Myth Responses
Whoa! We spoke and you answered! Here is a selection of e-mails we've received about our myths:

uuuh, interesting experiment...Your fish died for several reasons..
1) No oxygen source.
2) You fouled the water with excessive food.
3) The fish fowled the water with their own waste

Goldfish bowls are probably the worst thing you can put a Goldfish into...Do those surviving fish a favour and get them a proper tank, that is if they are still alive. I'm not sure what you think you proved with this "experiment", but you are way off the mark with your hypothesis. Good luck to you, you'll need it.

What a sad thing to read...a bunch of idiots trying to catch animals on a 6 pack ring. The problem here is that it is not a myth....the reason people cut them is because many animals have been found with this plastic wrapped around their necks or bodies, often preventing them from moving and eating properly. Sea turtles, large fish, and water birds are among the most common victims. Because you guys couldn't "catch" anything doesn't really prove anything...nor was your test even plausible....and it is larger birds that get tangled in these plastic rings, not tiny sparrows like the one chasing your bread. Don't get me wrong...I know you guys are just trying to put something funny on you website, but I am 21 years old and am majoring in wildlife management and you can see how this bothers me...and just like the other myths....yours is one too. You should reconsider your role in saving this earth....
You forgot about ducks and geese! I spent way too much time as a child chasing down the duck or goose that was trapped in the 6 pack plastic due to some drunk really does happen to these fowl... and when they get their beaks trapped in it between their chest and the plastic they cannot feed and actually dehydrate before they die...not a pretty site. Althought some of the ducks seem to believe that they were accessorizing as they did it repeatedly...
About that fish experiment: You are my freaking heroes!!!!
I swear that is the funniest scientific experiment I have ever seen!!!!!!!
Thanks for making me laugh.
Perhaps the deaths of the overfed fish were not caused by eating too much, but by the food polluting their water.
Hi there, I read your findings on the fish-feeding myth and wondered... Why weren't the fish placed in oxygenated bowls?!?! Fish need air or they'll die once they've taken in all the air in the water... In fact, I'd assume the water with too much food in it would make the water less breathable for the fish... :(
...Also, you should have fed the fish food but probably not just dumped a whole mess of food - as to keep the relative water quality the same... feed them the same amount, but keep adding more food once they're done.
Not as scientific as the plastic ring experiment (which I think you guys are right, and that cutting up plastic in little bits might lead to erronious ingestion by our forsaken wildlife.. :(
Oih!@# hehe I enjoy the website, be nicer to the fish, though ;)
It's entirely possible that the overfed fish died due to unclean water. An effective filtration system that keeps the water clean, along with antibacterial agents and fungicides, would allow for a better test. The controls group had cleaner water, due to the lower amount of food in their tupperware. I think that's significant.
I gotta agree with you... there's no evolutionary compulsion to eat yourself to death, unless it's all-you-can-eat shrimp night at The Dragon Lady's Chinese and Szechuan.
Suggestions for another attempt: do as the lady at the store said. Get a 10 gallon aquarium with an undergravel filtration system, and section each area off with dividers, so that you have 8 sections of filtered aquarium. The beauty of this is that if the dividers are perforated small enough to let the water pass, but not the food, then the quality of water will be the same throughout the aquarium, removing the variable of water quality. Just be sure the water level is lower than the screens, so the food doesn't float from one area to the other.
If you guys don't do this, I will... I've got 2 aquariums just sitting around doing nothing, and a lot of spare time. (but the spare time note is probably pretty obvious to you by now. I used to have a life.)
Hey guys!
I just discovered your website because I finally had time to check my e-mails and stumbled over my "Yahoo's Picks of the Week".
I happened to read about your overfeeding experiment...Although I am risking to be totally ridiculed by you, I will still tell you a thing or two. I am one semester away from becoming a Fish and Wildlife Biologist and I have been working with fish for quite a while. I am certainly no expert, but I am pretty certain that your fish did not die because they ate too much.
First of all they were kept in very small containers, there was no air pump, which decreases the dissolved oxygen content of the water, and I don't know if they had appropriate light. Even though fish will do fine in the dark, they do need a regular photo period or they will become stressed and often die.
The additional food led to high ammonia and nitrite concentrations of the water and that sucks for a fish. You mentioned that you were cleaning the containers, but cleaning and exchanging water also causes a lot of stress on the fish.
I guess you could say that the food killed the fish, but the fish did not die of obesity but rather because of their deteriorated environment.
So now you can laugh and call me a geek...I just felt I should give you my two cents worth of useless information!
I think your website is totally cool though
Hello, guys.
"Fish have been advancing evolutionarily until to present day. There is no evolutionary pressure to eat until you die. Fish's instincts will tell them to stop eating before it's too late." - it was a good statement, but your conclusion is wrong. Why?
"Do not overfeed goldfish. It will kill them." - Wrong word is overfeed. Indeed, you can't make your fishes to eat until death. Bad water condition caused by billions of food particles will kill them - this is the reason of death. If you install waterfilter and some water oxygenator, you can overfeed your fishes until your own death. Interesting, will anybody say: he died because he overfeed his goldfishes?
Your experiment was quite lame, try harder next time ;)
No, no, don't tell people it's okay to overfeed their fish!
But seriously, overfeeding is the single most common cause of disease in aquaria. It's not that they eat too much, but that the detritus throws off the nitrogen cycle of the tank. The end result is a huge increase in the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates that eventually poison the fish. It also happens in new aquaria, because a tank has to be in balance. There has to be an appropriate number of Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas in the gravel, coating the castles, etc., to change the waste material (fish poop and uneaten food) into harmless chemicals. A new tank doesn't have this population built up, so the effect is like overfeeding. Once it's in balance, you still need to change 10% of the water weekly to keep the balance right. The end=product nitrates aren't AS toxic, but they will eventually weaken your fishies.
When I practiced aquatic veterinary medicine, I recommended that people not feed their fish while they were away on vacation (up to a week) rather than have a friend feed them, because the most common aftermath was floaters from well-meaning overfeeding. (Of course, keeping a guppy with an oscar and not feeding for a week might lower the population, too)
But you probably knew that and figured no one would take your site seriously, right?! Okay, it was all a big joke, and I got WAY too reactive. Nice site, guys/gals.
They ate a lot, they pooped a lot, and you didn’t clean their containers. It would be interesting to see the results in an aquarium with circulating water and/or plants to turn poop and CO2 into oxygen and more plants.
you're an idiot
If you would have just stopped and thought about what you where doing, you would have realized that the fish don't eat them self’s to death, but if you over feed their water quality and nitrates are increased and kills the fish. Please don't do any more experiments that require living specimens to die because of your stupidity.
And a transcript from the Aquaria Central messageboard:
  • Thanks Mako for the link. It seems these geeks don't really know much about fish.. lol...
  • Idiots....That's all I can say.
  • I'm not even sure what to say... can people really be that ignorant?
  • And YES OVERFEEDING YOUR FISH WILL KILL THEM due to ammonia build up (or other nitrogenous waste) due to the decomposing fish food, NOT due to them being gluttons, which golfish actually are.
  • Mako, I got it from the same page of the mirrored google site. I stumbled upon the one about the goldfish. Pretty stupid people..
  • Idoits yes... Pretty damn funny though!!
  • Yeah...that site is hilarious....especially "Geeks gone Wild".
  • OMG... that site is great!!

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