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New pond, is it ready for winter?

Discussion in 'New Members' Area' started by kat.filf, Oct 11, 2017 at 10:58 PM.

  1. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    0925171936.jpg Hi I'm new on the forums. My name is Kat and this is a picture of my current fall set up for my goldbabies in Indiana. There is a bubbler and a titanium heater on the way for winter dormancy. I'm not new to fishkeeping as I've been doing it for years indoors and solely tropical. But I am new to goldfish! Is there anything I should be worried about for my pond or should add or at least be aware of? The filter is buried under the potted green onions, the pumps in the water have a prefilter I made around them full of polyester. The pond in total is about 135 gallons and it's deepest part is 18inches. I have waterlettuce and pickerel growing in the pond. 10 fancy babies, the largest being a ryukin the size of a soda can I adopted.
     
  2. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    how cold will get. Your pond is very shallow and very prone to freeze
     
  3. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Would you show us all of whatever you have as a wall around the pond. Does this surround the whole pond? Does it have a "roof"?
     
  4. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    @shakaho : It's in a pop up green house, it can be fully enclosed. Roof and all.
    @joe : it's southern indiana and it can go below freezing and snow and all but we usually dont have that harsh of a winter. We do have all 4 seasons though. My boss advised the straw to insulate the ground around the pond.
     

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  5. Ponder

    Ponder Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    I like the greenhouse idea, but I'm concerned that it won't hold up to snow and wind. Is it substantial enough to do that?

    Since the pond is shallow, keeping it covered in winter will help to keep the water from freezing. That, and your heater, of course. One of the major heat losses to a pond is wind blowing across it, so if you can stop that with the cover, it will be a big advantage.

    It's very important to keep an opening in the ice, if it does start to freeze. Using an air disc with an air pump will keep an area open in the ice for gas exchange. Without an open area the fish could suffocate. It sounds as though you have that covered with the products that are being sent to you.

    Best of luck with you first winter pond experience. Feel free to ask more questions and share your experiences.
     
  6. Totallyvictorian

    Totallyvictorian Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Location:
    Clarksville, Tn
    I am anxious to follow your experience with these fancies. I bring mine into the garage in a 100 gal Rubbermaid stock tank with an
    aquarium heater. Usually from Nov to Apr/May. But, I would love to leave them outside although I am afraid. I have 6 Ryukin/Orandas
    and they have grown quite a bit in the last year.
     
  7. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Excellent. I was hoping that's what it was. The pop-up greenhouse should keep the pond open and protect from predators as well. I would only have concern if you get sleet, freezing rain, or heavy wet snow that could collapse the greenhouse. However the roof has a pretty good slope.

    If/when the water temperature drops below 50F, you should either not feed at all (if your fish huddle together at the bottom of the pond and don't come up to beg) or feed a pellet or two per fish twice a week. My winter pond temperatures are 15-20 degrees lower than summer and I feed half as much food in the winter as in the summer.
     
  8. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    @Ponder I have huge tent pegs tying it down to the ground. They're a foot long and cork screw shaped. They are also inside the tent, screwed into the ground as far as they can. There is also a 5 gallon bucket full of old tank gravel and various potted plants now in the greenhouse that aren't shown in the pictures but tied to the walls as extra weighing it down.
    @Totallyvictorian I have 2 ten gallons and a 55 I can convert into goldfish storage if the weather becomes harsher than expected
    @shakaho it has a pointed roof and I can go inside and hit the roof until the snow falls off if it does pile up. Last year we only got 3 dustings and no real snow. I've been feeding them a special fall/spring food with little snacks of normal food or veggies because that's what they advised at the gardening store because of their digestive system slowing down.

    Follow up question: I was told that I might have to turn off my pumps because they will circulate the water and that's bad for them when hibernating and so is my frog fountain. Advice from the lady at the gardening store that has a ton of koi in a display pond /river thing that goes in front of the store and you can walk over and such.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 2:41 PM
  9. Ponder

    Ponder Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    Whether or not circulating water is good or bad for the fish would depend on the temperature of the water. The circulation will help to agitate the water and help with gas exchange. But if you are circulating freezing water, then it's not a good idea. If the pond is going to freeze, then you should turn off the pump to keep it and your pipes to and from the pond from freezing.

    I wondered about the frog, too, and the water there might freeze. If that happens, you would need to shut everything down and if possible, drain the pipes. Can you remove the frog for winter?

    Your pond is not deep enough to have much difference in the temperature at the surface of the water and at it's deepest part. Using a heater in that situation, to me, would be a necessity.

    Sounds like you have the greenhouse well grounded so it's not so likely to blow away. I would worry that the snow load would be too much for the structure itself and it would collapse. Seems as though you aren't getting enough snow for that to be an issue.

    I'm one of those contrary people who feed my fish all winter. The pond is covered and it doesn't freeze, so I keep everything running, including the aerated bottom drain. I don't feed as much as in summer, only once a day, but I feed sinking food every day, so that the fish will stay active and not just sit in one place. I've not had any problems with the fish from doing so.
     
  10. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    I am no expert on wintering a pond but I would not take chance with a pond that small. You have nice fish, I would move the pond inside since it is only 130 gallons if you can do that.
     
