Aquaria Information from



   In the last few years there has been a significant change in the imported goldfish market. Formerly, Japan was the preferred source of imported goldfish. As problems developed, the production of goldfish in mainland China developed at a rapid rate. Many fish are coming into this country from both Shanghai and Hong Kong. The prices are lower, and although the quality is not as good, these fish are an acceptable alternative to the Japanese variety. As the prices of Japanese goldfish increased, so did the level of technology in China. Chinese producers acquired a better understanding of the American market. Now, Israeli fish are also in the mix. 

   Most of the seasonal problems involving imports will be felt by the retailer only as random shortages, as Fish Mart effectively deals with any of the seasonal problems which might occur. We would like to offer some insight as to what goes on behind the scenes before fish are delivered to your favorite store. 

   Water temperature starts rising in July, and does not begin to drop significantly until October. During these months, goldfish demand the most attention. Small fish are either year-old stunted livestock or part of a new crop born in April. These, like the brown comets we have to put up with in the summer, are not as strong as more mature fish. Add another factor- hot weather comes to us and the Orient at the same time- and we see problems increase as the summer progresses. By September we are seeing fish that were all born this year, which makes them at least six months old and better able to take the stress of shipping. 

   The predominant parasite in warm months is the microscopic flat worm of the class Trematoda, better known to us as flukes. Making use of external suckers, the flukes live off the tissues and blood cells of the fish. 

Many fish come into this country with these parasites, and, recognizing this, we start treatment immediately. The best current method of combating this problem is to treat with dylox and extra salt (two teaspoons per gallon). Dylox, although very effective, is also very toxic and must be used with extreme care. 

   Once we start reducing fluke infestation, we must take two additional steps: adequate feeding with our specially formulated and medicated food, and close observation. Adequate feeding of our own formula food produces rapid therapeutic blood levels of medication in the fish as well as supplying significant amounts of fat and protein to replace lost blood cells and heal any damaged tissue. Close observation insures that if resistant bacteria infect the fish, alternate antibiotics are quickly administered. Early detection with proper treatment allows us to stop most problems before they start. Proper medication gives them several days of protection even after they leave our facility and settle into their new homes. 

   Although we wish all livestock came in perfect condition, we receive fish from less than ideal environments from all over the world. This is equally true for wild caught and farm raised fish. Nevertheless, we make every attempt to screen each shipment of fish, sending out only those which we believe are ready to thrive in your dealer's store. Even so, it is advisable to watch your goldfish for any loss of color or general weakness in the days following their purchase. Treat them with an anti-fluke medication if necessary and call your dealer if you need help. We will keep your dealer informed of incoming livestock conditions, because we believe that through mutual effort we can ensure hobbyists quality livestock - customer support is our most important service.

Return to Table of Contents