October 31, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




Hi Carolyn,

I live in north central Texas near the Texas/Olkahoma border. I
currently have a 90 gallon pond that I have three koi in. I am
building a 16,000 gallon pond for the koi , that should be ready
by late spring early summer My question is this: If I decide to
put goldfish into the 90 gallon pond can they survive a Texas

The 90 gallon pond is about 2 feet deep. i have a filtering
system with a pump that recycles the pond water several times a
day, also an air pump line with an airstone attached. For the
winter I put about a 12 inch wood box around the pond area and
then put two storm windows on top of that. On warmer days I just
move one of the windows over to let the hotter air out. Kind of
works like a green house. The pond is sheltered from the wind
and can maintain a fairly constant temp all winter. Still cold
enough for the fish to go dormant though.

Can goldfish survive winter in this?


- John in Texas

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Hi, John,

What you have is an ideal quarantine tank, well, about 10
gallons short of idea1. But rather than fill with goldfish,
which could no doubt live through the Texas winters easily in 2'
water, you could keep one goldfish in there as a "companion"
fish for when you need to hospitalize a fish, or if you buy a
new one.

I have a similar set-up here, although my tank is larger I keep
one old goldfish as my companion fish which also keeps the
filter primed. Just something to think about.

I used to live in Paris, TX. I live in NY now, so I know
goldfish can live in 2' of water in winter! They do it up here
all the time.




Hi Carolyn,

I have a 4500 gallon pond with about 15 smaller koi. In am
located in Virginia so the temps are starting to fall into the
40s at night. I have switched to the Wheat Germ fall food but
when do I stop feeding my fish completely?

Currently when I go to feed them they are still very active and
consume all the food I feed them within 5-10 minutes. The
directions on the food says that as long as they are comsuming
the food you should continue to feed them but, I was recently
told by my local pet store that when the pond temps hit 50 or
below you should stop feeding regardless of the fish activity.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for all the great
information you have provided to me in the past,

- Melanie



Hi Melanie,

You should listen to the pond store. They are absolutely
correct. The fish are still begging but they don't realize they
aren't metabolizing their food as fast as they were at 55 or 60
degrees. It is the ambient water temperature that determines
whether the feeding is over or not.

I might add that once you discontinue feeding, please don't go
back to feeding if you have a warm day.

It takes a full 4-days for the food to process normally and be
eliminated from the fish's system. You don't want ANY food left
in there when the temperature drops again. It will putrefy and
cause a disease called Sepsis-- the fish will die.

Many unexpected spring deaths from otherwise healthy-looking
fish are caused by feeding in colder weather. The deeper your
pond is, the more stable the water temperatures, so a shallow
pond will fluctuate greatly between daytime and night. Keep this
in mind when deciding to feed.

You are a good koi-mom!

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at October 31, 2005 12:59 AM