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Old 08-28-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
28,103 posts, read 29,997,160 times
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We have a pond in our backyard. We started out the year with four decent-sized goldfish. A week or so ago two of them were no longer coming to the surface when I went out to feed them. I was starting to wonder if a raccoon might have gotten them, but for various reasons, I kind of doubt that happened. Anyway, I just went out to feed them today and again, the same two were missing (or are in hiding). As I tried to see if I could spot them anywhere, I started seeing babies swimming around. They're maybe an inch or an inch and a half long and there are about ten of them. Three questions:

1. Would this have anything to do with the disappearance of the two missing adults?
2. What do I feed the babies? The food I've been feeding the adults is too large for the babies to eat.
3. Anything else I need to know?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:52 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,610 posts, read 81,297,702 times
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Just buy some of the flakes you would use for inside goldfish in a bowl. I keep adding a few small feeders to my pond and use both flakes and pellets with the large range of size. You have great luck, because most of the time the parents and other fish will eat the eggs, others get sucked into the pump, so none survive.

The spawning behavior of goldfish can be somewhat violent and may result in damage to the mates so they may be laying low and resting to recover, or be dead and not floated up. I would be concerned not only with racoons but also birds, a heron got many of mine. They can see fish in a pond from way up flying by, and the more fish the more likely they will stop by fr a meal. I keep deer netting over the pond now at all times though racoons could get through that if they wanted to.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
28,103 posts, read 29,997,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Just buy some of the flakes you would use for inside goldfish in a bowl. I keep adding a few small feeders to my pond and use both flakes and pellets with the large range of size. You have great luck, because most of the time the parents and other fish will eat the eggs, others get sucked into the pump, so none survive.
Thank you for the information! I hadn't thought about the flakes. I can see that they'd work much better than the pellets. About being lucky -- I wasn't even sure I was going to replace the four fish I had once all of them died. Now I have closer to 14. I have to bring them inside into an aquarium in the winter since our pond is not quite deep enough that we feel we can be sure it won't freeze solid. So, as fun a discovery as this was, I'm not sure I'm going to use the word "lucky" quite yet. I had no idea that the parents will eat the young, though, so I'm glad to see that didn't happen.

Quote:
The spawning behavior of goldfish can be somewhat violent and may result in damage to the mates so they may be laying low and resting to recover, or be dead and not floated up.
OMG! Again, I had no idea!

Quote:
I would be concerned not only with racoons but also birds, a heron got many of mine. They can see fish in a pond from way up flying by, and the more fish the more likely they will stop by fr a meal. I keep deer netting over the pond now at all times though racoons could get through that if they wanted to.
Someone mentioned herons to me before, but we've lived in our house for 31 years and have never once seen a heron. A raccoon is a possibility. I hope that's not what happened, and will just hope that mama and daddy fish soon recover from their harrowing sexual experience.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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We get down as low as 12F here in winter and the deepest part is about 20". We have had 3" of ice on the top for weeks and the fish all made it through just fine. They stop eating when the water gets cold, usually mid-October and won't eat again until late April.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:43 AM
 
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Cool! I used to get baby goldfish in my pond, but we have so many frogs now we never get any survivors.

I keep a floating de-icer on my pond during the winter, which allows a small hole in the surface so trapped gases can escape. How large and deep is your pond? My pond is barely 3' deep at it's center, and one year it froze pretty deep and I lost some fish. If you have babies though, it would be fun to bring them in over the winter, and safer. And it is possible that herons could have gotten the adults, I went several years before a heron found my pond. But once it did, I lost some fish and each year now we get herons, I have to keep a net over my pond now.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
28,103 posts, read 29,997,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
Cool! I used to get baby goldfish in my pond, but we have so many frogs now we never get any survivors.

I keep a floating de-icer on my pond during the winter, which allows a small hole in the surface so trapped gases can escape. How large and deep is your pond? My pond is barely 3' deep at it's center, and one year it froze pretty deep and I lost some fish. If you have babies though, it would be fun to bring them in over the winter, and safer. And it is possible that herons could have gotten the adults, I went several years before a heron found my pond. But once it did, I lost some fish and each year now we get herons, I have to keep a net over my pond now.
Our pond is shallow -- only about a foot and a half deep at its deepest point. Every year we think about trying to keep it warm enough not to freeze solid and every year we end up deciding not to take the chance. I suspect that if the babies are still around six weeks from now, they'll be joining the remaining adults at their winter home in our aquarium.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Well, the babies and the parents are all dead. I don't know what happened, to be perfectly honest. All I know is I won't be replacing them. It's just too hard on me. While it's not like when a dog or cat dies, it's still not something I care to repeat. I think our pool just isn't deep enough, for one thing, and while we tried like crazy to provide them with multiple places to hide, apparently we failed to do so.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:49 AM
 
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Aw, so sorry to hear that! Did they disappear entirely, or did you find them dead? You might still have some babies in hiding among the plants. So many things could have gone wrong. You never did mention how many gallons your pond was, or what kind of filtration you have in the pond . Goldfish are very dirty and need a filter of some type, particularly in a small pond. And if your pond was one of the small preformed types of 50 gallons or so that would have been too small for that many goldfish. I have 12 comets in my pond of around 700 gallons and I think that's about my limit, I'm probably overstocked. As for predators, as I said earlier I have to keep a net about 8" above my pond, it has been very successful. Herons are sly and you rarely see them, but they will clean out your pond once they find it and have easy access. I tell you all this in case you change your mind and want to try again.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
28,103 posts, read 29,997,160 times
Reputation: 13125
Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
Aw, so sorry to hear that! Did they disappear entirely, or did you find them dead? You might still have some babies in hiding among the plants. So many things could have gone wrong. You never did mention how many gallons your pond was, or what kind of filtration you have in the pond . Goldfish are very dirty and need a filter of some type, particularly in a small pond. And if your pond was one of the small preformed types of 50 gallons or so that would have been too small for that many goldfish. I have 12 comets in my pond of around 700 gallons and I think that's about my limit, I'm probably overstocked. As for predators, as I said earlier I have to keep a net about 8" above my pond, it has been very successful. Herons are sly and you rarely see them, but they will clean out your pond once they find it and have easy access. I tell you all this in case you change your mind and want to try again.
Thanks for the information, andthentherewere3. They seem to have all just disappeared overnight -- except for one of the two remaining adults that I found floating. I'm not sure exactly how big the pond is (in gallons), but we do have a filter in it and also a fountain that splashes into the water, and we've actually had koi in the pond before that did fine. So I think the pond is plenty big enough for the tiny babies I saw. I'll keep watching for the babies, though. It would be good if two or three survived.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:14 AM
 
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It sounds like something got them.

I hate to say though, I hope you don't get offended, but koi get 2-3 feet long, and need a pond at least three feet deep, they are deep water fish. You would need a bare minimum of 1000 gallons for them, and koi and goldfish live 25 years or longer. A lot of people think they only live a year or two, then die of "old age". And it's not true that fish will only grow as large as their tank/pond, their spines will bend and their intestines keep growing until they die. I say that so you won't set yourself up for any disappointment in the future if your pond is too small, it's always upsetting when fish die, as you know. Anyway, hopefully you will find some babies, I bet they are hiding.
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