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Why are my feeder goldfish dying?

Discussion in 'Goldfish in the Pond' started by malsprower, May 17, 2017.

  1. malsprower

    malsprower Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I made a wheel barrel pond with water hyacinth, duckweed, and mosquito fish. I checked the ph of the water and it was perfect. I live in Daytona Florida and we have a heatwave of around 90-85 degrees, I checked the water temperature and it is 75-85 degrees during the heat of the day, but down to 70 at night. I put feeder fish in the pond and each one dies a day, they slow down, hide, then die. I have to keep on picking up the plants to find them. The orange ones are dying first, I have a water bubbler to add oxygen to the water. All the fish seem lethargic and have repetitive movements. I feed them according to instructions. I properly added Amquel to the water before introducing the fish. Why are they all dying?
     
  2. magdela

    magdela Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Do you know how many gallons of water are in your container? A good guess about what might be killing them is ammonia poisoning. This would be caused by having many fish in a small amount of water (more than 1 per 20 gallons) or by having a tank that is not filtered or cycled.
     
  3. vwill279

    vwill279 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    Feeder goldfish tend to be diseased right from the store. The repetitive motions you are seeing is probably flashing, which means they have a parasite. It is also likely they have internal parasites as well.
     
  4. Faebinder

    Faebinder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    What is the volume (gallon wise) are you putting too many?

    Feeders get packed tight in the stores and tend to be sick, picking up disease easily. Imagine cramping 50 people in a room for days... some will get sick.
     
  5. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    It may be some chemical on the wheel barrel that is blancing back into the water. Like the other's stated feeder goldfish are usually sickly and severely neglected fish. It could also be that your pond has not cycled and your water chemistry is poor.
     
  6. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Please show us a picture of your wheelbarrow pond. I really can't imagine putting fish in a wheelbarrow. Is it metal or poly? Old or new? I see new wheelbarrows listed as 4 or 6 cubic feet. If those could be filled to capacity with water, they would hold 30 and 45 gallons of water, big enough for one or two goldfish. An old metal wheelbarrow, particularly if it has flaking paint, would probably be toxic.

    Do you have filtration? If so what kind of filter? Do you change water? If so how often and how much?

    What is a "perfect" pH? Goldfish tolerate a wide range of pH, but you should test the ammonia and nitrite in the water. These are deadly poisons. If you don't have a test kit yet, take a sample of water to the store you got the fish from and get it tested. Any reading of ammonia or nitrite other than zero means your fish are being poisoned.

    If you keep fish in a small container, like your wheelbarrow, you must have it in deep shade all day to avoid overheating the water. Goldfish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but FL sun on a small container can make the water too hot. The warmer the water the less oxygen it can hold. If the duckweed and water hyacinth cover the surface of the water, you don't get gas exchange at the surface of the water. This can suffocate your fish. A bubbler will not make up for overly warm water and a lack of gas exchange at the surface.

    So here are the possible reasons for your fish dying:

    Toxins leached from the wheelbarrow.

    Ammonia and/or nitrite poisoning.

    Overheating.

    Lack of oxygen in the water due to heat, the plants covering the surface, and to many fish using what oxygen is available.
     
  7. malsprower

    malsprower Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, FL
    These answers are amazing!!! I have 12 gallons. I am thinking these may all be the case. If the wheelbarrow is not toxic and the mosquito fish survive for the long run, do you think putting betta fish would be a better option? Since they are adapted for stagnant water? What other species of fish would work for a stagnant pond environment? My friend said he had his goldfish in stagnant water and they did okay until the coons found them. His mosquito fish are still alive and reproducing. So I thought goldfish would be ok, since my pond is in the porch. I am changing my mind on that one, the goldfish aren't liking it. I have betta fish inside for 3 years in a 1 gallon jars and they are still chugging along. I am looking for a high tolerance colorful fish to add to my pond. Should I try bettas instead? Bettas are very expensive so I am not sure when and if I should take the risk. The goldfish were only 12 for $2 not a loss to me, except for a few tears. This is the wheelbarrow and it is brand new: http://www.ames.com/product/carts/2463675-easy-roller-jr-3-cubic-foot-poly-yard-cart/
     
  8. malsprower

    malsprower Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, FL
  9. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    12 gallons is too small even for one goldfish. May be you get a way for a while with one very small goldfish for some time but you will need to upgrade. Your fish are doing poorly because water chemistry is poor, some thing from the barrel is leaching back into the water, the mosquito fish have pathogens that are killing your fish, you are buying fish already sick fish and lack of oxygen. I would not put a betta with the mosquito fish, the mosquito fish may go after the betta's long fins. At the very least get a sponge filter, remove the mosquito fish, and monitor your water conditions if you are going to have a goldfish
     
  10. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Have you tested the water for ammonia? Yes aquatic plants take up ammonia, but that doesn't mean You don't have ammonia in the water. I don't know how many mosquito fish you have in there, but they pump out ammonia too.

