Questions please for pond owners re. moving fish to a new house

(12 Posts)

Hi all, we are moving in a couple of weeks to a new house and my DD desperately wants us to take our three pond goldfish with us. Only problem is, the new house does not have a pond. We have been looking at pond liners and DH is happy to dig a pond at the new house more or less as soon as we move in. However I am totally mind boggled by the logistics of how to transport the fish, how to settle the new pond (do we try and transport some water from our current pond?) not to mention how to catch the fish in the first place! All this as well as actually moving house, our two cats, etc. Would welcome any suggestions from anyone who has done this before.

EauRouge Thu 04-Apr-13 07:52:53

Aw, that's so sweet of your DD grin

First of all, how big are the fish? If they are small it will be a lot easier!

Secondly, how soon will you be able to dig the pond? Don't forget it needs to be at least a metre deep at its deepest part so that the fish can shelter from extreme weather.

How far are you moving? Will the new owner of you old place be willing to look after the goldfish for a week or so so that you don't have to do everything in the same day?

Hiya, that was an amazingly quick reply thanks! The fish are about 3-4 inches long, they are basic goldfish not koi or anything. We're only moving a couple of miles away but the current house is rented and we don't know who will be moving in, so not sure about logistics of leaving fish behind. We'll have a small overlap of a few days between getting the keys to the new house and having to vacate the old one. Have looked at pond liners and were thinking of about a 250 gallon pond, the new garden is too small for anything bigger really. They only seem to run to about 50cm deep though. However our current pond only seems to be about knee deep, and the fish have survived two winters so far. (How long do goldfish even live for?!). Have been wondering about getting some sort of holding tank and transporting the fish with some of the pond water from the existing pond, would a paddling pool work do you think? Thanks!!

EauRouge Thu 04-Apr-13 11:46:59

They can live about 20 years, probably slightly less in a pond because of the risk of predators (another reason to make sure the pond is deep!).

I wouldn't use a paddling pool to house them temporarily, it's too shallow. You could use a large storage box (definitely no less than 60 litres), that would be OK for a few days if you kept up with lots of water changes. They'd need a filter too.

It's not easy transporting them if you don't have somewhere to put them right away and there are injury risks when catching them etc. How old is your DD? Would she notice if you just bought some new ones? Just thinking would she be more upset if you tried to move them and they snuffed it.

fufflebum Thu 04-Apr-13 11:52:55

Could you just buy a tank and keep them indoors if you are renting?

We have two fish of this size in a 25l tank and are currently looking at homing these to a friend who has a pond.

I have transported fish before in a smaller plastic tank for fish (see pets at home). This would be ok to transport a short distance mine did ok with this when I moved from SE to NE and back again when I moved back!

However would suggest chat with new owners of your house and see if they would like the fish? Then when settled somewhere else you could start again?

Hi both thanks no I think DD would be keen to keep them, she chose them and recognises them, she would be upset if she thought they weren't going to be looked after properly. We're buying the new house so no problem putting a pond in, in fact we'd like one for the frogs etc. I've put a message on freecycle to see if I can get an old water tank or something to keep them in temporarily (I did see a suggestion online to use a clean wheelie bin!). Will speak to our landlady about leaving them here as a temporary solution just for a week or two until we have the new pond sorted. Thanks.

EauRouge Thu 04-Apr-13 17:53:26

A wheelie bin might work, as long as it's something clean that will hold water and not leach loads of chemicals into it, although if it's temporary then you probably won't need to worry that much. I don't think I'd use a used wheelie bin but you could get a water butt or something like that fairly cheap. Don't forget the filter to help process the waste and oxygenate the water.

Hi there, have been offered a 4ft goldfish tank on freecycle, the house is too small to accomodate it but do you think I could put it outside in the garden just until we get the pond dug? Just worried about it freezing but as we are not due to move until the end of April I should think it will be a bit warmer. What do you reckon?

EauRouge Thu 04-Apr-13 18:52:22

Sure, it should be OK outside in late April. I'd rest it on some polystryrene tiles to prevent it getting broken or chipped. You could just get a simple sponge filter, that would be nice and cheap. Try asking for that on Freecycle, there are always people giving them away near me.

You might also want to get some plants like some elodea or duck weed to give the fish a bit of cover. Will you be able to put some kind of cover over it, even just a couple of planks? Just in case any local cats think it's a sushi bar.

Ha ha good point re the planks we have two cats! Great so it sounds like we have a plan...now just have to get DH to dig a bloody big hole and we are away...thanks for the advice!

Hello again. Okay we move this weekend all being well, I have the tank and have bought a pump. The fish will need to be in the tank for at least a week while we dig a pond - DH is unfortunately incapacitated at the moment so I am having to rope in some friends to help me dig the pond. Probably just as well as the pond at our current house seems to be leaking.

Anyway, in terms of water in the tank - do I put pond water in (which is a bit murky to be honest) or tap water or can I do a mix of both? I have some of that additive to make tap water safe for ponds, can I use that? Tank holds about 200 litres so can't really drain the whole pond to fill the tank!

I can also bring some of the weed etc from the current pond.

Is there anything else I need to do?

Fish will travel to new house in a large tupperware storage box with a lid - only 10 min journey so hope they will be okay.

Thank you!! Never thought I would get so worried about fish.

EauRouge Tue 07-May-13 20:22:21

You can use some water from the pond and some from the tap if you want, but do make sure you dechlorinate the tap water (the stuff you have sounds fine) or it will kill all the bacteria in the filter. You'll need to do a lot of water changes in the early days because the fish will be in the tank while the filter cycles. This isn't ideal but the only way around it in your situation would be to get some mature media from another filter- do you know anyone with a fish tank that can give you a bit of sponge from their filter? Have a look at this link, it will explain what I mean.

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