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Author Topic: Starting a pond with goldfish  (Read 853 times)
newbiepond
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Starting a pond with goldfish
« on: May 15, 2012, 03:53:39 AM »

Hi guys , im new here in the forums and also a noob in taking care of goldfish or even starting a pond. Last time I took care of fishes was when I was still in gradeschool.


I have a pond made of cement with 3 fountains in the middle. Width - 9ft, length - 1.8 ft and the height - 1.5 ft. It has two pumps for the 3 fountains.( please check attached images for the pond, and the r the pumps )


 I didn't have a plan at first to raise fishes but the problem of stagnant water could breed mosquitoes. So I placed like 5 small tilapia there to take care of the problem. Usually I just get rid of the water every 20 days or so and put it something new ( retaining 20 percent of the old water ). I'm planning to get rid of all the tilapia since it grows and breeds quickly , give it to someone ( he plans on eating it lol ) or set it free in the river.


So what came into my mind was goldfish, i like the colors and it doesn't grow up to be too big. I have a couple of questions here , hoping someone might be able to help.

a. based on my pond size, what should be the max number of fishes.

b. should i turn my pump on like 24/7 ? will fish thrive in the pond if i just turn it on around 12 to 16 hours aday ?

c. how much should i feed my fish ? i have fish pellets. total count, 4 goldfishes, 5tilapia, 3 small ones.

d. i really hate algae, are there other means to control or get rid of it ( i know its good for the fish ) but too much would make it look icky. im planning to decrease the fishes in the pond and control feeding amount. im also thinking of putting water plants.

e. is there a submersible pond filter or even a DIY underwater filter ? i dont want the filter to be placed near the grass

f. any other tips you can give me?


thanks




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Nossie
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 05:10:27 AM »

a. You have to calculate the surface area and the volume of your pond to figure that out. I don't have any pond stocking levels around, but generally 20 gallons per goldfish is a good idea.

b. Always have the filter turned on, ain't no thriving to be done if there isn't anything that deals with the ammonia and waste in the water.

c. Goldfish have no stomachs so they need small and frequent feedings. Since they're in a pond they'll be snacking on algae and bugs all the time, but you can feed them maybe once in the morning and once in the evening, just a small, small amount! Be sure to feed them vegetables sometimes too.

d. Many, but not usually good. Green algae is a sign of good water quality, and you'd do best not getting rid of it, the goldfish will eat it. I'd suggest changing out some water in the pond every once in a while, maybe every two weeks or so? Plants are always a good way to control algae growth and there are many beautiful types to put in ponds! Borrow a book from the library on that Smiley

e. There are lots and lots of different kinds of pond filters, I believe Sera is a company that makes a submersible filter. Again something you could research on your own.

f. Other tips: If the pond isn't already in the shade during noon and early afternoon, make sure it is. Too much sunlight is not good in a pond as it will get too warm and completely overgrown with algae Smiley
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newbiepond
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 05:45:03 AM »

I also like aquarium decorations ( stones, plants etc ) , would this be good for the pond ? My pond would be around 80 - 150 gallons, not really sure but hope some1 can compute based on the pond size i gave. I noticed in an aquarium setting, a 20 gallon setup, you can put like 5 to 10 small fishes or is it different in a pond ?


I'm planning on keeping the 4 goldfish , I know the space is really limited. If you were to add more fish there, what would it be ?


Other tips: If the pond isn't already in the shade during noon and early afternoon, make sure it is. Too much sunlight is not good in a pond as it will get too warm and completely overgrown with algae <<<< I'm not sure if its in the the shade but there's a wall at the back that could help a bit.


Plus Im concered with the water levels decreasing , almost like half in just 5 to 7 days . Is this normal ? Do I need to continously add water or maybe this is an issue with the concrete ( need to reinforce it or put more waterproofing ) ?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 05:48:47 AM by newbiepond » Logged
scrivens345
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 06:11:54 AM »

you certainly can't put 5-10 goldfish in 20 gallons, they grow up to a foot in length

I'd say up to 5   would be OK in your pond

Sounds like you have a seepage problem , this might cure itself given time
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newbiepond
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 08:01:18 AM »

cure in time ? or should i apply waterproofing cement again just to be sure ?



as for the number of gallons,  i used an online calculator for the 9ft width 1.8ft length and 1.5 ft depth/height of the pond and its around 181 gallons - or make that 150 gallons because of the water seepage
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 10:25:18 AM by newbiepond » Logged
Skwishee
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 11:44:24 AM »

Firstly welcome to the forum! And prepare yourself, this turned into a longer message than I intended, but please take your time to read it and feel free to ask any questions!

