Welcome, new and aspiring fishkeepers! This webpage is designed to be your go-to resource for the fish game at the Duveneck Harvest Carnival.
As a disclaimer, I do not support the fish game as it involves giving live animals to those who may not be prepared for the commitment. However, given that this game continues to be a part of the carnival, I have chosen to help out by providing this resource for new fishkeepers.
For two years, the Harvest Carnival gave away goldfish. I suggested that they switch to offering betta fish instead because they require less intensive setups compared to goldfish. Now, the carnival distributes bettas. You can find my care sheets for both of these fish below:
Like all animals, fish have specific care requirements that must be met in order to survive and thrive. If these criteria are not met, then the fish will inevitably suffer as a result. I strongly urge parents to discuss the responsibilities of owning a fish with their children prior to participating in the Harvest Carnival's fish game.
Fish require tanks to live in—traditional fish bowls are not acceptable enclosures and are now considered to be animal cruelty. Learn more about the requirements of caring for your fish with the short, one-page care sheets that are linked above. If you are not prepared to properly care for a fish, please do not bring one home.
The Importance of Dechlorination
The same chemicals that are used to treat swimming pool water—chlorine and chloramines—are also introduced to municipal water (albeit in lower concentrations). These chemicals are incredibly harmful to fish and are one of the leading causes of death in new fish. Dechlorinator is the name of the chemical treatments that fishkeepers use to treat their water, making it safe to keep fish in. Please, remember to purchase dechlorinator for your new fish!
The Nitrogen Cycle
Fish waste turns into ammonia, a chemical that is toxic to fish. In enclosed spaces such as fish tanks, ammonia can accumulate and kill your fish. In established aquaria, bacteria and archaea convert ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate (a less toxic chemical). In new tanks, however, these microorganism populations have yet to build up and fish are at risk. While these populations grow, you must perform regular water changes quite often in order to keep your fish safe. You can learn more in the care sheets linked above.
When given proper care, fish live for many years and can spark lifelong passions for animals. Be sure to think about whether or not you are ready for the commitment of owning fish and have a wonderful time at the Harvest Carnival!