Century old goldfish, and a review


Kieran Hoskinson, Writer

Goldfish. The dog of the fish world. Many people have either owned or have a friend who owned a goldfish at one point in time. But have you ever wondered why and when goldfish got popular? The story of this fish dates back thousands of years in China. 

These magnificent fish were known as symbols of luck and wealth. They are not the typical grab-and-go fish you’d find at Petco, these are like seasonal beverages at Starbucks, literally. Goldfish were only sold on special occasions like spring festivals, and even considered more of a “precious metal” than a fish. 

Like any fish, goldfish have a primal urge to migrate; and they get around. About 500 years ago goldfish began getting sent to Japan from China. Now surely this is about the point where they became the common house aquatic, but you’d be wrong. Goldfish were so praised in Japan they were only given to samurai and nobility as “noble pets”.  Similarly to China, goldfish served as a symbol of wealth, fortune, and good luck in Japan. 

About the year 1750, goldfish were introduced to the Europeans and started their widespread favorability of them by the end of about 1751. Once again goldfish were renowned for their symbolism of luck and fortune, and now for their scales as well. It even became a tradition for newly married husbands to give their wives goldfish to represent their prosperous years to come.

Two years later the Europeans decided it was time America got the privilege of the sacred fish, making the goldfish one of the, if not the first-ever foreign fish North America ever received. Once there, these fish became a common household pet throughout any house. 

Now you have an in-depth view of the vast history of goldfish lore and it’s time to do what I do best – rate them. Through the goldfish my family has owned, I can say for sure that there is no other fish who has gained my respect as they have. Let’s be honest, a seven and eight year old, or my sisters don’t make for good pet owners, but even with hardship endured from them, I see those fish swim around just like any other day. The sheer will of these fish is envious the say the least, and for that, they will be awarded a mean sum of five cool-fish points. 

Fish are less about the experience and more about the view of watching them swim around. Are they my favorite to look at? No, not really. My favorite fish to look at are suckerfish and goby, they’ve just got a goofy look that most goldfish cant match. At the same time though, it’s not like I dislike watching goldfish. I’d say that watching goldfish is therapeutic if one has a few thoughts roaming around their mind. 

The last thing left to judge is, of course, their pricing. These prices are almost as deep as their history. Different types of goldfish will either go for more or less, ranging from ten cents to one thousand five hundred dollars….per fish. I think there is something to be said about them being royalty at one point, so a thousand five hundred seems reasonable, but I can only pity the fall from glory for any fish worth a measly ten cents. 

Now, for the final score, you have all been waiting for. These phenomenal fish have seen much, and the next thing they will see on their journey through time is a big, large, absolutely giant score of………7/10. They are cool and all, but nothing compared to god-like fish, the freshwater goby.

Also, huge thanks to Madison Forte for this idea, I would have never gone this in-depth into goldfish lore without her suggestion to put my passion and trivia to use.