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Posted by Bill Moss on February 11, 2003 at 19:27:17:
In Reply to: Okay, I shouldn't feed goldfish. But WHY? posted by MiserMike on February 10, 2003 at 13:35:20:
The problems with goldfish are threefold.
1) They are commercially raised and as such, are being raised as cheaply as possible. They are fed the minimum diet and one that contains elements for rapid growth. Just like rats that are raised on cheap food, the nutrional value is compromised.
2) As with one above, the fact that they are raised commercially and cheaply means that they are kept in as crowded of conditions as they will tolerate and still survive. These overcrowded conditions cause stress which manifests itself as weakened and disease-prone fish. Ever notice how many floaters there are in a petshop goldfish aquarium?
3) Probably most important, goldfish, like many fatty fish, contain the enzime thiaminase. Thiaminase blocks thiamin (vit. B). The net result of feeding animals a diet of goldfish (or any other fishes with thiaminase) is vitamin B deficiency, symptoms of which can be paralysis. A few won't cause this but a diet of them can.
Addressing a question from below about organ meat. Too much organ meat can cause gout (just as in humans). This can cause urate deposits on internal organs and intense pain and swelling of joints. (I had it once and it's bad, believe me).
For the long-term health of the animals, you'll have to look at the natural diet and offer as best you can, a replication of it, at least from the nutritional standpoint. Not always easy!