Help with goldfish/pond care in cold weather - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-31-2009, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
Help with goldfish/pond care in cold weather

I live in coastal California (US) where we rarely get below 50 degrees F in the winter. I'm wondering about when we do have an occasional freeze, how do I protect my goldfish in the pond? We just started the pond (I'm very amateur) and only have two goldfish and a dozen mosquito fish. The pond is "cycling" if you will as it's only a 25/30 gallon whiskey barrel pond. Are there plants that will survive the winter months?

Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-01-2009, 06:23 PM
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Some plants such as lilies, iris, and other perennials should winter nicely for you, but I would not choose this time of year to get them started.

If your temps get down below 50 it would be a good idea to turn off and remove any pumps/filters you have running, as they will freeze and that can cause extreme amounts of damage to them.

For the fish, not sure how large they are, but if they are small enough yet to fit into the barrel you could invest in a rubbermaid type tub, set it up in the house for that time using water from their barrel, add an air stone and do a small daily water change or add a hang on filter... they should be just fine. If you bring them inside I would keep them there until the weather is consistently warm enough again to move them back out and leave them outside in the barrel. Moving them and changing their temp frequently will cause undue amounts of stress that may cause harm/death.

When moving them back outside, begin by adding small amounts of the barrel water to their indoor tub so as to change their water temp over slowly. Once their water temp in the inside container matches that of the barrel, just net them up and move them back outside.

Good Luck and please post again if you have further questions.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-04-2009, 12:24 AM
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I like what Dawn said.

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post #4 of 5 Old 11-15-2009, 09:19 AM
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Is your pump submerged? I live in Ct. where we get several inches of ice on the surface each winter, and I leave my pump on year-round. But if your pump is above ground, as Dawn said you might want to shut it off when it gets real cold. Since my pump is submerged, and is on the bottom of my pond, it isn't affected by cold weather. I belong to a large pond forum though, and a lot of people do leave their pumps on year-round, even in severe weather, without mishap. However, if the water surface does frequently freeze over on your pond, you might want to look into some kind of surface heater. You'll need an opening in the ice so trapped gases can be released, as they are toxic to fish. But if as you say, your temps rarely drop below 50 degrees I think you should be fine.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-15-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
Thanks, no I'm in california so it's a rare day that our puddles and ponds would be frozen. And my filter is totally submerged. It's actually a home-made filter using Lava rocks (I was thinking that would be a good bio filter media but it's done no good because I don't think the outdoor pond needs such filtration) and a filter pad and some carbon, with a pump for small ponds (it's a little forceful for the whiskey barrel but it slows down when it gets a little, um, clogged.

I would love to visit the pond forum, do you have a link or something?

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