A few months ago I bought fish tank. I started with nine goldfish. Last week, three died, and I replaced them. After two more have died, one orange and one black, I now have four goldfish left. According to Vaastu/Feng Shui, are we supposed to keep nine goldfish and one black fish, or eight goldfish and one black fish? I was also told to keep my 37 gallon tank in the North corner of my house. Can I keep fewer fish or get an extra, smaller tank and put three fish in that tank to make total of nine?
Vana R., Brampton, Ont.
Thank you for your question! Before we begin, it might be helpful for you to look at two of our previous answers, Question of the Month: What About Goldfish? and Q&A Sunday: A Feng Shui Aquarium. You may find useful information there as well.
In your specific situation, my intuition tells me the true issue isn't necessarily about how many goldfish you have or how big your tank is. Life isn't isn't always about following rules tightly or too loosely. In Buddhism and in feng shui, we have the concepts of being tight and loose. If you're too tight, you follow things too closely. If you're too loose, you don't follow closely enough. I am feeling that you are too tight.
Fortunately, you can take a lesson from the flow of the water in the aquarium and be a little looser in your life. It's good that these questions are coming up, because you're curious and dedicated to shifting things. But there is also a tightness coming across. I can be a very tight person too, but just like with the strings of an instrument, if they're too taut, the music isn't right. If they're too slack, the music isn't right either. It's about finding and feeling the balance.
One of the reasons one may want to use an aquarium in the home, at least in BTB feng shui, is to add more flexibility, flow and openness, like water. This is the feeling I'm getting from your question, so I encourage you to look at what is appropriate for you, rather than what the "rules" dictate. In an aquarium, the water is always circulating and moving. It's a metaphor for creating a flow and resisting getting stuck or creating solid rules.
Another thought, ask yourself why those fish died. Did they die because you weren't taking care of them, or was it an accident? Did they die randomly, or were they perhaps not high quality fish? I think it's important to really consider these factors.
The answers to that question will help with the next part, which is figuring out what's best for you and your lifestyle. What size aquarium works best for YOUR space? If you've worked with a Vaastu or feng shui practitioner, and they recommended keeping the tank in the North corner, go with what they advised. It is worth noting that 37 gallons is considered a medium size tank, so if it seems like it's a bit much for you to keep up with, you might want to try a smaller option. It may help to go back to your practitioner and ask why they made the original recommendation and if you can downsize. I can't really advise on this, since practitioners are all very different, but I recommend looking at whether this size is appropriate for you. Keeping fish in your space can be good feng shui, but if you can't maintain them, it could defeat the purpose.
In your case, it seems that you actually want to try a smaller tank. You can definitely keep fewer than nine fish. In one of the previous questions about goldfish mentioned above, I do share that three is also a good number for fish, but I can't give you a solid answer here, because I feel it's something you need to challenge yourself with. Don't try to just follow the rules and be super tight; really look at what works best for you and add some looseness. Return to the practitioner you originally saw for advice. What was the reasoning behind their recommendations? I also suggest looking for a bit more openness, looseness and flow in your life. That could help you to find the answer you're looking for.