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Author Topic: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 646 times)
bhessga
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New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« on: December 14, 2010, 11:08:15 AM »

Hi, I have gotten some goldfish that was abandonded in a big pond.  I have the pond, but we have gotten cold weather right now, 20 degrees and haven't gotten the pond in the ground.  So i have been using buckets to store the fish or a great big wheelbarrel filled with tap water.  I let the water sit for about a day before putting the fish in it.  I really want to take care of the fish, but I get so scared about the water and how to keep the fish fine before i can get the pond built.  I got the food from the pet store, but they aren't eating it.  The water has been freezing over, so I go out each day and remove the ice.  I am worry they will freeze.  I even put the bucket in the shed, but this morning it froze all arount the bucket.  I even put blankets around it, so now I have it inside.  I have never taken care of gold fish like this, don't know what kind I have.  But they weren't taken care of where they were.  In fact I think they were on their own.  No filter, or anything.  So any help I would appreciate plus I will get that pond build as soon as I can.  I really like these fish and don't want anything to happen to them.  Thank you for your advise.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 12:52:09 PM »

It's good that you brought the fish inside. That's what I do for mine when the weather gets cold. If they're not eating that's a bad sign. Just letting the tap water sit for a day or so may not remove all of the bad chemicals in it, so I would suggest testing the water at your local fish store or using a test kit. Don't worry too much about them freezing because goldies can tolerate fairly cold conditions, but if the water's turning to ice then that might indicate it's a bit too chilly for their liking. Also, what are you feeding them? Perhaps the food isn't right.

You can't keep the fish in a bucket all winter. They will need a pump and probably an airstone as well. Depending on how many fish you have, provide 10 gallons per goldfish. Your fish are probably stressed out being crammed together.

Where did you find the fish? Did someone give them to you? And how many do you have? Good luck and happy fish keeping!  Smiley
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Mindemae
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 01:01:56 PM »

You can't feed goldfish anything when the water is freezing and has ice on it.
Never feed a goldfish when the water temperature is below 55 degrees F.
They go into hibernation and their gut shuts down for the winter.
It might be too late to build a pond.
I keep my pond fish indoors in a tank for the winter.
Could you buy a tub...like a large rubber maid tub and you could add a filter to that and an air pump with airstone at least.
An air stone releasing bubbles to the suface would help keep theice off the top too. Smiley
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bhessga
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 01:27:28 PM »

I got the fish from my son's girfriends sister.  She never took care of them and she just left the house for the bank to take.  So I didn't want them to die so I got them.  There are 2 really big ones, about 5 to 6 inches.  Then about 8 ranging in size from 3 to 4 inches.  Have no idea what kind of fish they are.  Guess I will go get an aquarium, filter, and air stone for the house.  We live in Atlanta GA and I am sure she never took them inside or even feed them much.  Is it hard to care for the pond when I get it up and going?  What do I do when we get the pond built each year and the fish keep getting bigger?  We are going to build the pond on a sloped hill in my backyard.  So the one side will be level and we will build a retain wall for the side that is opened on the hill.  Will that be good enough or do I need to bury it in the ground? 
Thanks for eveyones help.
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bhessga
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 01:38:50 PM »

I also forgot to mention that the bucket was just so I could take the fish inside the shed when we got this really cold temp over the weekend.  We had a really big wheel barrel and I was using that to hold them.  It was so big I can't move it when there is water in it.  I was afraid the air was getting the fish cold because there was nothing around the wheel barrel.  I would put blankets over it each night.  I would go out each morning and make sure the ice was gone so it wouldn't make the water any colder.   The fish food is from pet smart.  i told them about imy fish and got what they recommended.   Now that they are inside they are swimming around, before they were just really quite.  I know I can't keep the bucket and I will try to get something bigger but I really wanted the fish to stay outside, but understand right now I have to do special things for them. 
Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to build the pond?  Remember my back yard slopes.    It is probably 8ft long and about 5 ft wide and about 4 to 5 ft deep.  It takes 2 people to move it.  Should I put it all the way into the ground to help with the colder months?  Atlanta does get cold for about 3 months off and on.  But nothing like the mid west and never really snows, just rain.
Thanks again.  I am excited in getting this going.  Some one thought it was to late to do the pond, so should i just wait till later or try and get it going now and put these fish in it for the room?  thanks for everyones help.
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Mindemae
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 01:47:20 PM »

If you build an above ground or level ground pond then you will have to take the fish inside for the winter.
The pond has to be at least 4 ft. deep for the fish to be able to survive the winter in freezing temperatures.
You will need filtration and aeration in the pond also.
You will need to do monthly maintenance on the pond filtration and also adding water and water changes according to water chemistry test results.
Ponds are alot of fun.  I set two up each year but I bring my fish in by Nov.1 st. or sooner. Smiley
Your fish need at least 10 gallons of water per fish.
I can't imagine a wheelbarrow holding over 100gallons?
If the fish are overcrowded then they will die from their own ammonia and be poisoned before long, I'm afraid. Undecided
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bhessga
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 01:58:59 PM »