Secondly, do not set the tilapia free in the river! It is illegal to release fish where it is not their natural habitat. If you think the rivers near you are their natural habitat, please check with your local environment agency first!

The pond itself will hold less than 180 gallons when you consider you have the 3 fountains in the middle.

I would wait and see if the seepage fixes, there was someone else on here with a concrete pond that was leaking and they said it was gradually getting less. Generally a pond shouldn't leak.

I am also assuming that this concrete pond has been treated accordingly? Un-treated concrete will leach lime into the water. Just wanted to mention that Smiley

As for stocking......
I think the 4 fish you have planned would be okay, I wouldn't really go adding many more, generally the more space the fish have the better really. Plus if you start with 4 goldfish in there, they may breed, so you could end up with an overstocked pond, if you have lots of surviving fry! Goldfish you don't want to keep you could possibly take to a local fish shop that would be willing to take them, or find pond owners that have the extra space Smiley

As for tank/aquarium decorations, they aren't really needed in a pond, you wouldn't be able to see half of them anyway and they would be a pain to dig out and clean. Generally most ponds are left bare bottom and plants are added in pond pots (which are basically pots with lots of holes in them).

A filter is a must for any pond with livestock. There are different types of filters which I'll briefly detail here;
Pressurised filters- these can be placed below the pond level, so in your situation, you could bury it up to the lid, next to the pond and possibly hide it amongst some plants if you wanted it to be hidden. These need regular cleaning, especially during summer as they do not have a by-pass option unlike the gravity filters.

Box filters (may also be called Gravity filters)- these have to be placed above the pond level, so could be sat next to the pond. Again regular maintenance, but I believe these filters have a by-pass if media gets clogged, but then of course the water wouldn't be cleaned by the media in the filter, so you'd need to clean it, if this happened.

All-in-one filters- these are pretty much what they say, all in one, often coming with a fountain attachment. These filters sit in the pond itself and from what I've heard can be a pain to fish out (plus they don't have a huge amount of space for media either), you'd probably be better with one of the above options.

Moving bed filters- I'm not sure on whether this option would be suitable, but I'll mention it anyway. This type of filter is usaully more popular with koi ponds as the filters themselves are absolutely huge and can turn over a large volume of water. I don't know a huge amount about these filters, but they are more for large ponds, than your small one.

I know you mentioned wanting something submersible, but what about having something buried next to the pond instead? With your pond, I'd personally go for a pressurised filter or box filter. I considered the all-in-one filters, but to be honest I don't fancy pulling out a filter from the depths of my future pond all the time XD
It is of course up to you Smiley

Oh another thing, generally with filters in a pond, the minimum you'd want, is the entire pond volume being turned over once every two hours. But I've found that once every hour is what's been recommended to me by others. So if your pond is say 200 gallons, then you'd want a filter that does 200 gallons per hour.

Also, other things to consider, how do you intend to protect the pond from predators? Otherwise you will end up with no fish! And the weather; what's it like come winter time where you are? Because if a pond completely freezes the fish will not survive, so winter time and cold spells always have to be considered. You can either heat the pond (which can be rather costly) or use a pond heater that will keep an area of the surface ice free for gas exchange.

As for feeding that depends on the time of year. As below a certain temperature the fish metabolism will slow down and they will not be able to digest anything. I have a list somewhere of the temperatures and foods that should be fed. So I can look that up for you later if you'd like Smiley

Oh and are you aware that you will have to do weekly partial water changes on the pond? Generally 10-15% per week is good, there is a thread on another forum, that details about why partial water changes are necessary  Smiley (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

Algae.... well there are products such as 'barley straw' but I've not really heard terrific things about it. Generally if you keep up with partial water changes, filter maintenance and feed the fish sensibly, it should be fine and you shouldn't be over-run by algae Smiley

Ummmm that's all I can think of right now, sorry for this being so long!!
I've been planning a pond myself recently Cheesy
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:55:49 AM by Skwishee » Logged
newbiepond
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 12:45:23 PM »

Hi Skwishee, thank you for your long but very imformative answer.  Yes , I think the river close to our house might be the natural habitat or I'd just give it back to my dad ( He has a small underground water source that flows to a pond ( way wider and deeper than mine ) and exits to a small creek.

