Despite how short of a period of time I've had these fish, I really do adore them. I would like to have them go to a place where I could at least visit regularly. The natural pond at my sister's it fed by nothing but the wet puffy grey things in the sky that we know so well around here (lol) but it seems that it's much too small for my Goldfish
in the summers. It would not be safe. Right now it is less than one foot deep and hardly my height across (I'm only 5'1"), and is grass-bottomed. It's more of a swamp. The other pond at her place seems to already be overstocked and doesn't have a filter to their knowledge (which means that even if there is one it probably hasn't been cleaned for 5+ years). With my fish being so small, I don't know that I would feel comfortable putting my little guys in there with the big'uns anyhow; I'd hate to find that they'd been eaten.
I brought the issue up to my mom and she jumped on it like a cat on a mouse; turns out she's been secretly nudging my father into letting her put a pond in the back yard since we moved into the house. He didn't want to make either the time or financial investment as we had been planning to sell our house soon ever since we moved into it (here we are 5 years later still living there! haha). I told her we should do a DIY pond and began doing research on it last night. Along with several good ideas on this forum, reasonable kits are available as well for a fraction of what my mom had expected. If we can convince my dad to let us dig a hole in the yard, my mom will have her dream pond and I'll have a home for my fish :)
On this note, we don't want anything ginormous; we were thinking roughly the size of my sister's with a skimmer, filter, waterfall, etc. about 6' x 4' x 2'. Would this be big enough for my fish? It calculates out to around 350 gallons and would have adequate filtration and aeration. One thing I'm not certain of though is that the winters get rather cold here and my understanding is that pond depth is the only thing that can really keep fish alive. Will 2' be enough for winters that get just below freezing?