Monday, January 3, 2011
Waiter!! There's a fish in my water...
I've received a number of questions lately from people about the lone goldfish I've shown in pictures that I keep in my donkey/llama stock tank up at the barn.
In the wet and often humid environment of northwest Oregon, mosquitoes can be a real problem. Any pools, puddles or containers of open, standing water beckon to female mosquitoes looking for a place to lay their eggs. Within 48 hours of being laid, these eggs hatch and and become mosquito larvae that must then live in water from 7 to 14 days, depending on the water temperature, to develop into adulthood. The precious goldfish, that I have lovingly placed in my stock tank, gobble these little larvae (and other bugs) up like candy. I like this. A lot.
Now, this handsome and hard working fish wasn't always alone. In May of 2010, we brought home three, small feeder goldfish from the store. One, unfortunately, immediately passed on and then there were two:
These two enthusiastically helped to eat bugs and mosquito larvae throughout the summer and fall and also seemed to enjoy nibbling on the algae that grows so quickly on the sides of the tank during warm weather.
In May, when I first put the fish into the tank, I watched closely to see how the donkeys and llamas would react. I was able to catch Dolly llama, who now lives in Washington with Marcee of "Fancyin' the Farm Life", getting her first drink after the fish had been added:
In she goes:
"Wait a second... what's this?!":
"Hold on, there it goes":
(smack, smack) "Hmmm...I detect a subtle fish flavor with robust forest and maple leaf undertones..":
Sadly, though, the white and orange fishy died, leaving Mr. Goldy as the sole remaining stock tank fish:
And he has been a robust guy, too, surviving even the heartiest wind storms that dump all sorts of debris on his head:
He has even survived ice chunk water:
and frozen solid water:
Every morning when I go up to the barn, one of my "to do's" is to scoop out the accumulated debris in the stock tank from the night before:
Every few weeks, depending on the time of year, the tank needs a good scrubbing:
At that point, my goldfish goes into the bucket and hangs out:
...while I drain and scrub and wash:
and then refill the tank:
He and I both love a pristine stock tank:
Even with Mr. Goldy floating around, Chester has never noticed anything unusual about the water at all:
But, then, he's not really the picky sort when it comes to his food and drink:
Come spring, if Mr. Goldy hangs in there, I'll add some new buddies for him to make friends with: