Animal Scene - - AQUA BASICS -

For us in Metro Manila, the live fish most of­ten given as food are the Green Molly, also known as the “kataba,” and the guppy or feeder gold­fish. The claim that katabas and gup­pies come from dirty wa­ter is a mis­con­cep­tion. If the wa­ter was dirty, then they would have died right there in their home wa­ters. It may be dirty as far as hu­mans are con­cerned, but not too dirty as far as fish are con­cerned. When I was a kid, I went to my grand­mother’s ban­gus farm in Bu­la­can, and the ponds were teem­ing with katabas. This was the same wa­ter where the ban­gus were farmed. But no one ever as­sumed that the ban­gus come from dirty wa­ter. Another mis­con­cep­tion that I have heard is to buy feeder gold­fish rather than katabas be­cause the for­mer are “much cleaner.” Since feeder gold­fish are farmed, it is as­sumed that these are dis­ease and par­a­site free―yet this is not nec­es­sar­ily so. While it is true they are farmed, feeder gold­fish are of­ten raised in over­stocked ponds, un­der­fed, and caught in huge nets by the hun­dreds at a time. They are not given the care­ful treat­ment that the Oran­das, Ranchus, and other va­ri­eties of fancy gold­fish en­joy. I can’t as­cer­tain that their con­di­tion is much bet­ter be­cause when you buy feeder gold­fish, by the time you reach home, half of them are dead or most of them are half dead. I also ob­served that earth pond-raised feeder gold­fish are sus­cep­ti­ble to an­chor worms, fish lice, and gill flukes. So you might as well check if the feeder gold­fish you will buy har­bor these par­a­sites.

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