ResilienceTwo Kiwi goldfish survive without food for more than four months

Published 28 July 2011

Workers returning to a downtown office in Christchurch, New Zealand, discover goldfish alive in their tank at the office; the goldfish have not been fed since the February floods forced the evacuation of the town; fish expert theorize that bacteria kept the water in the tank clean, and that the fish ate algae which grew on rocks in the tank

Two New Zealand goldfish survive 134 days without food // Source:

Here is an inspiring story: two goldfish in New Zealand have survived without food for more than four months. AP reports that the fish were stranded in a Christchurch downtown office with no-one to feed them after the February earthquake, the AP reports.

Vicky Thornley was given the go-ahead to return to the office on 6 July to pick up her belongings. She discovered that the goldfish were alive when an earthquake-recovery worker shouted: “Hey, there are fish here, and they’re alive!”

I was astounded,” she recalled.

Global Post reports that a curator at an American aquarium theorized that bacteria in the tank helped keep the water clean enough to inhabit, while algae on the rocks and tank walls may have provided a sufficient amount of nutrition for the fish to survive.

Thornley took the goldfish home for her 5-year-old son Joshua. He named them after the Scooby Doo characters Shaggy and Daphne, and they now share the same tank as his two other fish Scooby and Fred.