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Why keeping a goldfish in a bowl is an act of cruelty to animals

Credits: Pixabay

A Twitter user has spoken out against the practice of keeping goldfish in a bowl. He points to the ignorance of the public and the trickery of pet shop owners, and he highlights the various needs and characteristics of goldfish. 

“We change the water once a month, add a pinch of goldfish food per day, and all is good…! And after a few years (or a few months), the goldfish is floating belly up. Ah, a year, two years -it’s not bad for a goldfish….!”

In November 2017, Twitter user LeRasbo let loose on Twitter, incensed by the numerous goldfish unfairly couped up in fish bowls. For him, this represents an act of cruelty to animals. Did you know that a goldfish can grow to between 25 and 40 cm in adulthood?

“A healthy goldfish can live for longer than a cat or a dog. It an live for around twenty years. The record is held by an Irish goldfish who is 43 years old, it seems….”

We can thus understand that a fishbowl is not appropriate for a goldfish, which can contain only 5 to 10 litres of water. In reality, such fish should be kept in an aquarium or an outdoor pond ideally with a capacity of hundreds of litres (at least 100 litres). In such conditions, the animal could attain the size and longevity that nature intended for it.

“In the case of being kept in a fish bowl, growth is stopped for a very long time. After a certain amount of time, the internal organs (which are less effected by the dwarfism effects) continue to grow, while the body of the fish itself does not.”

LeRasbo blames public ignorance in relation to this fish, which originally came from China, and unacceptable behaviour on behalf of animal sellers, who have no trouble giving bad advice in order to make a sale. LeRasbo also indicates that you should never release a goldfish into the wild, because it is an invasive species which can adapt to wreak havoc on local wildlife.

In summary, LeRasbo’s points have been summarised by Mashable as follows:

  • Goldfish naturally live in schools, and are not solitary creatures
  • Goldfish can live for 20 to 30 years (the current record is 43 years of age)
  • Each goldfish needs a minimum of 50 litres of water (100 litres for 2 goldfish)
  • Goldfish can reach an adult size of 20 cm
  • Goldfish are very fragile when they live in an aquarium, and they do better outdoors, even in Winter.