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Old 08-20-2005, 11:03 AM   #1
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Myth: Goldfish have shorter life spans in warmer waters.

OK So I emailed a friend of mine. He happens to have been a university professor, he has written MANY science books, has a PHD in Nuclear Chemistry. This is one guy who knows the ins and outs of almost every science.

So I decided to shoot him an email about this goldfish thing.

His response:
Quote:
The biggest problem for goldfish, is a RAPID change in temperature. While they can adjust to many temperatures, they need time to make that adjustment. Thus, the worst thing you can do for your
goldfish is purposely increase or decrease the temperature quickly.
I asked him about whether their life spans were shorter in warmer waters... Nope. He said the main thing to realize is that quote above.

So- "Myth- Goldfish are "coldwater" fish that when put in warmer waters (76- average aquarium temperature) will shorten their life span.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:13 AM   #2
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A nuclear chemist, huh?
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:15 AM   #3
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Temperature alone might not do it, but there are other factors involved. Goldfish are prodigous (I don't know why I always use this word to describe goldfish waste, but I heard it once and cannot stop using it) waste producers. The ammonia is more reactive at higher temperatures, so I will cause more damage to the fish's sensative tissues. With a proper water volume and filtration it should be no problem, but people usually do not provide this. According to logic, everyone who owns a goldfish should have a 3' monster that lives 100 years since the fish has a steady food supply and no predators. In reality, a year is a long time for many people.

Also, 76 seems like a reasonable "coldwater" temp to me. In my experience tropical usually begins in the low 80's.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:15 AM   #4
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What? You think I made this up? I copied and pasted it from his email.

He does have a PHD in that as well, this isnt made up.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:23 AM   #5
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It's been my understanding that goldfish do better in cooler water because it contains a higher amount of dissolved oxygen than warmer water. I wouldn't dispute the idea that goldfish can adapt to higher temperatures, but their gills evolved to extract oxygen from cooler water that contains alot more of it. I'm speculating here, but I would also think that goldfish would be more susceptible to nitrite poisoning in warmer water-again owing to their decreased gill efficiency.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:34 AM   #6
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zacdl, no one is saying you made any of this up. However, just having a PhD does not mean this person is an expert on fish and fish care. There are more factors than just temperature of water as both QTOFFER and RogerMcAllen both explained. Goldfish need high amounts of oxygen (possibly something the professor didn't know) and do produce a high amount of ammonia which does become more toxin in warmer waters. Now, keep ammonia levels at 0 and having the water oxygenated through an airpump *could* be a way around this.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:55 AM   #7
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Reminds me of an old joke, and this is ONLY a joke:

what do the initials PHD stand for?


Piled HIgh and Deep

now that I got that off my chest, like rubysoho, I would give more credence to a PHD of ichthyology than nuclear physics. However, I do appreciate someone who excells in a demanding science like physics likely has the acumen to be knowlegeble in other areas, if they are well rounded.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:07 PM   #8
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The thing of it is... The ponds arent big enough to havea 3' monstor in your pond (And I dont think goldfish grow this large anyway, 2' is largest I have seen).


Since when were we talking about dissolved oxygen, and the ammonia involved? Its a givin you have enough water flow and filtration to keep a goldfish to start with.

This guy is VERY well rounded. Has written books dealing with all the sciences (he loves Chemistry the most, but he does know tons about other things as well)

He isnt Pile High and Deep. I would agree with you if all he had was a PHD in NC, I wouldnt listen to him much at all. But I do belive he has a PHD in Biology as well, and he has taught science all his life, written lots of articles in major magazines and such.

He teaches Pysics, biology, Chemistry, general science, the list goes on and on, he teaches everything.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:08 PM   #9
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I guess if he doesnt know goldfish need oxygen... I guess he surely doesnt know that humans need air either!!!
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:10 PM   #10
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And wouldnt it make since... that it would be BETTER on a goldfish to not have temperature swings, so it would be BETTER on the fish to have a heater in the tank to keep it consistant? So its BETTER keeping it indoors to start with, as then they dont go through winters outdoors.

