31 March 2007
30 March 2007
27 March 2007
We bought our house in September, 1984. The front yard had, and still has, a fishpond, with goldfish in it. I must say we have paid it very little attention indeed. Every year or so I take a rake and drag some of the accumulation of weed out of it. Once I think Eddie and I dredged the bottom a bit, to get some of the muck out. Occasionally we look into it. There are fish. Or there is a fish. I was never too sure. Certainly there was at least one goldfish. Is it the same fish, after 22 years? Well, who can say? Goldfish live a long time, they say. Google tells me the Guinness Record is a 49-year-old goldfish. Maybe they are breeding. A few days ago I looked into the pond and was startled to see a black goldfish. Well, I suppose it cannot properly be called a goldfish. Its body, fins, etc match those of the gold goldfish (if that is not a pleonasm), but it is, I suppose, a very dark grey or dark brown. It took several sightings to convince myself (and Susan) that I was not imagining it. The fact that that fish had been there, apparently for more than 22 years testifies to how little attention we have given the pond. Now I must confess that from 1964 until 1968, roughly, I used to have many, many fish – though no goldfish. I raised tropical fish in Berkeley and then in Honolulu. Edna will remember this time in our life with, no doubt, mixed feelings. We had something over 15 tanks for much of that time. I sold fish regularly to the local pet fish wholesaler which at least helped pay for the hobby.
I have bought two more fish and put them in the pond. I hope I haven’t actually overpopulated the pond. One limit on the population of a closed-cycle fish container (e.g. a fish tank or fish pond) is the oxygen level. For a tank without a pump to keep water moving past the surface area, the rule of thumb is one square foot of surface area per body-inch of fish. The pond is about four foot across so I suppose its surface area is on the order of 12 square feet. Those fish look like they are maybe three inches long in the body. Or perhaps a little longer… Hmm… Anyway, with four fish in there, it is much easier now to see one. If they breed, on the other hand…