Contributor’s Note: Are you tired of being bogged down with all those technical articles and that side of the hobby? If you are this is the perfect article for you. It was written in fun as keeping fish and the aquarium hobby should be.
Hi, let us introduce ourselves, our names are Goldie, Golden Rod, Gill, (short for short gill covers), Georgina, and well, Whatz-it. We are golden barbs, Barbus semifasciolatus. There were many more of us, but we were very young when we traveled the path to get to our current home. It seemed each time we were scooped up in that big green thing, there were fewer of us, when we landed. I can only hope that our relatives were as lucky as we are now, although we did have a few problems a while back.
I, (Goldie, that’s me) fell fin over tail for Golden Rod just after we moved into our new home. I was about four months old. Pretty young, eh? I didn’t tell anybody though, just thought it would be best to keep it to myself. Our new owners were okay, they sure fed us a lot. We had brine shrimp flakes, color flakes (as if we weren’t bright enough already) oh well. Plankton, yuk!!! I despised this at first, but then I saw Golden Rod eating, so I joined in. After all, if Golden Rod liked it, it must be really good, and it gave me a chance to swim by and maybe get his attention. After all Georgina is always flirting with him! We don’t get along to well, I try to stay at opposite ends of this 120-liter glass box. Oh yeah, we also appreciate those sinking wafers and flake pellets that are supposedly thrown into our glass box for the Aspidoras. I think our owners get a little annoyed with us when we can stuff the whole pellet into our mouths. We also get several different kinds of worms. With all these good foods, we grew very quickly! I wonder sometimes though about our owners. They throw in those very tiny worms, I think they are called micro worms, as if they are big enough for us to fill our bellies with. Ha. This is usually followed with an “OOOOPS, That’s not exactly what I meant to do”. We swim around and try to eat them just to please them, although they are really hard to see.
Did I mention that our glass box was filtered with a big gray box? [outside powerfilter, Ed.] I have no idea what that big white spongy thing is for on the intake tube. They seem to keep the temperature swimmingly warm at 26C. The water is very hard, I thought at first that they thought we were some kinda fish from one of those lakes in Africa! Of course I have very good manners, so I didn’t tell them.
Then one day, I was scooped up in that big green thing and dumped into a smaller glass box. The next thing I knew, Whatz-it was dumped in with me. Our owners seemed to be performing a marriage ceremony. How dare they!!! I don’t want to marry Whatz-it. Oh the thought of it! I will dream forever of Golden Rod…my owners thought that Whatz-it was the nicest looking male in the glass box. Oh, if only they knew. Just to get even with them, I scattered a couple hundred eggs all over the place. To my surprise, this helped my cause. I was scooped up along with Whatz-it and put back in the glass box with Golden Rod. He seemed to be much more interested in me.
My owners, were none to pleased to see every single egg disintegrate to nothing. Ha! That will teach them to marry me off without asking me first!
There were a few more attempts with them trying to make this marriage work, but I was very stubborn. Then one day, they quickly performed an annulment ceremony. We were both dumped back into the 120-liter glass box and pretty much forgotten about for a few months.
Then all of a sudden, I heard some grunting and groaning and “this had better work, this thing is really heavy, I wonder how many other people are this stupid to carry water just to get these fish to spawn successfully. If we had any brains at all we would just keep cichlids”. I had no idea what they were up to, but I was pretty sure it had to do with us. I stuck very close to Golden Rod. If it is us they are talking about then maybe they will take the hint They poured 1/3 of that R/O water that they packed in from who knows where, and 2/3 regular tap water. This water had the same pH and temperature as the water that we are usually in. However it is a bit softer.
I decided to really show these people that it was Golden Rod that I wanted to be married to and started swimming very fast around the glass box. Before long, I had Golden Rod and Gill chasing me. What fun! I am swimming as fast as I can, I’m at the top of the water, I know, I’ll turn upside down and throw a bunch of eggs at the ceiling. Oh what fun!! “Hey you guys, quit eating them, that’s not what you are suppose to do”. Then all of a sudden that big green thing came in and pulled me out.
This time however, I wasn’t just dumped into the other glass box, I was as they say “acclimatized slowly”. I however am not to impressed. When they finally released me, quite a while later, I was alone. Then those!, those!!, those people!!!, who call themselves “fish people” had company. They seemed to be more interested in the glass box beside mine than in my predicament. Hummm I really wonder…. Finally after the company left, they slowly acclimatized, not only Golden Rod, but Whatz-it too. I was so happy to see Golden Rod, we decided to start scattering eggs all over. Whatz-it, however decided to get involved in the chasing but all he ever did was eat our eggs. I certainly would have thought those people would have clued in by now. I heard them say “look, these barbs breed more like goldfish than barbs”. I wonder what a goldfish is? After about three hours, we were acclimatized back into our 120-liter glass box. Did I mention that all the action took place in an 80-liter glass box, with only an air stone and no filtration?
After about a week, my owners seemed quite pleased. They soon performed a marriage ceremony of myself and Golden Rod. After all we now have a rather large family. Whew! Sure glad we have those people trained to look after them all for us. I think, I would just prefer to eat them, its much less trouble.
I heard they fed our babies microworms and baby brine shrimp. Then they added Grindal worms and flakes to their diet. At three weeks of age they started changing the mixed R/O water back to just regular tap water. They said something about a being easier to acclimatize to pet shops’ tank water. I think I was there once, but I really don’t remember much.
: As stated in the 1994 edition of the Baensch Aquarium Atlas, page 398, the golden barb is a yellow morph of Barbus semifasciolatus even though it is commonly identified as Barbus schuberti.?