Hmmmm...
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
He teaches Pysics, biology, Chemistry, general science, the list goes on and on, he teaches everything.
Sounds like a renaissance man, indeed. Remember, I meant no offense and did not intend to impugn your source. I just felt like injecting a little bit of academic humor into the thread. I also have no reason to contradict what he has stated either. I am neither disagreeing with his statement or his credentials. I am also aware of widespread recomendations to the contrary.

I have an idea, since you know that some consider higher temps to be detrimental for the reasons stated above, would it be possible to impose on him again and ask him why those arguments are not valid? I also think that one must consider the large differences between fancy goldfish varieties and the run of the mill variety.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:19 PM   #12
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wouldnt air stones and an aerated filter compensate for the lack of oxygen in hot water?
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:24 PM   #13
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yes, that is basically what they are talking about, warmer the water the more oxygen needed to be added to the water
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:30 PM   #14
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Aeration can only increase the oxygen content up to full saturation. Higher temp water has a lower oxygen holding capacity, so that less oxygen is present at saturation at higher temps. SW has a lower capacity compared to FW as well. Thus, aeration only gets the the water up to full oxygen saturation, but can go no further. Cooler water, fully aerated, holds more oxygen than warmer water fully aerated.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:52 PM   #15
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And if you are keeping goldfish in the first place you should have enough oxygen input and filtration to start with. That has nothing to do with water temperature shortening the lives of fish, obviously (If you guys are meaning this IS the reason why not to get fish, then you have lacked in the subject of advice.... Instead of saying "dont do it" you should have said "Increase oxygen" and "Increase filtration". But I doubt this is it...)


Now...
WHY would you guys think warmer water would be harmful to fish?

I would like to get a hold on all the details of your argument before emailing him again (Im sure he is pretty busy!)
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:13 PM   #16
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The reasoning is that warmer water holds less oxygen. Goldfish have been bred for cooler temps, and are not as well adapted to living in the lower oxygen environment of warmer water. This stress would shorten lifespan. This stress would be more significant in the highly ornamental fancy varieties. I have no idea if this is really true. I have no idea if the difference between 70 degrees and 80 degrees is that significant, although with some digging you could look up the oxygen saturation differences of the two temps. There may be other factors in the species that make warmer temps more stressful to them, but I have not studied the subject myself. I accept the reasoning that a fish breed that has been bred in cooler temps would do better in cooler temps, but I don't know if the difference between your room temp and your tropical tank is that significant. The prevailing advice from many goldfish owners and breeders is that it does. This may be due to ornamental fancy varieties having their genetics selected for appearance rather than health and durability.

Obviously, oxygen content is not the only consideration. If so, tropical fish would do better at colder temps, and none of us would need heaters in our tanks. Temperature tolerance is part of the species or breed, and we usually try to match the temperature requirement of our fish to our tank temp.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:17 PM   #17
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So its from lack of oxygen?
lol, thats the reason?

I dont know, but it would seem to me like you would want to increase flow instead of creating this myth "Goldfish lives will be shorter".

Oxygen saturation is not that significant from 70-80. I dont think there is any differance in there. In fact, there is LESS oxygen (In an outside pond) during the winter, caused from less waterflow, less water changes, less gas exchange because of ice, etc.


I think you otta just put this behind you and stop streading this around, as it is obviously not true.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:23 PM   #18
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I always assumed it was metabolism.. the warmer it is the faster the metabolism, making them more active and consiquently live a shorter life (not alot difference of course)
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
I think you otta just put this behind you and stop streading this around, as it is obviously not true.
I think that we are all entitled to our own opinions and others should not be forced upon us. We all have our different methods of fish keeping, with varied levels of success.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:45 PM   #20
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If you use that reasoning... Back when everyone thought the earth was flat, and someone came and proved otherwise... was that an opinion?

Heck no, not an opinion.

This isnt his opinion either, its science
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