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• Check out fins. Make sure that dorsal fin is straight and stands up. The backs of goldfish should be smooth, without unsightly bumps. Also check that all fins are healthy, even and are not rotted away or damaged. In all, a Goldfish should have a dorsal fin (unless it is a goldfish without a dorsal fin), pectoral fins that extend out on sides, two anal fins or one right in middle. Beware a goldfish with just one anal fin that’s placed kind of off to one side. It could mean that other anal fin is growing inwards and that could be fatal to goldfish.
• Inspect looks. Make sure that you give goldfish you are choosing a thorough look over. See that fish has a nice symmetrical shape and make sure they don’t have large heads compared to their body. It would do good to feel fish to check if skin is too slimy or too dry but at least ensure that skin is free of spots and odd bumps and that gills are red. There should be no redness in anal region and definitely nothing sticking out or leaking out. The outside of mouth should be free from redness and white strings and eyes free from white flecks.
• Bag ‘em right. Where you’re buying goldfish, you will have to put them in ubiquitous plastic bag, but do so with care. Make sure that dealer leaves enough space on top for oxygen and right amount of water. The right amount of water is that which covers fish. Do not allow dealer to add any medicine or drops or anything else. Don’t make bag too tight and avoid a big bag that might lead to too many folds in which fish could get trapped and hurt. The bag should be tied till it is adequately taut.
Having 30 years experience in everything Goldfish, Dane Stanton has spent the past 18 months researching the most pressing questions on Goldfish. This information has been recorded in his book titled - "Goldfish Secrets Revealed" - which you can pick up by going to his website - http://www.infotrate.com/goldfish.htm