Goldfish wintering inside..advice?
I have a 100 gallon pond in my backyard, and this year we were planning on getting a de-icer, to house the goldfish outside. Then today, my mom springs it on my that she doesnt want to risk it, and wants to house them inside.
I happen to have a 45 gal tank thats not in use, and a 30-60 filter i can use. Ill be getting a 20-30 gallon filter tomorrow.
The fish we have are two regular goldfish 4-5 inches, a koi about 6 inches and a longer tailed goldfish about 4.5 inches.
The tank is all i have to work with, and cannot buy another, though filters are negotiable.
Should i use a heater, which i do have, rated for up to a 60 gallon tank? What temperature?
Is there a different food for winter time? Should i feed at all?
There will be a whole bunch of floating water sprite in the tank, as all of my tanks are overrun.
Should i even bother using a sand/gravel? Im planning for a bare bottomed, for easier matienence..will that be too much since theyve been in a pond? Also, lighting, i have a fixture i do a 12 hour cycle with my two tanks, when would i be able to add full light on the goldfish? I dont want to spook them.
If pond is/was deeper than eighteen inches,, I would leave the fish outdoor's with the de-icer.
I think 45 gal to be a bit on the small side but maybe doable, considering the size of fishes.
May need twice weekly water changes depending on food's offered, and waste produced by the fish.
Goldfish will enjoy the watersprite as part of diet along with food's normally offered .
Am big fan of New life spectrum Pellet food's which are excellent nutrition for nearly all fishes.
Would aim for temp around 76 degree's F.
I'd leave them outside without a deicer.
The first Winter I had goldfish in a 12' x 12' x 4' tank, I used a deicer and had to treat 2,000 gallons for ich.
Depending on how deep the pond is, you might be able to leave them there for the winter. A cheaper alternative to a de-icer is a bubbler or small fountain of some sort in the middle. Just keeping surface movement is often enough to prevent the whole pond from icing over. As long as there is some area free of ice, the fish will survive. Moving fish is always stressful, so the less you can do it, the better.
If you do bring them inside, don't use a heater. Warmer temps mean you need to feed them more often, and more food in means more waste out. Cooler water also holds more oxygen which is important for goldfish. Let the water temp drop to 60F. You will only be feeding them every other day at those temps. Warm temps are good for growth, but that's not really want you want right now.
I'd leave them outside also if the pond is deep enough (18-24 inches). You need to keep an ice free area to get rid of toxic gases. If you bring them in, no heater is necessary and no substrate is probably a good idea. The plants are good, provide good filtration, maybe even an air stone. Just provide enough light to support the plants. I don't think the fish will be too freaked out. Observe when feeding to find the right level. They should still have healthy appetites at winter room temperature. Water changes are important. Just my thoughts...good luck.
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