Fish Pond...

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Seattle, Jun 15, 2023.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,792
    Does anyone here have a fish pond in their yard?

    I have a small one, 3 ft deep, 3 ft wide and about 9 feet long. I have a few goldfish in there. They are hardy, the winters are relatively mild here in Seattle and supposedly they are more suitable for outdoor living than Koi in this climate (without heating the water or without bringing them inside for the winter).

    I don't even have to feed them. There is enough planton for the small number of fish I have in there. I haven't done any Googling yet but I'm thinking about expanding the size and maybe depth?

    I'm curious as to how many fish I could have, I'm worried about overbreeding, environmental concerns with a larger pond, etc.

    Do any of you have similar ponds in your yards?
     
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I have a small lake in my backyard, with various fish, turtles and the occasional alligator. But, there’s a retention pond at the entrance of my subdivision and there are fish in there, and I’d imagine they’re eating good(?) bacteria, algae or insects that land on the water’s surface.

    Do you have any other wildlife around your home?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2023
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  5. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    There's one around here, but it's not a garden pond or for decorative purposes.

    Goldfish reputedly don't eat their own or other fish, unless they're extremely famished. So you might need to add a predator fish.

    For instance, in much larger farm ponds (also used for fishing, not just providing water for livestock) it's usually a mix of bass and bluegill. People want both species to get as big as possible -- thus the concern about overcrowding there, which doesn't necessarily apply to a purely ornamental pond (though tiny fish are probably less pleasant to look at).

    From an environmental standpoint, goldfish are indeed an invasive pest, like carp in general. So if flooding or runoff into streams is a possibility with a bigger pond location, bear that in mind.
    _
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I have raccoons.
     
  8. foghorn Valued Senior Member

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    I hear there's a cream for that.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Coyotes, rattlesnakes, deer, a very occasional mountain lion, lizards, skunks . . . .
     
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  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,792
    So, no fish pond?
     
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Same here except for mountain lions, because we lack mountains.

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    But, we have bobcats that a few of my neighbors see before sunrise when they’re out running.
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No. A stream, so frogs.
     
  13. LaurieAG Registered Senior Member

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    My father had one around 18 inches deep, 6 foot long by 3 foot wide and it maintained a reasonably regular population of around 17 goldfish of varying sizes for nearly 20 years without doing anything apart from giving them a small portion of fish flakes every morning. Much of the pond was overgrown with water lilies and it slowly filled up with black muck so he had to clean it out and reduce the vegetation every 2 years or so. When he did this he'd catch as many fish as he could with a net, drain the water and then pick up the rest when the water level went down. Occasionally you'd see them gasping for air due to dry weather causing oxygen depletion and one or two of the big ones would die each year but this was easily fixed by turning on a hose at a slight trickle and allowing it to drip into the water. He had to put 2 layers of mesh over the top of the pond as the local birds and water dragons would make a meal of them in no time.
     
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, a lot of it depends of where you live. I wouldn't want a pond if I had to keep mesh over it. My pond is 3 feet deep with steep walls because I read that raccoons won't get in there if they can't touch the bottom (even though they can swim).

    That has worked out so far. Some people like to have a ledge about 1 foot under the water so they can put plants there but the raccoons will get on the ledge and grab fish.

    When the gold fish get large enough to entice a blue heron that can be a problem. I saw one standing in my pond once and after that I noticed that my bigger fish was gone.

    I also used to have a circulating pump to make a small waterfall, I had waterlilies but the dirt gets out eventually, the pumps wear out quickly, so now it's just the fish. I drag the bottom once a year with a fish net on a long pole just to get out detritus from random falling leaves.

    I've thought about making the pond a little wider but I might just leave it as it is. My pond is just a hole, lined with EDPM (like a rubber sheet) and then flagstones around the perimeter on top and some rocks and then plants beyond that. On one side a lot of ferns come up naturally so the whole pond area looks pretty natural.

    Since I stopped with the waterlilies, water hyacinth, and water lettuce, the water is greenish since there is nothing to filter plankton out but then again, that's what the fish eat so it's a good trade off. I think I might be down to one fish now though.

    The pond would be fine without fish but it's nice to see a few come to the surface every now and then. It was soothing to hear the water fall over some rocks and in season, waterlilies look nice but to get much blooming of the flowers you need to fertilize them and that just makes the plankton grow even more. The floating water cabbage and hyacinth are annuals so you have to replace them every year. Ultimately it was easier to just have a pond and fish and nothing else.

    I have a water feature on my deck anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2023

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