    I have to ask why you decided to put fish in a garden cart. It's a very useful device for hauling stuff around the yard, but certainly not for keeping fish. I can see making a watergarden (without goldfish) from a weathered old wheelbarrow.

    You can go to a farm store and get a nice stock tank like this which can make a great home for four or five goldfish. You can grow water lilies in it and hyacinths if you wish as long as at least a third of the water surface is open. You can get a waterfall filter and put marsh plants in the top of it. You can even make a decent pond out of an old bathtub.
     
  11. malsprower

    malsprower Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, FL
    You have such awesome suggestions! The wheelbarrow is difficult to use, it's just a waste of space in my porch, my neighbor gave it to me and I tried to use it and it was annoying. I will try to see what the future foresees, and use it as a plant pond if the goldfish don't make it in the long run. If the mosquito fish survive, then it would just be a mosquito fish pond. All the very little baby mosquito fish are still around, they have not flinched, none of them died at all. One of the mosquito fish is pregnant, sounds like they are adjusting well. 7 goldfish remain, they seem to be doing okay, moving normally. All the goldfish were hiding in the plants before I went out to feed them, so that may be a good sign since they are not in the top gasping for air. They weren't doing this before.
     
  12. Ponder

    Ponder Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    Plants will add oxygen to the water during the day. However, they will take up oxygen at night, depleting the amount in the water, so it is very important to have a constant source of oxygen in the water, like an air pump and airstone.
     
  13. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    What you say about gas exchange is true for submersed plants, and also for algae, but floating plants have their stomata on the upper surface of the leaves so they exchange gases with the atmosphere, not with the water.

    Aeration helps if the problem is green water.

    If the floating plants grow to the point that they completely cover the surface, gas exchange stops and the fish suffocate. A stream of bubbles won't help at all in this situation.
     
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  14. Ponder

    Ponder Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks for the clarification. I should have been more specific.

    Doesn't every body of water, except brand new ones, have some type of algae? Also, if the stream of bubbles is strong enough, would it not agitate the surface even with plants covering the surface, to provide the exchange of gases?
     
  15. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Of course every established body of water has algae, and if they have a mud bottom, they have submersed plants as well, and the fish don't suffocate at night if the surface is open. A huge algae bloom can kill fish, but oddly enough they most often die from supersaturated oxygen during the day.

    Take a look at how water hyacinth grows in Fl: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/eichhornia-crassipes/. If you blasted this with a powerful air pump you could push some plants aside, but gas exchange over a small hole in the cover doesn't help. It's illegal to possess the stuff in FL, but I haven't heard of anyone getting arrested for it.
     
  16. Ponder

    Ponder Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    I would think that supersaturated oxygen in a backyard pond would be a rare thing. Something not accomplished easily with an air pump and airstone.

    Do you not provide some type of supplemental air to your ponds, or at least some falling water to agitate the surface?
     
  17. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    ???Nobody suggested that you can supersaturate water with oxygen using an air pump and airstone. I think you can do it with an ozone system that doesn't work right.

    I do not aerate my ponds. I did it for my first pond, but when the air pump died I didn't replace it. Of course water from the filter agitates a tiny bit of the pond surface. My ponds are shallow so gases diffuse easily.
     
  18. Ichthius

    Ichthius Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Eugene Oregon
    It's not daytime oxygen super saturation that kills the fish, its when it gets dark and the greenwater produces Co2 at night and the pH crashes and they suffocate.
     
  19. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
  20. Ponder

    Ponder Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes, I did think we were talking about backyard ponds. This is, after all, a goldfish site, and a thread about a backyard "pond".

    The supersaturation you refer to is extremely rare and is really not applicable to our ponds.

    I happen to believe that aeration in a pond is a good thing. Your mileage may vary.
     

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