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 L# Coldwater, Watergardens, and Ponds
  L# Cichlids in ponds?
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SubscribeCichlids in ponds?
knguyent
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Small Fry
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Registered: 25-May-2008
I currently stay in Northern Virginia. The temperature for summer is around 70-80 and the winter drops to 30 and sometimes below.

I recently dug a pond, and put the plastic pond frame sold at Home Depot (60 Gallons) since i wanted a nice small waterfall in my backyard.

1 of the neighbor's kids went fishing at a nearby lake and caught 4 cichlids. I dont know what kind of cichlids they are, but they are extremely colorful from the sides but dull from top view.

So my question is, will they be able to thrive in my pond? I was a little worried at first since it can get cold in the winter, but these fish come from a local lake and this lake sometimes freezes in the winter too. I dont know if i should leave them in here or release them. I also have 6 little goldfish my father brought home from PetSmart for fun.

Thanks folks.
Post InfoPosted 26-May-2008 06:00Profile PM Edit Report 
Joe Potato
 
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Fish Addict
Kind of a Big Deal
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male usa us-northcarolina
I doubt that they're actually cichlids. As far as I know, there are no native North American cichlids north of the Rio Grande river. I'm guessing they're actually some sort of sunfish. Maybe a Pumpkinseed?
Post InfoPosted 26-May-2008 20:11Profile Homepage AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
Wingsdlc
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What is this?
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I was thinking the same thing. If they are a sunfish, unless they are very small you will want something bigger. They can be quite aggressive.

55G Planted tank thread
19G Container Pond
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Post InfoPosted 27-May-2008 01:44Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
knguyent
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Small Fry
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Thanks for the reply guys. And you guys were right they are sunfish.

I read up online and the information about them states that they prefer warm temperature. But they're found here in lakes in Virginia, where the temperature in the winter drops to below 30.

How is this possible? And do you think i can still keep them in my pond?

Thanks a bunch guys.
Post InfoPosted 27-May-2008 04:21Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
brandeeno
 
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Mega Fish
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male usa us-california
they should be ok unitl winter in the pond, but sixty gallons is fairly small and you should look into something larger if you wnat multiple specimens... somthing arround 200-500 gallons would be nice for them and if not you could definatley try other local or coldwater fish... if you do want to go cichlids you need more room and also you need to heat the water to near 75 to keep it at a safe temp for the ciclids... they have been kept in ponds... also if you wan you can keep other specimens like danios or gouramis even livebearers can be kept in ponds outdoors and plants would also be nice for them! sounds like you need to plan a bit on what you want before you just throw some fish in there as you will need filtration (pon pump can be comverted to a filter with the right materials) and other thimgs like substrate and plants.... good luck!

\\\\\\\"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure\\\\\\\"
Post InfoPosted 27-May-2008 06:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
knguyent
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Small Fry
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Thanks brandeeno. I just want something in the pond to keep the mosquito larvae under control.

I might as well release them back, before winter comes then.
Post InfoPosted 27-May-2008 08:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
brandeeno
 
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Mega Fish
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male usa us-california
depending on how large they get depends on how many will be ok in the pond. I am not reall familiar with sunfish... but any small fish will keep the mosquito larva down. i would say a few platies or mollies would do the trick nicely! but you could always do goldfish or anything for that matter. also if you keep the smaller pond, you have a better chance of being able to keep it heated in the winter if you use electric heaters...

\\\\\\\"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure\\\\\\\"
Post InfoPosted 27-May-2008 22:22Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
knguyent
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Small Fry
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Right! That sounds like a plan then. I am starting to like these fish more and more. I guess im gonna have to invest in a heater so i can keep them around.

But i still have no idea how they survived in local lakes...migrate? Lol im gonna have to find out!!

Thanks Brandeeno.
Post InfoPosted 28-May-2008 00:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
ACIDRAIN
 
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Sunfish are native to your area, and native to areas up into Canada. They not only survive the cold weather but need it to procreate. If they don't get a cold weather season, they will not spawn. As long as the water does not completely freeze solid, they will survive. In lakes, only the surface of the water freezes, not the entire lake. As for your small pre-formed pond, there is a chance it could freeze solid, but is unlikely if it is buried with at least 12+ inches in the ground.

Your biggest problem with those fish, is that they will out grow that size pond. They get about 10+ inches long. And unlike having them in a tank inside, they don't get much of a water change. They get new water from the rain, but it is not changed, and thus you end up with a build up of nitrates and such. Not good for the fish. Megga plants will help with this, but then you loose even more of the amount of water that is displaced by the plants. I would not add any additional fish in that pond if I were you.

If you really enjoy them that much, you might want to look into getting a larger size pond to put in your yard. Lowe's has the pre-formed ponds as large as about 200 gallons. You might also look into a lined pond (pond liner), which you can make a pond with, any shape and size you want. For the larger sized ponds, these are much more cost effective. And they last for many years. Some guarantee up to 20+ years even. The prefered depth for a pond in your area, for fish, is about 2+ feet depth. The guarantees your fish survive the winter.

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There is always a bigger fish...
Post InfoPosted 28-May-2008 15:16Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
ACIDRAIN
 
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I am moving your thread to the pond section of the forums, as you may get more answers and suggestions, as we now know they are not cichlids.

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There is always a bigger fish...
Post InfoPosted 28-May-2008 15:18Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gilraen Took
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One thought, if you have a spare QT tank and a store that sells feeder fish you might want to keep an eye out for mosquitofish. They sometimes get tossed in with the feeder fish(same really low price) and stay tiny. Don't know about the winter, but they'll go to town on mosquito larvae. QT first though since feeders are known for being sick from bad living conditions and if you want any more fish in there at any time you wouldn't want them to catch anything. Rosy red/fathead minnows are "feeders" and may work for you too

[url=http://dragcave.ath.cx/viewdragon/bNFR][/url]
Post InfoPosted 31-May-2008 22:18Profile AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
knguyent
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Small Fry
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Thanks Acidrain for the helpful tips. I guess i will keep them until they outgrow the pond then off to the lake they go again. They're neat tho.

Gilraen Took : yea i am keeping a school of mosquito fish in a 15G tank for feeding purpose. I figured might as well start my own colony rather than spending $1 each time for 10...they spawned already! /:'
Post InfoPosted 02-Jun-2008 04:22Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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