How would a seepage fix itself ? No the concrete is not treated =( but I'll take your recommendation though or maybe a last resort would be putting pvc liner over it or use waterproofing again. I also think that the water fountains might have contributed to the faster evaporation of the water ( and the water passes through the concrete fountain )

For the fishes, only 4 common goldfish. It would have been nice to add a different kind of fish but I want to make sure the fishes live comfortably. If ever they have babies ill put them in my dads pond.

Pond Decorations - Isee so if i place sand, or gravel in the pond would it attract algae and would be very difficult to clean even with a filter ? I'll put a pot by tomorrow or maybe build them a small house or something =) I want them to feel cozy

Filter -

I'm really clueless when it comes to filters and I like your pressurised filter idea since it can be hidden in the back of one of the plants. I'm kinda picky when it comes to symmetry in my garden. I was thinking of using barley but im not sure it's available here in our city. Someone told me from another forum to use an sponge filter that connects to the inlet of one of the pumps. Again im not sure if its available here or i havent seen a DIY sponge filter video yet.


As for predators I live in a here in the Philippines and the only animal I can think of would be stray cats and I'm not sure a frog can jump 2 hollowblocks high and eat my fishes lol. We have a tropical climate here so it's mostly sunny or rainy days.

I'm also worried about the ammonia or ph levels on the pond , is it absolutely necessary ? If I skip this one would my fishes be ok ?



------------------------

So if I do these things below, will my fishes be okay in the long run ?

a.keep the fountains running 24/7 or at least turn it off when I sleep, to provide aeration.
b.pinch of pellets everyday for the 4 fish
c.no filter installed =(
d.no ammonia checkup / treatment
e.use chlorinated tap water and never dechlorinate it
f.partial water of 10-15 percent water per week. 80 percent water change for 15-20 days to get rid of the algae ( more like a general pond clean up )
g.might install aquatic plants if I can find one here.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 12:48:11 PM by newbiepond » Logged
Skwishee
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 02:20:53 PM »

Hiya,

I would double check with your local environmental agency about allowing the fish near any creek or river Smiley Just to be sure! Better to be safe than sorry!

At least it sounds like winter won't be a problem for you Cheesy

Not sure about the concrete fixing itself -perhaps Scrivens can explain to you- I only know because of another member on here mentioning it.
As for treating the concrete.... You'll want to treat it with a product like this (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

I'm not sure about gravel or sand in a pond, I would guess it would be a pain to clean, sand could clog the filter if it was kicked up by the fish and sucked up. Gravel wouldn't be so bad, but a lot of dirt can gather in gravel so it would be a pain to clean. I have seen tiles put on to the bottom of ponds, but apart from that I think their mostly bare bottom? Possibly something to look into, I intend to leave my pond bare bottom when I set it up Smiley

Oh actually the only time so far, I've heard of gravel being used in a pond, is on top of the soil in the plant pots, to keep the soil in place and to stop fish from digging up plants.

Also you mentioned your dads pond exits into a small creek? I'd be careful about adding goldfish as they might get adventurous and then you'd end up accidentally introducing a fish that isn't native. Maybe I mis-understand how your dads pond is set up, but that's what I imagine in my mind!

Not sure what you mean by a sponge filter?

As for predators, frogs can jump pretty high, I would be wary of them during breeding season if they find a way into the pond. They are known for grabbing on to fish and potentially injuring gills/eyes. I would also be wary of cats.
A net over the pond would be a good idea, give it some thought, you might be able to come up with a solution there. Like making a net yourself that could fit the 3 waterfalls into it or something like that.

