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 L# Coldwater, Watergardens, and Ponds
  L# Newbie help
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appleshoe
Small Fry
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Registered: 06-May-2010
Hello- we are putting in a 75" X 54" X 18" 100 gallon pond with solar fountain and later a small waterfall. We want fish but don't want to torture them. I was thinking 10 male fancy tail guppies and 3 to 5 mosquito fish. But I really want Shubunkins.... Is this to shallow? Could I have 3 Shubunkins if they were the only fish in the pond? We live up north and they will have to come inside during the winter and there will be live plants in the pond and aquarium in the winter. Thank you for your help in advance
Post InfoPosted 06-May-2010 12:40Profile Homepage PM Edit Report 
Babelfish
 
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female australia us-maryland
18" is a bit on the shallow side. No chance of getting it to 24"? it'd be much better. If 18" really is the max you would be okay with the shubunkins, but it wouldn't be ideal for them. Goldfish like to be able to nibble on the bottom, mine usually did this by doing headstands and if the tank or pond isn't deep enough they cant get upright.

You didn't mention any type of filtration on the pond. What plans do you have for that? Just a solar fountain would not be enough to agitate the surface (thereby aerating the water) and it wont do anything to filter the water.
If I was doing it I'd put the waterfall in first, you can hide the filtration in the waterfall, the outflow of the filter becomes the waterfall. Our pool is set up like this (but with a toggle to allow the filter to run without the waterfall). Keep in mind the filter will need to run 24/7.
How deep of a freeze do you get? A big issue is what sized tank you'll have for them when they come indoors. Or if you'll have an indoor pond for them to move into (rubbermaid stock tanks work well for this). If you don't get a deep deep freeze and the pond is deep enough hardier goldfish and koi can winter over, it's just a matter of not feeding them until the temperatures warm up enough that the bacteria that is your biological filter is able to grow and start functioning again.

Also keep in mind that goldfish are omnivores, and they really like their plant matter. Make sure you have fast growing plants, and or supplement their diet with some veggies like peas and lettuce tied to a rock.

Your pond sounds cool, I'm jealous !

And welcome to the site

^_^

Post InfoPosted 06-May-2010 22:16Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
appleshoe
Small Fry
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To Babelfish: We decided to go with a do-it-yourself pond liner. 18" was just the deepest we could find in the pre-molded. Doing it this way will let us customize it, make it deeper, let us have shubunkins, and let us winterize them. Our back yard is fenced in so we will be digging 3 (possibly 4) feet deep; 18" would have frozen solid here, which is why we were planning on bringing them inside. As for filtration we are planning on using a Barely ball like this one:
http://www.gardeners.com/Instructions:-Barley-Ball/5565,default,pg.htmlWe will also be using a more conventional filter probably by Aqua Ultraviolet. We are still shopping around. Right now it's a matter of getting the hole dug. We are very new to this. The waterfall will take about a month for us to install (time and finance issues) we are not looking to add the fish till about July at the earliest. We are trying to take it slow since this is new waters to us (if you will excuse the pun) so be prepared for many questions thank you for your help so far.
[link]
Post InfoPosted 07-May-2010 10:57Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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female australia us-maryland
Ok...lets talk filtration. Aquarium (and a decorative, manmade pond is really just an aquarium) filters have three 'stages' of filtration. Manual, biological, and chemical (though "chemicals" are usually not involved in a most tanks.)

Filters work by picking up the water from the tank, processing it and spitting it back out. Quick easy and simple.

Manual filtration happens with a piece of foam floss or sponge. The size of the body of water needing to be filtered will determine how large of a filter you need. We talk about tank 'turnover' how long it takes for all the water to be moved through the filter and be returned to the tank. Larger particles get trapped and are then removed from the tank keeping it looking neat and tidy. They stay on the foam or sponge till removed with regular water changes. We'll draw off some water (and fish waste that settles into the gravel) using a gravel vacuum. Thn the sponge or floss is gently rinsed in this used tank water to remove the larger pieces of debris, but at the same time protecting some of the biological filter.

