Now, we're not talking about those tiny common goldfish you win by bouncing a ping-pong ball at the county fair here. (Gawd, I wish they'd stop giving live animals as prizes! But that's a rant for another day.) Instead, I have some kind of bizarro goldfish jones for ranchus, which are round fish with no dorsal fins that waddle around the water like little whales. They also have adorable (to me, that is) chubby cheeks and puppydog faces. King Triton here is my current favorite (but shhhhh, don't tell the others!):
I have 3 ranchus at the moment, sharing a 46 gallon bowfront tank (snagged for a song on Craigslist) in the living room. I know that many aquarium fanatics decorate their freshwater tanks in a river-rocks-and-driftwood style, trying to replicate the fish's natural environment. But fancy goldfish are so genetically mutated, so totally far from their original carp ancestors, that they couldn't possibly thrive anywhere in nature. Glass tanks and man-made ponds are, by default, their natural habitat, because these softball-sized chunks wouldn't last 5 minutes in a real river or pond.
Which of course means that it's perfectly logical for me to go overboard with the kitschy fishtank decor.
I call it the Tacky Tiki Tank. And I've snazzed it up with aqua-colored gravel and a tiki motif, complete with bubbling volcano (with red spotlight!), fearsome idols, and a tiki-themed fabric background that I change out when the mood strikes.
Calico ranchu Chowder, looking for food by the tiki statue and bubbling bamboo wall:
Chowder buzzes by the erupting volcano. Oooooh!
White ranchu Fargo, just hanging out:
And finally, a recent shot of the whole tank:
So there you have it. If you live a retro life, you can retro-fy anything ... even an aquarium. I adore keeping goldfish, but I have to admit, I love 'em even more when I see them in the Tacky Tiki Tank. Aloha, fishies!