Alas, I had to re-home those goldfish and that aquarium with a dear friend last year when I had health problems, and I figured I'd be fish-free for a very long time. But not many months had passed before I was absolutely pining for some goldies again. There's just something about them that feeds my soul ... if one's spiritual self can be said to flower in the presence genetically manipulated, garishly colored, glorified carp, that is. But I'm easy that way.
Since I wasn't physically able to maintain such a nice big tank any longer, I set my sights lower this time, finding a nice 30 gallon high tank on Craigslist and scaling down the whole operation to a more manageable level. (The ranchus, incidentally, are alive and well and thriving with my friend. Their growth has been astounding!)
This time around, I went with a goldfish variety that I've never kept before: the bubble eye. I've found that people have a visceral reaction to these fish when they see them, either "Omigod, those are freakish and hideous and why on earth would you keep them?" or "Hey, neat!" but rarely anything in between. And I admit that they're not everyone's cup of ... chowder? But I've always liked them and thought that this aquarium reboot was a good opportunity to give one a test-swim.
This is Hula, a red and white bubble eye of indeterminate (for now, at least) gender. I've had him and his buddy, Astro (a calico butterfly) for about six months now. Once I got over my initial fear every time I walked over to the tank that I'd find him with his bubbles deflated, Hula's been nothing but pure enjoyment. He's downright hilarious to watch, swimming all googly with those bubbles a-shimmyin' away beside him.
Remember, friends -- if it's worth doing, it's worth doing it retro. Best fishes!