Biological filtration is what keeps your fish alive. Fish create waste which is ammonia, ammonia kills fish. However there are bacteria that can convert ammonia to nitrIte. Unfortunately nitrIte also can kill fish. Luckily there is a bacteria that can convert nitrIte to nitrAte which is much less lethal to fish, especially when kept in small quantities. The only way to remove nitrAte is through physical water changes, or a lot of plants which suck it up. In a tank or pond such as you're planning the more plants the better .
This good bacteria you want to develop will colonize on any surface in the tank or pond, but the place most of them are are in that sponge that also acts as your mechanical filter. The more spaces they can fit themselves the better. There are all sorts of ceramic noodle rings, plastic 'bio' balls, floss pads, sponges ect that have maximum surface area to give that bacteria somewhere to settle. The water flowing through the filter over these surfaces either in the filter or as part of a water feature (think craggly rocks in a creek) feed the bacterial colonies thus making it 'filter' the water. Without the water flow it turns stagnant and traps particles.

Chemical filtration usually refers to activated carbon which placed in the flow of the filter to trap the tiny tiny particles, it can also remove tannic acids from the water that leech out of driftwood and can turn the water slightly tea colored. While it does make the water sparkle, not everyone uses carbon all the time. I tend to use it only if I've had to medicate a tank as it picks up just about every single impurity from the water.
In the case of a pond I don't really see you needing carbon.

Goldies of all kinds are heavy waste producers so you need water movement (24/7) and a LOT of it. Since you know your pond size I'd start looking filters. Here are some on big als website I've used them before and found them fairly good as far as price and shipping speed.

The movement of the water through the filter and back into the pond is also what is going to oxygenate the water. Fish that don't have enough oxygen in the water will be seen gasping at the surface (of course goldfish also do this when they see people as they're horrible beggars when it comes to feeding time!). The more the surface of the water is agitated the more gas exchange can happen. This is why most every keeper that knows what they're doing will prefer a wide or long tank as opposed to a tall tank. Tall tanks don't have a big enough surface area! And lets face it most fish swim horizontally, not vertically! The design of your pond will help you here as well since it's got a pretty big surface area. Just keep in mind the larger the body of water and larger footprint it has, the larger the filter will need to be to move the water. If the pond isn't overstocked you can use the less expensive powerheads to simply move the water so that the filter can pick up the debris.

Since you'll need to move them inside in winter, getting a large enough tank for them will just as important. 100 gallons may seem large in the planning stages but to fish like golfish that's a minimum. I used a rubbermaid stock tank for my rescued goldfish, you should be able to find them in farm supply stores. I found one that carried them through a LFS in my area that was using them for holding tanks for their live rock. While water changes are a little difficult in a stock tank, they are MUCH MUCH cheaper than a similar volume of aquarium, and they've usually got better dimensions for pond fish (wide and long). Mine was kept right on the floor in the corner of the living room which saved the cost of a stand (also expensive in those sizes).

Goldfish can be difficult because they really aren't aquarium fish. They're active, get large, and live a long time. I absolutely adore them though , and love when people put in the time and effort to give them a good home like you're doing.
That barley straw ball you linked too. I'd never put that in my tanks or ponds in a million years! They even said in the description that it decays and uses up the oxygen Do not like! A traditional filter will be much more effective, and easier to maintain, I'm still fuming at the idea of intentionally introducing decaying plant matter into a pond. Decaying matter is a source of ammonia and I mentioned earlier ammonia =
I know I've spat a lot of info out at you hopefully I've helped a bit and not given you more confusion, which is highly probably as I'm typing this before having any morning caffeine.


^_^

Post InfoPosted 07-May-2010 22:48Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
appleshoe
Small Fry
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Post InfoPosted 10-May-2010 12:42Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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female australia us-maryland
Started digging how exciting!

I'll never get tired of helping keep goldies happy, they so often get tortured that it's so great to see them getting a proper home. 6X7X4 sounds perfect.


^_^

Post InfoPosted 11-May-2010 00:00Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
appleshoe
Small Fry
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Ok, I'm back. I managed to sprain and put a hairline fracture in my thumb and wrist digging in our clay soil... This along with city regulations has made us shrink our pond plans. The pre-molded is already bought, no turning back. I have not taken complete measurements but it is for sure 2 feet deep and 150 gallons. I believe it measures 7 feet long and about 5 feet wide. This brings us back to fish.. We've figured out how we are going to handle the water changes and we are going to backfill around the pre-molded liner with sand so in the winter if the clay heaves it will not crack the liner (we are zone three). Leaving the fish outside just is not possible so they will come inside to a 150 gallon aquarium. Now.............
1. Can I have 3 shubunkins? Full grown they need 30 to 40 gallons.
2. If I can't have 3, would 1 be ok? Or is it to shallow?
3. I know that the little ones will eat mosquito larva, but will the big ones? This will keep me from having mosquito fish if they do and give more "space" for the shubunkins.
4. Thank you!
Post InfoPosted 13-May-2010 15:43Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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female australia us-maryland
Ouch! The things we go through for our fishies. Hope it heals quick.

