Greedy – A Memoir

Approximately four years ago we purchased this sweet little goldfish to replace one that had died. My eldest (5/6 at the time), named him Goldlight the Best. We homed him in our tank with our one surviving goldfish (who died recently, but more about that later). 

It quickly became clear that Goldlight the Best was a bit of a bully. He would intimidate his tank-mate, Goldy, and literally chase him away from the food, then gobble it all up himself. Needless to say, he became very fat very fast, so we renamed him Greedy. And I learned to feed the two fish separately – not a sentence I would ever have thought I’d have to write! 

Greedy’s second love after eating, was nibbling on the gravel at the bottom of the tank, sucking a piece into his mouth and then spitting it out. But this one time, I noticed a small bit of gravel stuck…I want to say at the lips, but fish don’t have lips as such, so just at the mouth entrance, I guess. 

I didn’t really know what to do so I kinda waited for a few hours, seeing if the problem would resolve itself. But no, it didn’t and I knew Greedy wouldn’t be able to eat with a piece of gravel stuck in his mouth, so I had to get it out for him. And that was my first Greedy-saving event. If you’ve ever had to catch a fish by hand and carefully retrieve something from its mouth, whilst it’s flapping and slimy in your hand, you’ll know it’s not easy! But I did it and Greedy went back to bullying and eating.

Since then, for years, Greedy and Goldy lived together uneventfully…

Then we went away for a long weekend in November and had a friend feed our pets for us. I left very clear instructions on how little to give the fish (they only eat a tiny amount). However, when I got home, I discovered Goldy dead and floating and Greedy, struggling for survival. There was food EVERYWHERE in the tank. The poor things had been well and truly overfed.

As you can see, they only need about 6-10 of those little round, brown pellets, but received a significant amount more! I know Greedy loves his food, but not that much! He was really struggling and gasping, so I immediately removed him from the water, cleaned out the tank, the filter and the gravel, removed dead Goldy (😒) and rehomed Greedy. He was back to his usual self within 24 hours. Phew.

I purchased some lively, black goldfish to replace Goldy. I wasn’t particularly after black, but there is a shortage of gold goldfish – who knew?! The little black guys are frisky and don’t let Greedy intimidate them at all, which is cool. The kids named them Long Tail and Messi…(?)

They’re little and fast moving so quite a nice addition to the tank. And if you look to the rear right corner, you can see Greedy. He’s struggling for survival once again. This time, I’m not sure what might have happened to lead to his ‘depressed’ state. So I asked my boys, if they had been keeping up feeding the fish since we got back from camping eight days ago, and the answer was a non eye contact, quiet “um, no”. 

Oh God.

I look closer and there is no movement whatsoever. I was pretty sure he was dead as even his gills weren’t moving. I gently tapped the glass next to where he lay and his eye moved – he was alive! I scoop him up and this time there is no flapping, he is completely lifeless in my hand. I plop him in a separate jug of fish tank water and watch him lying at the bottom lifeless, wondering what the heck to do with him this time! My youngest, who is the overseer of the fish feeding, put a couple of pellets of food into the jug. Greedy does nothing. I knew now for sure, he must be on death’s door. So I hand feed my fish…another sentence I never thought I’d be writing! One by one, I put 4 pellets in his mouth.


After spending 20 minutes holding him whilst he eats the 4 pellets I hand fed him, I let go of Greedy and get to work, cleaning the filter and doing a fish tank ‘quarter water change’. I keep an eye on him and he seems a bit perkier but not much.

The jug is pretty small, so I put him back in the tank with the other two and he just sinks to the bottom, dorsel fin still flat and has stayed there motionless since. He seems to be breathing better than before so who knows. Maybe it wasn’t hunger. Maybe he’s just reached old age? Maybe he is pining for Goldy (snort)? Either way, he’s not a happy fish.


You may think I’m nuts, dedicating an entire post to a goldfish or for caring so much, but I do. Poor Greedy.


14 thoughts on “Greedy – A Memoir

  1. Millie says:

    Oh dear! he doesn’t look happy at all, I hope he recovers! I would do exactly the same for my pets too. Praying fro Greedy.


      • Millie says:

        Exactly!! I saved a lizard tangled up in a vine the other day, I’m a soft touch for all of our creatures and critters.


      • Water Girl NZ says:

        Aw, good on you.

        I’m terrified, and I mean totally arachnophobic, of spiders which means if one comes across my path I kill it…however, I always make sure I do it really fast and hard so it doesn’t suffer. That doesn’t make it right, I know.

        I really wish I could be one of those people who capture it in a jar and set it free in the garden. And I do that with bees and other insects, but just not spiders.


        Liked by 1 person

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