I need goldfish experts!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chickbea, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    Help!
    I have a very old goldfish that lives in my pond in the summer, and in an inside tank in the winter. For many years he had a buddy, but that fish was killed last summer. Since then I have brought home innumerable new little companions to keep him company, but none of them lasts more than a couple of months. They are happy and healthy right up until the time I find them dead - no signs of illness or injury. What is going on?
    The lady at the fish store says that my old guy is too big and must be roughing up the new little ones, but I don't think that is the reason, as I never have seen him being a bully to the others. What else could be the reason? They always look perfect when I find them (fins are complete, no lesions), just dead. It's very sad - I'm afraid to bring anyone else home!
     
  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    4,356
    200
    258
    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I'd suggest testing for the water levels of ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites. Most important of the three are the ammonia and nitrite. Goldfish are notoriously dirty fish who require large water volumes. If the tank is overstocked (how large is it?) then adding other goldfish pushes it over the edge. I'd also suggest quarantining the new fish for at least a month in a separate tank. Like any other animal, they can come with diseases. Your big old fellow is probably pretty resistant if he has lasted this long. You don't need to buy a new tank, either. A big rubbermaid bin can make a great, large temporary home for goldfish.

    The stocking for fancy goldfish is twenty gallons for the first, and ten gallons for each fancy thereafter. For common goldfish, comets and whatnot, double that.
     
  3. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    That could indeed be the answer, as in retrospect I now realize that I didn't lose anyone until they came inside to the tank for the winter. I think my inside tank is 30 gallons, but the fish is at least 6 inches long.
    Thanks for the info! It's very depressing to keep finding those little floaters and to see my big guy in there all alone!
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,897
    702
    326
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Friends of mine in Cabot, VT left goldfish in the small pond all winter. Yup, you'd swear that wee 3.5' deep thing froze solid come mid Febuary. Yet they came out of hybernation every spring without a hitch. They're like frogs that way.

    In my parents pond which is much bigger and 8' deep, they loose the gold colored ones to wildlife. The ones that survived year to year have turned brown but after a weekend of an otter visiting last year even those are gone now. Most of the frogs too!
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What if you just set up a *separate* tank for the new one(s) to overwinter in? Not only would that mean buying only a new "regular sized" filter rather than a new "significantly larger" one, it would also sort of spread your risk and protect the smaller one(s) just in case the big one *is* doing something to them. You needn't use an actual glass tank, just anything nontoxic that won't bust and flood your house.

    Also maybe you're already doing this but it is worth keeping indoor-wintered pond fish as cool as possible, e.g. in a cool basement rather than at room temperature, partly b/c they are healthier that way and also partly b/c that way you can feed them less and therefore there's a lot less load on the filter and water quality.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Maybe try and find a fellow that is as big as him? I had about 4 little ones from a carnival a few years ago and they never died! Had to give them away to the pet store which sold for around $18 each!

    AC
     
  7. thekid

    thekid Chillin' With My Peeps

    find some larger size koi
     
  8. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    4,356
    200
    258
    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Quote:Koi get even larger than goldfish, and a full sized koi needs at least 200 gallons per fish. Definitely don't recommend koi for a small pond..
     
  9. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    No more koi!!!! I had to rehome a gorgeous (and probably by then valuable) koi because it got to about 8 inches - way too big for my accomodations! I had a hard time finding a home for him because very few people have the set-up needed for a fish that size. Happily he's close enough that I can go to visit him, and he's HUGE now!
    Egghead - I've had people say my fish could make it through the winter in my pond, but I'm too fond of him to try. Every year I have several frogs who manage to winter over. This is happy news for my fish, who spends his first couple of days in the pond every spring slurping up the zillions of tadpoles - [​IMG]
     
  10. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    1
    123
    Feb 5, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by