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Are you considering keeping fish?

Category: Fishtank Gardening | Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:10 pm

It is a very rewarding hobby and works well with gardening. What completes an outdoor garden pond better than beautiful fish swimming in it? What is more relaxing than sitting on your sofa just watching your fish swim around in their planted tank?

I highly recommend keeping fish, but before you take that leap, just like any pet, there is research and preparation that needs to be done.

Begin by asking yourself these questions:
- Why am I considering getting fish? (decoration, relaxation, to keep as pets)
- Am I willing to make a commitment to take care of another creature that will depend on me for it's livelihood?
- What type of fish would be best for my purpose?
- What fish would be compatible with the local environment and/or environment I plan to build for them?
- What supplies are needed for my fish?

There will be a lot of research to be done, especially for a beginner. First and foremost will be to look up the Nitrogen Cycle. While you are cycling your tank, you can work on creating the proper environment for your fish and make sure they have a comfortable and healthy home. Since cycling the tank can take a while, you can take the time to research the various fish and pick ones you like, but also check the compatibility of the different fish you choose. Will they live comfortably in the home you have created? Will they get along with each other? Make adjustments to your list of fish and also to the tank to give them the best conditions possible. Your fish will be happy and so will you.

As a long-time fishkeeper, I will recommend the forum. There are wonderful members there and great information.
I recommend this thread for seasoned fishkeepers as well as beginners:

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2ofus wrote on Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:17 pm:

We plan on putting in a small pond next spring about 5 x 8 and 3 foot deep. We have had ponds before. I did a lot of investigating before we built the first one and made the decision on plants based on our zone 4 and also decided that plain goldfish would be the best fish for that small of pond and the cold winters we have. I would appreciate any suggestions that you have.


Beeker wrote on Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:59 pm:

Goldfish are such a delight in so many different ways. They are beautiful, playful, and have such delightful personalities.
First and foremost, make sure the plants you have chosen are not poisonous to your fish.
One thing you need to know about goldies is that they are relentless pickers. Don't purchase expensive plants until you know how much the fish will pick at them. Start with the least costly plants. Feeding the fish will help (of course don't feed them too much since they will easily eat themselves to death), but they are so piggish, they will still pick at the plants anyway. If you have enough strong plants to keep ahead of the picking, especially those that have most of their growth above the water, you should do fine. Plants that are entirely submerged will not last.
The depth of the pond sounds good for that zone. The important thing is that they have enough room to live comfortably under the ice.


Beeker wrote on Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:59 pm:

Another concern for having a pond with live fish is predators. Goldies, being such personable pets, and always looking to be fed, will come to the surface when they see movement or shadows. They will swim right up to a waiting predator. Also, because their colors are so bright and attractive, they would be very easy to spot by hungry animals. You might want to consider some form of protection. Some people put nets over the ponds to deter predators. If you have a large enough population (keeping in mind that each goldfish requires 20 gallons of water so you should be able to keep about 40 goldfish) you should be able to stay ahead of the predators. Make sure the fish have plenty of places to hide.


waretrop wrote on Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:50 am:

Nice job Beeker.


Frank wrote on Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:07 pm:

Thanks Beeker, it's great to have your knowledge here.


Beeker wrote on Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:58 pm:

Thank you both.

One thought: I will cut my number of goldfish from 40 down to 20 due to the formation of ice in the winter. The ice will take up a lot of space, leaving less room for the fish.

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