje, reveals a number of parasites darting about hither and 
thither across the field of the instrument. These minute organic 
bodies, technically termed baclcrice, resemble a wood-tick in general 
shape. They appear to eat into the skin of the fish, destroying that 
structure, and in consequence interfere very much with the function 
the skin performs in throwing out poisonous substances that form in 
the tissues inside. The beautiful colors of the fish disappear from 
the tainted parts, they .becoming quite black. The result of the 
disease is the death of the fish. 

When afilicted with the trouble, the fish can be observed rubbing 
itself against the plants, the rocks, or in the sand upon the bottom of 
the aquarium. 

The cause of the disease may be found in the usual over- feeding, 
in which case the remnants of food remain in the water until decom- 
position sets in. The temperature not being favorable for the pro- 
duction of water-purifying insects, the bacteria; make their appearance 
greatly to the detriment of the fish*. 

The name "slime" has heretofore been applied to this description 
of disease, but without. any apparent reference to the cause producing 
the trouble. In the author's opinion, it is the presence of the para- 
sites that makes the whole difficulty. They annoy the fish by their 
presence, their attacks upon its skin setting up an increased flow of 
blood to the part upon which the thick coat of slime is found. 
Manifestly the best method of treating the disease is the removal, or 
rather the prevention, of the cause, for if the bacteria; are not allowed 
to develop, they of course can do no harm. 

Tadpoles and snails should be put into the aquarium to consume 
any remaining particles of food, and the feeding itself more carefully 
attended to. Place the aquarium in a warm and light location, 
adding to the water a pinch of table-salt when filling the vessel. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 103 

DROPSY. 

Dropsy, as every one knows, is a swelling up of the body, caused 
by the presence of watery fluid in the tissues, so it is with fish when 
affected in this way. 

It generally begins near the tail, but sometimes about the middle 
of the body and progresses forward. When it first makes its appear- 
ance, a few scales in a circle around the body lose their firm attach- 
ment, at this stage, if the affected specimens are immediately removed 
and placed into water brought from some other locality than that in 
which they had been when taken ill, they will recover in a short 
time. 

The disease having started, will, if not immediately attended to, 
spread over the entire body until it becomes almost spherical, so 
great is the distention of the skin. The scales become erect, giving 
the fish the appearance of a "ruffed grouse," the eyes at the same 
time being greatly protruded from their sockets. 

During all this while the fish shows a good appetite, and con- 
tinues to do so until the end, which soon follows. 

No cause, as yet, has been found producing the disease; it 
appears upon fish in Europe, as well as in this country, and also upon 
fish kept in open air ponds, as well as those inhabiting the aquarium, 
and in any season of the year, and at any age of the goldfish. 

The disease may run a course of four months, at the end of which 
time it results in the death of the fish. It also seems to be intermit- 
tent in character, disappearing for several weeks, and returning 
again upon the same individual, but always in such cases with fatal 
effect. 

There seems to be no other treatment than making the fisn as 
comfortable as possible, taking that chance for recovery. 



I04 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

ERYSIPELAS. 

This disease is indicated by what appears to be a nervous rest- 
lessness of the fish. They are seen swimming with very quick 
motions, darting here and there with great rapidity, and with no 
other apparent reason than a desire to flee from their torment, for it 
seems that they suffer from muscular pains. After this extreme 
activity which covers a period of several days, the fishes (for they 
all become affected at the same time ) huddle together on the bottom 
of the tank, now and then resuming their mad capers. 

The external appearance in this case is characterized by a closed 
dorsal fin, bloody streaks upon all of the fins, which, moreover, 
instead of being nicely rounded upon their extremities, as in health, 
become agglutinated and appear like the spikes upon a catfish. The 
tissue between the spines decays, the latter looking like the disar- 
ranged bristles on a brush; this is the beginning of the end. 

The appetite continues in good condition, the fish, nevertheless, 
become lean and weaker each succeeding day until death takes place. 

The cause of the disease, also, can be traced to improper 
methods of feeding, the stomach in consequence becoming over- 
taxed and the entire system disarranged. 

When it does appear, all the fishes are attacked at the same time ; 
the aquarium then should be placed where it will be exposed to the 
sunlight, the temperature of the locality being kept at about 70° F. , 
and no food administered for about a month. Snails and tadpoles 
should not be omitted when stocking the hospital tank, as they are 
excellent scavengers, and by their presence will prevent a complica- 
tion of diseases. 

The diseases described above constitute the main ones we have 
to expect, and, with the exception of dropsy and tuberculosis, are 
easily managed, if the treatment is carried out properly. 



THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. I05 

ACCIDENTS. 
I 

According to the old saying, "accidents happen in the best reg- 
ulated families," so will they happen to goldfish. In most cases, 
nature, if let alone, will repair damages with surprising skill, though 
a little assistance often helps to secure a der.irable result. Scales 
that have been knocked off will be replaced, just as a finger-nail is 
when bruised. 

