My very first blog entry ever. EVER. Seems fitting that it would be on koko's where I can babble about goldfish, keep a log of my tank set up and the cycling process, babble about goldfish, make notes about water quality, what food I'm feeding, and of course babble about goldfish Hmm... wonder what I'm most excited about?!
I have been taking a long break from the hobby obsession <-- because I had a long run with drospy and eventually lost all my goldies. It broke my heart when I lost them and I decided to walk away for a while. I thought a bit of a break would do me good. Little did I realize that my little break would turn into 2 years!
It all started with my very first goldie, an orange oranda my friend Michelle named Mooshu. Back then I knew basically nothing about keeping goldfish and Mooshu put up with all of my mistakes. I remember when I went to the store and saw her there, wiggling around with her tank mates being all cute, and I decided she had to come home with me. When I went to find an employee to get more information, he asked if I already had a tank that was ready for her. When I said no, he told me about cycling a tank (which went right above my head at the time) and said he couldn't sell her to me until I had a tank that was cycled. He went on about new tank syndrome and some other facts, but what I heard was "blah blah blah, you can't have her right now, blah blah blah".
Side note: knowing what I know now, that chain store employee was very knowledgeable which is unfortunately rare as most chain stores want to sell sell sell and don't care about the actual goldfish.
OK... back on track: I bought a tank (a 5 gallon ), filter, etc. and went home to get things set-up because I was in love with that cute little fishy and she needed to be home with me so I could oogle at her 24/7. I went back every day to check and make sure no one else bought her and then on the third day I went back to buy her, thinking that 3 days was enough to cycle a tank (can you imagine if you really COULD cycle a tank in 3 days?!). Sheesh. I somehow convinced that poor guy to sell her to me with the promise that I would do daily water changes until the tank was fully cycled AND that I would test the water every day. Oh happy day! I had a goldfish. I went and bought some basic books about keeping goldies, fed the poor girl flakes, did 10% daily water changes, had a lacking filter, and no surface agitation. Gee.... can you guess what happened next? She started gasping for air, became floaty off an on, and had a case of popeye. Needless to say, she was not a happy camper. I mean, how could any goldie thrive in that environment, right?
That's when I found koko's. I was amazed there was a forum dedicated to goldfish and I got really excited. I was so happy to have found a place where so much knowledge was being shared and that so many people loved their goldies as much as I loved mine! I started searching through the site, reading everything I could. I learned about the cycling process, proper filtration, good quality food, tank requirements, water quality and testing, and so much more. Thanks to koko's, Mooshu was properly treated and her life was so much better than it had been.
She was upgraded to a 12 gallon tank with proper filtration and she was finally in a stable environment with good water quality and a varied diet. Soon after I upgraded her to a 26 gallon and got her a blue oranda buddy, Moose. Then I picked up a 65 gallon and started a fishless cycle. During the months it took to cycle, I found an amazing orange/black chubby cheeked oranda and had to bring him home. I named him Mr. Wendell I was head over heels for this one. He hung out in QT by his lonesome until the 65 was ready. Then, everyone was introduced. Birds sang, unicorns danced, and glitter clouds floated in the air (well, that might be an exaggeration, but that's how proud and happy I was). I even picked up an itty bitty lionhead, Martini. Life was good.
Somehow, something started going very wrong. I still am not sure exactly what happened, but I know it had to have been something I did or something I neglected to do because Mooshu had reoccurring issues with popeye and drospy and the other goldies starting following suit. I'll spare the details, but off and on I was putting goldies into QT. It was very frustrating and I felt awful that I couldn't get everyone healthy. Eventually, the meds just weren't working anymore and one by one, I lost them. I never pinpointed the issue either. I felt defeated. Months of treating just to lose them. I knew I needed a break so I nuked the tank and left it sitting in the living room.
What happened sucked, but I will forever be thankful to outpouring of help, advice, and support I received. This is truly a site where everyone wants you to succeed and wants the best for your goldies. It's rare to find a forum where people are helpful AND kind hearted. Yeah, koko's rules
I thought I wouldn't be able to stay away for long and it really didn't feel like that much time had passed but a few weeks ago I realized it has been a few years. YEARS. How did that happen? Enough is enough! I've been away too long and the more I think about it, the more I miss it, and the more excited I get. I have the itch... BAD.
I am so looking forward to this fresh start.
Man it feels good to be back.