Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Time to stop using Goldfish Bowl imagery

Pet care has gone through an evolution in the last 50 years with standards in many areas rising. The classic image of a small round goldfish bowl does not represent the standard of care most aquariists hold themselves to. Indeed, the are often only still sold with unfortunate creature like the betta fish in mind--but some pet store will still tell people that a simple glass soup bowl is suited to be a goldfish;s whole world..

When you go to authoritative sites and aquarium forums the common advice is that goldfish are "messy" fish with a large adult size.  The require a large aquarium for 20 gallons or more and with a filtration system. And this is entirely correct.

A "designer" 2.5 gallon bowl
So I, for one, would like to see advertisers, industries and hobby magazine from using the classic goldfish bowl imagery. The glass globe, without filter and often even without substrate in which a single goldfish waits to die.  I know that photographers probably pose these creature in bowl for reasons of visual style.  But it sets up completely unrealistic expectations in novel fisher keepers--and it is time for this to stop.

"Petworld" should be ashamed
Goldfish belong in aquariums, and many of them ultimately in ponds.  We should expect these fish to live long healthy live and to reach their mature size.  And we should keep them, and show them being kept, in a way that will allow this it happen.

Would you show a cat in a crate or a dog on a two foot tether has a "happy" picture, or "just an illustration"? No. Goldfish also simply should not be shown in habitats unfit for purpose.  Not on packaging, not for display purposes, nor for artistic effect. Never.

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