  11. Ranchutoo

    Ranchutoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia USA
    Your fish appear rather young. Have they had a season to fatten up before heading into dormancy? Since you use the word dormancy ~ instead of hibernation ~ I will guess that you know the difference and why it's important that your fish have the stored energy to come out of winter healthy and ready to spawn. There is something else I would consider, depending on when your ranchu was born. He/she is in its prime for head growth and body development. So if you're interested in grooming this fish to its potential, which includes that glorious head and a nice stocky body, I would groom it indoors for this first season. It's difficult for the goldfish to trigger growth hormones in the spring, when all systems say make eggs and milt. I hope this makes sense...
     
  12. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    You want the water circulating. If you had a deep pond, and the top of the pond was icing, the warmest (39F) water would be at the bottom of the pond. You would not want to circulate the water and eliminate this "warm" spot. Your pond isn't deep enough for the water to stratify, and isn't likely to freeze over in the greenhouse. As Ponder pointed out, circulation will keep your water oxygenated, and you want to keep your filter going. It will work better if your give the frog a winter vacation and run a larger diameter hose/pipe from the filer to the pond.
     
  13. calicomj

    calicomj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Location:
    USA
    My tiny fish all stayed outside once they went through QT inside last year. They all grew okay to be $2 wally-world fish. Got this fish last August and that's her now. As long as your pond doesn't freeze over, I think the fish will be fine. Note that I have had ZERO success with Ranchu and thus can't totally speak on them as far as toughness goes. 59178bf44142f_DSCN1691_zpsoouarf2b(2).jpg.c002754a5050e084e33c55c84ad32025.jpg GEDC0925_zpspugt1vt5.jpg
     
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  14. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    @Ponder & @shakaho the frog can vacation for the season and we can just leave the bare hose pouring into the pond. If it does get too frosty I can drain the pipes and filtration system. I shouldn't have to worry about a snow load on it and even if we do have a bit of snow I can clean the roof off before it's too much. The back right part of the roof collects water occasionally but not every time it rains.
    @joe the whole pond can't go in as it's buried but fish can go inside into various tanks free to convert to goldfish homes.
    @Ranchutoo they have all been in the pond since the middle of spring to fatten up on green water and the varied foods I give them. I recently got a new ranchu that's less than 2 inches, he will stay inside for the winter. The ranchu that's in the pond is decent sized more than 3 inches and is good friends with the large Ryukin. I would love for it to look like a groomed ranchu but I don't know much about grooming goldfish. There is technically 9 fish in the pond as the new baby chu is in quarintine not the pond. And will be all winter

    @calicomj you goldfish is gorgous for a wally-world fish. I hope mine can show really good growth over the span of a year like that. Over the summer they have grown quite a bit!
     
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  15. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    I was going to suggest that you bring your smallest fish inside, but since all but the baby have been outdoors since last spring, they should have pretty good temperature tolerance.

    I wasn't concerned about the frog per se, but rather the very thin tubing the water goes through. I see a larger black hose at the side. Is that what will take the water to the pond? I don't use hose at all in my ponds, but rather pvc pipes. Pipes give a much faster flow than hose of the same diameter, and the faster the water flows, the less risk of freezing. The smallest pipes I use (in a pond similar to yours in volume) is 1/2 inch pvc. Unless you get much lower temperatures than usual, your system shouldn't result in freezing water, but if it does, you won't enjoy going out on the coldest day of winter to fix the plumbing.
     
  16. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    @shakaho the larger tubing next to the frog does go to the frog. The whole filtration system is that tubing. I think it is 1/2 or 3/4 tubing. I can probably put a bit of money on the side to re-do all the piping with pvc possibly but the hosing does a really nice job of being mostly hidden. I could just remove the frog and have it pour down the big flat rock the frog is sitting on like I had before I got the frog. The Ryukin likes the lower waterfall part. I'm slowly learning that goldfish have much more personality than other fish I've bred or raised. The baby goldfish will stay in quarantine all winter to keep him warmer, safer and eat all my snails too apparently.
     
  17. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    I think you are doing very well. The black tubing should work fine. I used tubing for years before I switched to pipes. Actually, my first pond had a frog, but I just used it to anchor the tube in place. :)

    Yes goldfish have distinctive personalities. Have you named them? It's really fun and easy to teach them their names.
     
  18. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    @shakaho thank you I kinda did some research then dove into this luckily. I'm glad its turning out okay for the winter, once I plop in that new heater and move one of my air pumps out side for this it sounds like it'll be good. Some of the goldfish have names, not all of them have been named though. How do you go about making them respond to individual names? I know they recognize people as they all hate my niece who killed one baby ranchu I got months ago. She wanted to "hold it" and squished it sadly, so every time they hear her coming they hide at the bottom.
     
  19. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    It's really easy, if you use floating food. I start by holding a pellet in front of a fish and saying it's name. If it doesn't swim away I drop the pellet and when it grabs the food, I repeat the name. A fish has no concept of "name", so my interpretation of fishy thought is "That sound means food in my mouth." Within a week or so, a fish will respond to the sound of it's name by coming toward you with an open mouth sticking out of the water. The fish seem to like this game. I have most of my older, named, fish in one pond. When busy, I just toss some food in the middle of the pond, some of them ignore that food and come swimming over to me waiting for personalized feeding. :)
     
  20. kat.filf

    kat.filf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    @shakaho oh my gosh I'm going to try this because I have taught them to eat out of my hands! Now I've just got to finish naming them :D
     

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