Meet Mr Bubbles, the colossal goldfish hybrid that weighs as much as a 10-year-old child. This impressive specimen serves as a powerful reminder not to release pets into the wild, as they can grow to astonishing sizes and wreak havoc on ecosystems.
In Champagne, France, an angler made an extraordinary catch at BlueWater Lakes—a record-breaking goldfish weighing a whopping 30 kilograms (67 pounds). The fish, known as The Carrot, was originally released into the carp fishery two decades ago and has since become one of the largest goldfish hybrids in the world.
Goldfish, typically hardy types of domesticated carp, come in various breeds and captivating arrangements, such as the celestial eye goldfish. Sometimes they are even hybridized with other fish, like koi, which was the case for The Carrot. Given the freedom to roam for 20 years, she has reached a remarkable weight of over 30 kilograms, equivalent to that of an average 10-year-old child. After a challenging 25-minute battle, angler Andy Hackett from Worcestershire, UK, successfully reeled her in, snapped a few photos, and released her back into the water.
But how do goldfish attain such substantial sizes? The remarkable growth of The Carrot serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of not releasing pets into the wild. Certain types of goldfish can reach immense proportions due to their hardiness. In parts of America, giant goldfish have become a problem, disturbing silt beds, uprooting plants, and disrupting ecosystems. Pet owners who release goldfish into waterways contribute to this issue.
Dumped goldfish become invasive species, often outcompeting native species for resources. Their insatiable appetites enable them to grow larger, but in the process, they can acquire and transmit parasites. Goldfish are opportunistic feeders, consuming whatever food is available, and depending on the breed, they can live surprisingly long lives. Certain breeds can exceed a foot in length, and if they are hybridized, like The Carrot, they can grow even larger.
Contrary to the common association of goldfish with small, bowl-dwelling pets, their size is influenced by their environment. Goldfish kept in small tanks with limited food resources will remain small, partly due to stress, until they pass away. However, when provided with larger tanks and ample food, they can quickly grow into much larger fish.
It is important to note that in the United States, it is illegal to release unwanted pets into natural waterways. The US Fish and Wildlife Service offers guidance on responsible ways to part ways with goldfish if necessary. Given the surprising potential of goldfish to thrive and expand in size, it is wise to take proper precautions and avoid the environmental consequences of pet dumping. After all, we wouldn’t want to upset Mr Bubbles, especially now that goldfish are apparently capable of driving cars.