MCLife: Napoleon the Fish

In a land far away (last semester), I was feeling lonely and wanted a pet.  As you know, or should know, living on campus means that you cannot have furry pets in the dorm.  So I chose the next best thing: a goldfish.  

I gave him the only appropriate name for a goldfish, Napoleon.  

Once we brought Napoleon back to his new dorm room, releasing him into the tank was the next order of business.  Here is the documentation is of this momentous event: 

So I know you’re thinking… How does a college freshman keep a goldfish alive? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you. 

It is important to let your fish know that he is loved.  These are the ways you show love to a goldfish. 

  • Feed him everyday. Just a pinch, once every morning. (Be sure to coordinate with your roommate – overfeeding is the leading cause of pet goldfish death.) Feeding your fish a nutritionally balanced fish food is important, I recommend this


  • Clean the tank. At least once a week, do a 10% water change (this is fancy terminology for taking out a cupful of old tank water and putting in a cupful of fresh sink water).  Goldfish are not diva’s, they prefer tap water over filtered.  
  • Treat the tank.  Treat the tank like you would your home.  Your fish does not deserve to live in grime.  Purchase some water treatment (something that de-chlorinates the tap water and puts in good fish nutrients).  This will make your fish smile.  This is what I prefer to use:

  • Make sure your goldfish is living in the appropriate size bowl.  You don’t like living in a ten by ten dorm room and fishy doesn’t like living in a one gallon bowl.  This will make your fish frown.  
  • Change your filter out at least once a month. Otherwise the tank gets dirtier faster, and that’s not fun for either you or your fish.  
  • Keep a to-do list. It is helpful in remembering your fish as a priority. 

  • Notice the warning signs: swollen sides, tattered fins, flaking scales.  These are all indications that your fish is not well.  Try calling the local pet store and they can help diagnose your fish.  
  • And most importantly, draw cartoons on the sides of his tank with expo markers.  You will see your fish swimming a little lighter when he has something cheerful to look at all day.  I recommend a Toy Story themed tank (Napoleon’s favorite).  


Raising a goldfish is a not an easy task.  If you are looking for a low maintenance pet you will not find one here. It takes a village. My village is Mary Nelson 2nd Floor.

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