an important message to
First off - I can't say thank you enough to the many hobbyists who purchased ECR goldfish and took to the task with an open mind, a positive attitude and an appreciation of all the difficulty levels one encounters as an aquarist. You all know who you are - and I'm sincerely grateful.
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Goldfish are loved for their quirky looks and fun "personalities". There are many varieties with unique and complex handling needs which is one reason why privately bred fancy goldfish are a challenge and are best handled by COMPETENT and EXPERIENCED fishkeepers.
I care about the fish and want them to go to good homes but I'm asking that you decide carefully and hold off on an ECR goldfish purchase if you've only just began goldfishkeeping. It's not a matter of financial calculation - not a question of whether I would make or lose money. I'm not interested in making a sale if it compromises the fish's well-being. These goldfish require advance fishkeeping management and care. Being able to recognize when there's an ACTUAL and REAL issue whether its with the fish, or external issues like water quality and parameters takes time and experience to become adept at.
I'll explain the difference between experienced & beginner fishkeeper the best way I can:
The difference is the experienced fishkeeper has already made countless mistakes, gone through many goldfish losses, LEARNED FROM IT and patiently problem-solves everyday issues. Even if he/she doesn't have everything figured out.
Pride, Ego & Excuses are the main reasons for a beginner's setbacks. If you're serious about this hobby - realize that you'll mess things up and struggle when something is beyond your knowledge and experience. It's easy to fall into the habit of rationalizing your missteps by blaming the goldfish breeder for your inexperience. You can choose to handle these setbacks by losing confidence or YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT. Whether you succeed or fail, you WILL learn from experience. Mistakes and losses will be your greatest teachers. OWN IT, be accountable. It will take time to get things right -- and that's not a FAILURE. That's just life.
Goldfishkeeping is unique to each fishkeeper. Every right decision you make will sooner or later lead you to a pattern of success and help build up your confidence so you can rely on your own judgment whenever problems arise. Once in awhile you'll come across something you can't master from a book or the internet but you have the most information when you're DOING something, when you're actually observing and experiencing it.
Now let me give a cautionary reminder to all beginners reading this. I don't have a conflict with you. But I do have an issue with beginners who show a PATTERN OF NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR from the first moment of placing the order all the way to taking care of newly-purchased ECR goldfish.
Ordering new goldfish should be an exciting and fun experience. Over the years, however, there's been a build-up of unpleasant interactions with some amateur fishkeepers which manifestly impacts the goldfish's welfare as well as my own peace of mind. It's aggravating and dispiriting and enough to push anyone to their limits. I didn't sign up for that. The ECR workload is already challenging as it is. I'd rather engage with fellow hobbyists who are positive and dependable.
I don't care if this makes me look bad shining a light on a variety of issues including abusive behavior and derogatory inferences that often plague most breeder/sellers when encountering these particular newbies. I want you to know that THIS happens behind the scenes. In many different ways, in many levels of aggression, over and over again. Any intense pavlovian reaction on my end is a consequence of chronic, unwarranted mockery and abuse from beginners. It's hardwired me to walk the line between ambivalence and caution. It's not hard to spot which ones spell trouble and which rookie fishkeepers will be easygoing and uncomplicated.
SOME ISSUES ARE PRETTY BASIC
I can tell you with veritable certainty 99.999% of the goldfish I bred, raised and list for sale here have never even been infected with ICH. EVER. That's because I go through extreme lengths and provide a high standard of care for them. I take goldfishkeeping seriously and lavish these goldfish to the point of excessiveness.
STRESS DURING TRANSIT
Another frequent bone of contention ad nauseam: Issues about SOA and preemptively asking for reimbursement or replacement. SOA (Stressed on Arrival) is not DOA (Dead on Arrival). If a fish is taken out of its normal environment, travels in a box and gets tossed around for 24 hours - of course there's a high probability of stress upon arrival. Anytime a fish travels their immunity level goes down. There are many harmless strains of bacteria that can become lethal when the immune system is compromised due to stress. Some goldfish will be immunosuppressed and some will have an adverse reaction to travel. But that stress can be mitigated promptly if you're a competent fishkeeper. Your job is to bring their immune levels back to normal. If you know what you're doing you'll see an improvement after just a day or 2.
US Bred Goldfish however will travel only once: from the goldfishbreeder's facility to a buyer's US residence.
PRIDE, EGO AND EXCUSES
At one time I had a customer who claimed she had extensive fishkeeping experience with a different aquatic species and so therefore she absolutely knows what she's doing. Hence, whatever problems that happened to her new ECR goldfish was not in any way her fault. They were healthy for a couple weeks (even uploading videos of very active happy fish) but deteriorated on week 3 from a sudden case of ICH. And can she please get a refund? Just like that, making absolutely no effort to remedy the situation. I provided advise on how to cure and offered free meds but even after all this and with her "extensive fishkeeping experience" - the goldfish still didn't make it through a simple bout of ICH.
We make the best decisions when we can achieve a careful balance between emotions and logic. When you play a vitriolic "Blame Game" where you have zero accountability and EVERYTHING THAT GOES WRONG IS MY FAULT -- nobody wins. It's just a matter of how much and how fast the goldfish suffers in your care. I've been selling for many years and the pattern with "faultless" beginners is always the same: as soon as the goldfish gets sick or dies because of amateur mistakes in an environment I have no control over - Defense Mechanisms kick in. Not only do I agonize over the poor doomed goldfish that I diligently raised from egg but it is unrealistic for you to expect me to address every conceivable scenario and handling situation that may occur with each goldfish that leaves my facility.
If all this contradicts your perception of acquiring new goldfish from my store then it's going to affect your judgment and objectivity and best not to proceed with an ECR purchase. I understand it's your money and ultimately it's your decision but getting these goldfish when you're still learning the basics can have very real consequences almost always at the cost of the goldfish's life. The risk you take also puts me at the losing end: I lose the goldfish, I lose months of work raising it, I lose material investment and my name is put on the line. At the end of the day I'd rather not make $50 if I will be subjected through unnecessary aggravation and be held responsible for obvious amateur mistakes.
I know some of you will be upset/frustrated reading this and I completely understand. But I can't apologize for this in anyway. We won't always agree with each other and that's ok. So PLEASE. Before setting your heart and wallet on something you're new or inexperienced at - try saving a cute goldfish needing a loving home from a LOCAL FISH STORE (LFS). You'll save a life and gain vital training and fishkeeping skills along the way.
To find out more about goldfish care please take the time to check out Solid Gold YouTube Channel or learn from experts and fellow hobbyists at goldfishkeepers.com, kokosgoldfish.com and the hundreds of Goldfish Groups/Communities on Facebook.
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