Twenty-eight-year-old Alexandria Miller won a small goldfish at a carnival in 2018. Now, she says it has grown into a foot-long monster with an appetite to eat fellow tank mates—and she’s scrambling to keep up with the massive fish’s size and diet.
When Miller, from Chicago, first won the fish, it was just 2 inches in length. In two years’ time, however, it’s grown another 10 inches—and as a result has cost her $1,300, as the fish outgrew two different tanks, much to her shock and horror.
“When I first got him, he was in a plastic bag and was just under two inches,” Alexandria said, The Mirror UK reported. “He just looked like your regular goldfish and I thought they grew to their environment so I was expecting him to just stop growing but within a month of me having him he was already getting bigger.”
Horrifyingly, the fish, which she named Gerald, has started to eat other fish she tried to put in the tank with it, though she’s learned that it gives her signals when it wants something to eat.
“He does lay around a lot but it seems when he’s bored or hungry, he jumps out of the water and likes to grabs the thermometer inside his tank,” she explained.
The average tank goldfish doesn’t typically grow beyond an inch or two in length, Live Science reports, and rarely surpasses a 6-inch length when kept captive. Yet out in the wild, a goldfish the length of Gerald is a bit more common; you can find goldfish measuring up to 12 or 14 inches in length when they aren’t being kept in small tanks.
It’s hard to imagine that Gerald could possibly get any bigger, though Miller isn’t sure that her fish is as large as he’s going to get.
“I can’t hold the tape measure next to him, and after moving him into the big tank he won’t even let me touch him. I’ve been luring him to the glass with food to try and get his size,” she explained.
“We think he’s about two years old but we’ve got no way of knowing for sure—and some people think he’s stopped growing but I’m not convinced.”
Most pet goldfish live for around 10 years but out in the wild can live for 25 years or more. Given how much Gerald seems to like to imitate his free-living brothers and sisters, it remains to be seen whether he’ll defy the odds and just keep kicking around for a few decades.
“He’s so hard to measure—even when we were putting him in his new tank, my friend commented on how much bigger he looks in the flesh,” admitted Miller.