Injured fins grow again, but the form afterwards does not always 
assume perfection. 

If an eye has been torn out, it will not necessarily kill the fish, 
as in most cases it heals kindly, and indeed might (for appearance' 
sake) be replaced by an artificial substitute, such as are in use by the 
taxidermist. 

When we wish to assist nature to heal a wound, we must bear in 
mind that a warm temperature is most favorable for that purpose, and 
is also not favorable for the growth of fungi, which would certainly 
collect on the wound and reduce the chances of complete recovery. 
As an additional guard against the formation of fungus, table-salt in 
quantities mentioned above in treating asphyxia, is good, as also is a 
solution of carbolic acid, five drops to the gallon of water. 

We conclude this description of the various diseases with the 
homely phrase, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," 
so bearing that in mind, one will see to it that his aquaria and ponds 
do not suffer from neglect, as that always tells upon the fish. 



Chapter XXIII. 
REQUISITES AND TOOLS. 



Not many of these are necessary for the raising of goldfish. In 
addition to the ordinary gardening tools used in constructing and 
repairing the ponds, four sizes oi dip-nets should be kept near at hand, 
ist. A large one consisting of a heavy iron wire ring, about the 
thickness of a lead-pencil, and measuring about fifteen inches in 
diameter. This ring is securely fastened to a hickory pole seven feet 
in length, and covered with heavy mosquito netting, the bag to be 
about twelve inches deep. 

2nd. A medium-sized dip-net of oval shape, measuring six inches 
by ten inches through the center. This is best made of No. lo brass 
wire, fastened to a handle four feet in length, and covered with finer 
mosquito netting, forming a shallow bag similar to the bowl of a 
spoon. This net is used to remove insects and small fish from the 
water. 

3d. A hand-net of the same size and material as No. 2, with this 
difference, that the handle may be made of the same wire that forms 
the frame. 

4th. A small dip-net, also made of brass wire. No. 16 or 17, in this 
case of sufficiently small size to use in removing fish or insects from 
the hatching-jars. 

Several one-gallon candy-jars for hatching the eggs; several tin 
buckets of different sizes, for carrying and removing fish; a yard or 
two of mosquito netting; some wire netting of the same mesh as that 
used in the guards on the outlets ; a thermometer, a couple of musk- 
rat traps, if needed, and a gi^n to dispose of snakes, birds, etc., 
complete the outfit that is necessary for the proper performance of 
the work in hand. 

106 



Chapter XXIV. 
PROFITABLENESS OF GOLDFISH PONDS. 



The question will naturally arise in the mind of the reader, should 
he have any desire to engage in the culture of the goldfish, "Will it 
pay?" " Are the profits accruing sufficient remuneration for the time 
and labor expended, to say nothing of the capital invested ? " To 
these questions the best answer is the book upon which the author 
has expended so much time, for he is certain that the proper cultiva- 
tion of the goldfish will pay, though there are some considerations, 
the absence or presence of which somewhat determine the result. 
If looked at from a business point of view solely, it wholly depends 
upon the local demand for them, though more especially upon 
the class of customers one is expected to supply. In some places 
the finer qualities and varieties pay best, as the demand for them 
comes from a source that is both discriminating and critical, at the 
same time willing to pay for the very finest that can be had. Such a 
market is usually found in the larger cities where the wealthy classes 
generally reside, and it is from among them that the culturist may 
expect to find a ready and remunerative run of custom. In other 
places the demand is for quantity not so much care being taken 
whether the varieties are the best or not; for instance, a gentleman 
wishes to stock a lake upon his premises or in his garden with orna- 
mental fish, he does not care especially to invest his money in a few 
choice varieties, but would rather have a greater number of a less 



Io8 THE GOLDFISH AND ITS CULTURE. 

desirable kind in order that the lake or pond may contain them in 
plenty, so that they can always be seen, no matter from what point. 

The percentage of young grown to perfection from a given num- 
ber of eggs depends altogether upon the attention paid to them, the 
locality in which they are raised, the season in which they are bred, 
and the variety to which they belong. The number of saleable fish 
may thus be but ten, or it may be eighty-five, realized out of one 
hundred eggs. The rules governing the productiveness of ponds are 
much the same as those that govern the crops raised from the soil. 

There is this difference, however, the raising of goldfish is confined 
almost exclusively to the nicest season of the year, and makes it a 
highly interesting out-door recreation, and one that can be begun on 
the most humble scale at trifling expense, besides being an occupation 
that any lady or gentleman can indulge in with perfect propriety. 




IN PREPARATION! 



MuLERTT's Aquarium. 



Practical Natural History 



OF 



FRESH WATER FISHES, AMPHIBIANS, INSECTS, ETC, 



AND 



AQUATIC PLANTS; 



With a View to their Culture, and Hints for the 
Successful Construction, and 



MANAGEMENT OF AN AQUARIUM. 



HUGO MULERTT. 



PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED WITH PLATES AND WOOD CUTS, DRAWN FROM LIFE. 



