Yes. You should certainly stop feeding them. I know it's a strange feeling at first not to feed your fish, but you get used to it. If the fish do get hungry they will munch on the algae. Goldfish are very adept at finding food on their own if they get hungry.
I'm back, and I come bearing ponds! Well, stories of ponds. It is in the ground, the filter is fully functional (although the pump that powers the filter is not) and two little shubunkins are now calling it home! I've made a thread on it. :)
Well... I needed one cup to raise my 55 gal about 2 dGH... extrapolate that out to the gallonage of your pond. Just aim for a dGH of over 6. While it will still be on the soft side, it will be much better for them and the plants.
The pond is in and it looks super. :D I'm building the filter over the weekend: a 5 litre bucket with a layer of gravel, a layer of filter wool and ceramic rings, a layer of Matrix and a layer of some wierd stuff my dad bought to kill fleas, that apparently is a great pond filter medium.
Quick question: how much crushed coral do you reckon I'd be needing to raise the hardness from 1 degree to...whatever is ideal for goldies?
The water temp fluctuates that much? If the air temp is still going up and down like that the water is bound to be warmer than 60F. Just keep an close eye on them. It might help if you gradually acclimate them all to the cooler temps with water changes with cold water.
Thanks, Izzy! Finally, we have a definite date - the pond goes in tomorrow, and I'm ordering the pump today. I will get a pair of comets from a friend either Friday or the Friday after that.
I'm going to have to do a fish-in cycle, methinks, just due to time constraints. When you say not to put them in if it is colder than 60F, is that colder than 60F all the time, or just at any point? For instance, it is still getting as high at 76F during the day, but dropping below 60 at night. Is it too late? :S
Wow.. you do have some crazy unpredictable weather. I take it the weather will be too cold to do a planted cycle by the time you get the pond in?
Wow... that is crazy soft. I think your largest problem will be the pH swings. Crushed coral will certainly be a good idea.
I don't think there is any baggy big enough for a 10 inch fish lol! Drip acclimation sounds like the best option. Or use a pitcher and take water from the pond and put it in the tub. Periodically you'll need to take some out of the tub, too.