I'd say full grown goldfish need 50 gallons each, so you're still ok for the 3. The 50 gallon measure 'rule of (sprained) thumb' comes not just from the gallons of the water, but also the standard tank sizes. We want the fish to be in a tank that is 'this big'

Rather than mosquito fish (they're invasive here in australia and banned, and from what I've been told not all that good at going after the larve) look at white cloud mountain minnows. They do quite well in colder environments and should be good at getting the extra larve. Click on the photo in the profile to have a look at some better photos. They will still need to be brought indoors in the winter, which may be a bit of a problem when netting as they're on the small side. I think for the first summer your goldfish should be pretty good at keeping the mozzies under control. You can also look at guppies, not the fancy ones, but normal guppies. They are sometimes sold as 'feeder' guppies they are what guppies once were before they started being bred for color long tales, usually they're a lot hardier and may be easier to spot come winter than the WCMM.

Stupid local councils always ruining our plans. We're not allowed to have koi here .


^_^

Post InfoPosted 13-May-2010 23:26Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
Along with what Babel has been mentioning, it might be an
idea to consider something other than goldfish for that
pond. In a sense you are going to be "tubbing." That is,
you are going to have an outdoor container with fish and
plants, that you plan to empty come winter and bring its
contents inside. Glance through the threads and look at
what many of our folks do each spring through the summer
and bring in during the fall seasons.

Since you are looking down on them those with colorful
backs such as the red or yellow variety of Sword Tails,
or Platies might be an idea. They are live bearers, and
with their vivid orange, reds, and yellow colors, would
stand out. You would be able to have more fish per gallon
and they would be easier to see.

Because you are breaking down the pond with the advent of
the fall season, I'd plant the plants in clay flower pots
artfully arranged around the tank. When its time to bring
them in, simply lift the pots out of the pond bring them
inside and set them in the bottom of an aquarium till next
season.

Just something else ponder...

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 14-May-2010 05:10Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
appleshoe
Small Fry
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Post InfoPosted 14-May-2010 10:52Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Kellyjhw
 
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female usa us-michigan
EditedEdited 14-May-2010 13:01
Hi, as an alternative to the goldies, how about paradise fish or rainbows? They're not too small and have lots of color! Actually, are you in the United States or abroad? Where you are could limit your choices quite a bit. Gouramies are a good choice, lots of colors, sizes and temperaments to choose from.

TTFN --->Ta-Ta-For-Now
Kelly ;o}
Post InfoPosted 14-May-2010 12:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
appleshoe
Small Fry
Posts: 8
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Registered: 06-May-2010
Hi Kelly- Are you a Yooper or Troll? I spent many summers as a child in MI (Marquette) and it's the only state I would ever consider moving to If I ever left MN. I like the idea of a paradise fish, I had to look them up. They are a tad on the small side of what I want but they are stunning. They also seem to have an aggressive side which would make me worry a bit. Will they eat our state bird (the Mosquito)? My father wants me to stock it with a few sunnies so he can come over and have a fish fry in the fall Thanks for the ideas. Please please keep them coming. This forum is grrrreat! (in response to TTFN
Post InfoPosted 14-May-2010 14:20Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Kellyjhw
 
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I'm a trollette, through and through!

The paradise will eat as many as possible, but the males are very possessive... Perhaps you could fine a more native species... I like the idea of Pumpkinseed, perch, redside daces, rainbow darters, golden shiners, sculpins or rainbow smelts to capacity. They are cold water fish so you wouldn't have to bring them in for the winter if the water is deep enough. If you get them while they are small, you'll get to watch them grow and maybe multiply.(especially if the skeeters are large and plentiful) Not all of those fish are compatible, in fact it could very well become a circle of life situation. But at least your dad could find something to land on his plate! Then just restock...

TTFN --->Ta-Ta-For-Now
Kelly ;o}
Post InfoPosted 18-May-2010 01:49Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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