148 W. Fourth Street, CINCINNATI, OHIO. 



MICROSCOPES 

FOR 

Students and Physicians, 

ALWAYS ON HAND 

From »3.50 to »350. 
POCKET MICROSCOPES 

TO FOLD IN CASES 

for examining Minerals, 

Insects, Engravings and all 

Purposes when an increased 

magnifying power is 

required. 




BAROMETERS. 

A large Variety of Patterns 

FOR 

MANTEL OR HANGING. 

THERMOMETERS, 

HYDROMETERS, 
DRAWING INSTRUMENTS 

OF 

American, French and 
Swiss make. 

AND EVERY DESCRIPTION OF 

Optical and Mathematical 
Instruments. 



187 & 189 West Fourth Street, 
CINCINNATI, O. 

G-rowerSj TVAoZescile cltlgL ^etctzl Dealers of 

Floral Designs of any Description made up at Short Notice. 
Immortelle Work for Shipping 

A SPECIALITY. 



GREENHOUSES: 

College Hill. 



Telegraph Address: 

187 & 189 w. fourth st. 



— Hfte — 

QinrinnaH JStrt JPoWprg do., 

Zo ilunt ^t., Oincinnati, O. 
'X eKrfiAfic SfaqueA, ^oAeA, 

©f e\iff'erei\t Seizes E\i\tl S.l-i^jpes, 

Elaborate in Design, elegant in Finish, a^id of struflure to meet 
the requirements of the Fish, 

/iBaSe to ©r^cr. 



J. ^Ar. KISKE, 



MANUFACTURER OF 



SraaFi^eBtal Imfi and Z'mQ S§©ds, 

21 & 23 BARCLAY STREET, 

26 & 28 Park Place, Corner Church St., 

NEW YORK. 



FOUNTAINS, 

DRINKING FOUNTAINS. 

FOUNTAIN BASINS, 

FOUNTAIN JETTS, AQUARIA, 

AQUARIA ORNAMENTS, 

VASES, JARDINIERS, STATUARY 

Deer, Dogs, Lions, Griffins, &c. 

SETTEES, CHAIRS, TABLES. 

Wrought, Cast, and Wire Railings. 

BALCONIES, LAMP POSTS. 

Lamps, Lamp Brackets, 

Iron and Brass Bedsteads, Cribs, 
Cradles, &c. 




Iron and Brass Stable Fixtures, 

RACKS, MANGERS, 
STALL POSTS, and GUARDS, 

GUTTER TRAPS, &c. 

Iron and Wire Window Guards, 

TREE GUARDS, 

Garden Border, Garden Rollers, 

WIRE TRELLISES, 

Wire Flower Stands. 

Verandas, Summer Houses, 

COPPER WEATHER VANES, 

IRON CRESTINGS, 

FINIALS, BANNERETS, 
EMBLEMATIC SIGNS, 
Hat Stands, Umbrella Stands, 
Cuspadores. 





<^^^ ^A^ ^®% 



2341 NORTH SEVENTH STREET, 

ppm^DEiiPpi^, p^. 

.^ 



MANUFACTURER OF 
Terra Cotia Aquaria 

AND 

Aquarium Ornaments 

IN GREAT VARIETY. 

FROGS, 
GROTTOS, 
CASTLES, 
RUINS, 
FORTS, and 
ARCHES, &c. 



ALSO 

FLOWER POTS, 

HANGING BASKETS, 

HANGING LOGS, 

FERNERIES, 

WINDOW BOXES, 

GARDEN VASES, 

Etc., etc., etc. 




DEALER IN 

FISH GLOBES, 
GLASS AQUARIA, 
GLASS SHADES, 
Brass and Iron 

CHAINS, 
FLOWER POT 

AND 

Fish Globe Brackets. 



MY VARIETY IX 

FLORICULTURAL 

AND 

AQUARIA GOODS 

LS THE LARGEST IN' 
AMERICA, 

n Design Original and 
Unique. 



Illustrated Catalogue sent to the Trade on Application, with Business Card. 



HUGO MULERTT, 







Native and Foreign 

ORNAMENTAL FISH. 

Amphitiians 
for ornamental and scientific purposes. 

Aquatic Plants 

of Every Description, Native and Foreign. 

Aquaria Tanks 

all shapes, sizes and prices, of Cast-iron, Sheet Metal, Terra Cotta and Cincinnati 
Faience, elaborate in designs and of serviceable structure. 

Aquarium Supplies i 

German Tuffstone, Tuffstone Ornaments, Castles, Sea-Sand, Aquarium 
Cement, Aquarium Tools, Prepared Fish-Food, etc. 



Importer and Grower 



DUTCH HYACINTH AND TULIP BULBS, GERMAN CLADIOI^I, 
LILIES, IRIS AND TUBEROSES. 



HUGO MULERTT, 
173 NOSTRAND AVE. 

BROOKLYN, N. Y. 



3 2044 072 1 



94 475 



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