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Long story short I am building a small waterfall for my room that will include a small, bucket sized pond. I think two goldfish would look beautiful in it and, aside from the ethics would be a great idea.
Two things that are holding me back are:
1) The goldfish food must be vegetarian, preferably vegan. So I would be looking for herbivore fish. This seems doable after some research.
2) The ethics. In my opinion, as long as the life of the goldfish is worth living than it is acceptable. But I find it hard to contemplate the mind of a fish. Opinions on keeping fish in a fishbowl? Can they be kept entertained? Is it ethical? Is it better than no life at all? Is it worth living for them. Is it better than nonexistence The bowl would have plants, algae running water. I would be willing to do anything else that would make life better for them.
Just mulling it over in my mind, looking for opinions. Any opinions, for and against, are welcomed.
I used to have some goldfish and a plecostamus in a 10 gallon tank. Takes a lot more care than most people think. Eventually I used craigslist and gave the fish away to someone who had an actual pond because I was worried the fish were in an unsuitable environment due to small captivity such as the 10 gal tank. One of the goldfish jumped out of the tank at one point so a lid is crucial. My biggest concern is the importance of size/volume they're able to live in. If fish do have the potential to contemplate their existence and pain, I imagine they would have a better life in their original environments like lakes and oceans. However, I don't know if they actually can, but I don't think my ignorance should warrant poor choices for ones own unnecessary satisfaction. "Better safe than sorry!"
After a good bit of thought I have settled on brine shrimp (aka sea monkeys).
1) Small size
2) Often live naturally in puddles (so the small container seems ethical as it is comparable to there natural habitat)
3) Vegan diet
4) Easy to care for
I am still looking into the details but it seems like a good solution.