Okay so for the things you specifically asked about;

a) the fountains being on 24/7 will be very helpful, especially if you introduce plants, as you probably already know, plants use up carbon dioxide during the day, and then oxygen at night. So the added aeration at night will help with depleting oxygen levels due to the plants.

b) Yup, you will want to ensure all fish get plenty of food and to feed them small amounts 2 - 3 times a day. Depending on their age. As you don't have seasons, then you probably won't have to worry about the different temperatures.

c) You will need a filter, either buy one online, or make one. Goldfish are extremely messy and will create a lot of waste that a filter needs to deal with. Without it the fish will poison themselves with their own waste and this will make them ill or even worse it can kill them.

d) You will need to test the water, this is vital to successfully keeping fish. If you do not keep the ammonia levels in check and at 0ppm you will have problems. I have had a goldfish die from an ammonia spike that I didn't know about, because I didn't check the water, I would hate for the same thing to happen to you.

Testing the water is very helpful when it comes to first setting up the pond as you will want to fish-less cycle it and testing the water often during this phase will allow you to know when the pond is ready. It is always good practice to have a testing kit on hand, so that you can test the water occasionally just to make sure things are good and it is also helpful if the fish are acting up, sometimes it can be the water quality that's the cause and you won't know unless you test it Wink

e) The water will need treating. Water conditioners are used to help detoxify and remove all the harmful by-products in our tap water, such as chlorine. Again it is another essential part of fish keeping. When it comes to ponds there are water purifiers that can attach to a hose pipe and saves you having to try and dose the right amount of conditioner as it will treat the water as it flows through.

When I say purifier, I mean something like this; (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

f) Sounds like a good plan to me!

g) Oh something about aquatic plants that's just occurred to me, certain types of plant need certain depths. I found this handy diagram that might help explain things;

[image]


So in your case, probably submerged plants and water lilies/deep aquatic plants would be good? With lilies though if you have a young plant you will have to gradually lower it into the pond as it grows, lilies also need lots of sunlight, so if you notice an area of the pond gets more light then that would be a good place for it.

According to my pond guide, stocking densities for submerged plants are initially four to five bunches per square meter of surface area and for lillies it is one large lily per 2 square metres, but one dwarf per 1/1.5 square meters  Smiley So knowing your surface area there would be helpful!


If you're un sure on anything I've mentioned then don't hesitate to ask.
Do you know about cycling? As you will probably want to fish-less cycle the pond, before adding any fish like I previously mentioned Smiley
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 02:25:00 PM by Skwishee » Logged
newbiepond
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 10:40:59 PM »

For the sponge filter I mentioned, this is what one guy commented in another forum >>

You can easily add a filter to those water jet pumps.... even if it is just a sponge prefilter like this, you would have to rinse it out quite often, but it should just slide right onto the inlet of your little pump there.

[url][http://www.petmountain.com/product/aquarium-filter-mechanical-media/11442-510963/marineland-reverse-flow-powerhead-replacement-sponge-prefilter.html?utm_source=froogle&amp;utm_medium=datafeed&amp;utm_term=11442-521117url]

you might find them cheaper somewhere, i just posted the first link i found, google "powerhead prefilter" or "sponge prefilter"

<<<<< so ill find or make a sponge like filter that connects to the inlet, and i assume there's no cover for the sponge, not sure how this would work on this setup.


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Skwishee
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Re: Starting a pond with goldfish
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 03:46:30 AM »

You mean sponge filters?
Well sponge filters are useful, often being used in fry, betta and shrimp tanks, because they aren't particularly strong current wise and also don't suck up shrimp or fry.

I'm not entirely sure how one would cope with a pond.
For example you would have to have the sponge filter inside the pond, yes they are usually un covered, in tanks they look like this;
[image]


I have never come across one being used in a pond, surely if it's sat in the pond itself it will get dirty very quickly? As the person stated you'd need to rinse it quite often. But I'm also not sure on how you would achieve enough filtration for a small pond such as yours? Remember the turn over needs to be preferably once an hour.

One of the members on another forum who's my go-to-pond guru, is away at the moment, but when I catch him again, I'll ask him, I'm very intrigued. I've just never heard of a sponge filter in a pond Undecided

Also if you access youtube and type in 'Diy pond filter' so many results come up, perhaps check those out for other options Smiley
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 03:48:47 AM by Skwishee » Logged
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