Goldfish History - Origins of The First Pet Fish
You've probably heard that goldfish are one of the first types of fish to be domesticated. There is no other way to say this, but the first fish most aquarists owned, was a goldfish. Simply because they are colorful, inexpensive, social, fun to care for and a great hobby. Now you probably want one too.
What is really going on is that these wonderful fish are descendants of the Prussian carp, which is a native to the eastern and southeastern part of Asia and part of the Cyprinidae family. You know, everything about goldfish began about one thousand years ago in the Song Era when the ancient Chinese started to breed carp. Originally, the carp had scales that were silver in color before the breeding. After that, the there was a color mutation to yellow-orange scales. Yellow was the imperial color.
Did you know that this new colored version of the Carp, known as goldfish today was forbidden and could only be kept by royal families? Yes, this is probably the reason why there are more orange goldfish than yellow ones these days. Or maybe not.
Goldfish only became popular outside China, in the early 16th century, in Japan. Here, two beautiful varieties were developed: Tosakin and Ryukin. Later, in the 17th century, the goldfish was introduced to the southern countries of Europe. Finally, in the 1850's it became popular un the United States. Home of the well known Comet goldfish.
Goldfish species are the only species in the animal kingdom that were manipulated to give such grotesque and funny appearances. Presently, there are 18 varieties of goldfish, all beautiful and cute. They can be found in colors like orange, yellow, blue, red, white, black, chocolate, calico or a beautiful mixture of these.
Don't believe me, some think that goldfish actually carry good luck along with them. True or not, the Chinese strongly believe in this myth. Often times, when you go into a Chinese restaurant, you will see an aquarium with goldfish. It's believed to deliver prosperity on the business inside the restaurant. What an amazing fish!
When I was a little boy, I used to believe that goldfish had the power to grant you 3 wishes. Sadly, I no longer believe that today, but I do believe in giant goldfish. Yes, if kept in best conditions, a goldfish can grow up to 20-25 inches long and can live up to 40 long years. The best example is the old 43 years old Tish, won as a prize at a funfair.
Love to you,