Fishing For Gold

Trough fish @ 3-4 yrs old

Saturday, October 26, 2019

On what might have been our final really beautiful day this fall season, I hurried to finish some pressing outside jobs. These included adding more hot wires to the fence that surrounds the horses, and emptying and cleaning their big watering troughs.

About those two troughs, inside one were a couple of goldfish and in the other none. For the last couple of seasons, I let both troughs start emptying of fish, because catching them is extra work at trough-cleaning times. This season, during a long string of mild-weather nights, the mornings revealed in the “empty trough” lots of mosquito larvae, while noticeably, the one occupied by two goldfish had water clear of insects.

These two are survivors from years ago when I first stocked both troughs with “feeder fish” (cheap little goldfish). Now, these guys, six or seven years old have grown to about three or four inches. Inside my house, an aquarium housses three former trough goldfish of the same vintage. A couple years ago, a trough heater malfunctioned by overheating and caused these fish to gasp and fail. I rescued and put them (temporarily) into an aquarium. They’ve survived and although old are still healthy. I grew accustomed to watching and enjoying them, didn’t return them to the troughs.

Trough cleaning means capturing goldfish

Yesterday, watching new water pour into the troughs and thinking about mosquitoes, I decided the advantages of trough goldfish overpower the challenges of capturing fish for trough-cleaning and water-changing. That afternoon, I drove to a pet store and purchased some-cents-each feeder fish–tiny beings compared to my aged goldfish. I added several into the trough with already-resident goldfish and dumped the remaining critters into the fish-empty trough.

I’m struck by large numbers of recurring mosquito larvae. Mosquitoes don’t survive really-cold spells and perhaps our nights are less chilly. Maybe thriving mosquitoes are beause of global warming, and if so, their increased population brings possibilities of heartworms in dogs that love our open canals and larger bodies of water.

Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve sworn to myself and declared aloud to the world, “no more pets!” Even though we’re talking “just goldfish”, they’re beings. One must count them daily to make sure they’re surviving, feed them regularly until their natural food (algae) accumulates on trough walls, and of course, ensure they’ve an appropriate safe heating element to cluster around during the much colder weather that’ll hit soon.

Dear Friends: Critters of all sorts, intertwined in our lives, help and teach us. Diana

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