Yea, I change the water about every 3 days, but I will go out and get as big of container that I can.  How long do you have to let the water set to get the chemicals out?  Do you think if we build a retaining wall around the outside of the pond it would be good enough to let them stay out all year?  We would put dirt in between the wall and the pond liner of course. 
Where do you live to do 2 ponds every year?  Isn't that a lot of work?  If I keep changing the fish water will that work so they won't get the ammonia and die?  I can't afford a 100 gallon tank for inside so I have to make sure they can stay outside. 
Usually at Christmas we are in long sleeve shirts, no coats and sometimes have the front door open.  This cold weather is really unusual for this time of year.
Please let me know about the water so I won't hurt them.  Thanks
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Mindemae
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 02:05:23 PM »

If you have city water you need to treat the water with condtioner....city water has chlorine which after awhile disapates but its the chlorimes that will be toxic to the fish.  A good water condtioner will treat both so you can use fresh tap water instantly.
I live in Michigan
I've had goldfish for most of my life and have been water gardening for about 12 years now.
It's a hobby LOL! Wink
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Mindemae
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2010, 02:07:01 PM »

Maybe you could go to the library and get a good book on ponding or watergardening.
I also borrowed a dvd from the libray when we first set up our pond.
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Mindemae
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 02:12:10 PM »

Here are pictures of my pond in the following link as it progressed this summer. Smiley
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Hanna
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 06:26:43 PM »

Reading through I noticed that at the beginning nothing was mentioned about water conditioner, but Minde already did.
Want to emphazise:
Before you use tap water and put your fish in you must condition it as it contains chlorine, chloramine, etc. You must add this conditioner which removes all the chemicals and heavy metals which are highly toxic to fish.
You also need to add beneficial bacteria to aid in the Nitrogen Cycle.
You can use this treated water straight away.

After a few hours all uneaten food should be removed.
Also as Mindemae said, get yourself a water test kit for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH. Until you can get it, take a sample of water to your local pet shop and have it tested.

Having the fishies inside you also need a good filter system and good aeration with an airstone, some live plant would be very enjoyable for the fish too.
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bhessga
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2010, 11:39:32 PM »

Thank you everyone for all your postings.  I love your fish pond.  Hope mine looks that good.  I did ask Petsmart about the water treatment / conditioner and they said there is nothing I can do.  Could you please tell me what I should use?  I will go out this weekend and try to find everything that you all said to get.  Again thank you all for your advise.  I am so excited about my fish.

Anyone have suggestions on building my pond on a slope?
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Mindemae
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 04:58:46 AM »

The only problem I can see is building on a slope, is when it rains, you will get all kinds of dirt and debrie from water running down the slope into the pond.  Your pond would be harder to keep clean and would be murky because of all the dirt unsettled in there.
Also, you risk the chance of pesticides and other lawn chemicals running into the pond and poisoning the fish.
Petsmart carries water condtioners for ponds.  You need a good water condtioner and also a beneficial bacteria to start the good bacteria in your pond growing.  The good bacteria eats the ammonia build up and turns it into, still toxic but less harmful nitrite.
Eventually in about a month the pond should cycle, and then you will have to keep an eye on nitrates.
Since it's so cold right now, plants wouldn't grow very well and they help keep nitrates down.  You also need to get some pond test strips and test your water.  You will need a filter for a pond either external or internal with a return in the way of a fountain or spitter ornament so that your pond will not just sit and become stagnant.  So you will need a source of electricity to run these too.  One thing you will like about having a pond is the fish will eat all the mosquitos in the summer and the mosquito larvae.
Thank you for the compliment on my pond.  I love doing it up every year.  We close it down and bring all the fish inside for the winter.  We have some severe weather here in Michigan sometimes!  If you keeep your pond running proper it will be just as nice as mine or others on here and maybe even more so! Smiley
So now you will have to take pictures and post the process on here because we are all so nosy and love pictures! Wink  Please keep us updated on how things are going. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 05:03:16 AM by Mindemae » Logged
fantailer
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 05:37:53 AM »

Or you could put it at the top of the slop.
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bhessga
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Re: New to all this.....help!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2010, 06:51:09 PM »

I was going to kind of dig out around the slope and make a nice sitting area with large pepples and drain it around the pond.  My husband is a Civil Engineer so he goes crazy with draining things away from stuff.  I do have a filter for the pond and was going to put all kinds of plants in there.  I just have to get the fish to that time.  I am going back out tonight to Petsmart and see what I can find so they will make it. Since I brought them in they are swimming much more and wanting to eat.  I think I might have to re-think my placement of the pond though.  Will have to get my son to start digging.  I checked with the weather.com and are usual temp. here in Atlanta from now till April is around 45 to 50 degrees which I think they would do quite well.  But of course we see there are always exceptions like now.  We had 20 degree weather last night.  But anyway thanks again for everyones help.  I will post pictures of my backyard in a few days and see if anyone might have a better suggestion for the placement.  I know it has to have shade part of the day.
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