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Help needed with goldfish pond

(10 Posts)
StuntNun Wed 12-Dec-18 06:23:08

I moved house yesterday and discovered the new house has goldfish in the pond (which I hadn't realised when I viewed the house - the fish are mostly black and it's difficult to see them.) I've never kept fish before and I'm not sure what I need to do to look after them. The previous owner left a pack of fish food so I sprinkled some on the water, which they came up to eat. But then a bit of Googling has left me confused. Please can someone help me with the following questions:

1. It's about 6 degrees during the day - do goldfish need to be fed when it's so cold and, if so, how often?
2. The pond water looks a little murky - should I try and get a water testing kit to assess the quality of the water?
3. There are a lot of plants around the pond but there doesn't seem to be too many actually in the water - how do I know whether I need more plants?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. The previous owners didn't look after the house particularly well so I'm concerned the pond hasn't been properly maintained either.

lunar1 Wed 12-Dec-18 08:04:10

My goldfish have completely stopped eating now, I put wheat germ in every few days and end up fishing it out again as they aren't interested. Hopefully you will get some better advice from an expert soon, this is my ponds first winter. I'd get any plants cut back that look like they won't survive the winter.

StuntNun Wed 12-Dec-18 09:43:15

Photo of the pond.

lunar1 Wed 12-Dec-18 10:04:38

I wouldn't know where to start with that! There are some really good pond keeper FB forums who can give great advice. I'd join a few as they really know what they are doing.

MabelBee Wed 12-Dec-18 10:09:42

The water needs to be consistently above 10 degrees for the fish to need feeding, so you don't need to do anything until it warms up. Are there plants under the water? Is there a working pump with water running into the pond?

StuntNun Wed 12-Dec-18 10:15:25

There's no pump and very little foliage in the water.

SaveKevin Wed 12-Dec-18 10:21:15

Ah lucky you, you’ll have a lot more wildlife in your garden as a result of that pond.
It’s been a long time since I had a pond so I won’t be offended at being corrected!
Id be inclined to leave it for the winter, fish sort of hibernate and they are obviously doing ok. It looks quite shallow? So I would put a polystyrene ball in to help stop it freezing completely (that will help the birds get a drink too) Come spring I would clear the surrounding shrubbery to see what your dealing with. There’s lots of solar powered pumps and fountains now which look good for small ponds. Id look into some sort of pump / filter in the spring.

SaveKevin Wed 12-Dec-18 10:22:29

Has it got a sloped bank so wildlife can get out? Hedgehogs can get stuck (they love a swim!) and drown.

PositivePeach Wed 12-Dec-18 10:27:20

I wouldn't do much to it over the winter. If the fish are happy as they are, leave it. The plants look mature and healthy.

Fish go into almost hibernation during the winter months. They don't need feeding. The lack of sunlight also means you don't need to worry about bacteria and algae.

We have a big pond with 10 mature goldfish and Koi, plus a 3ft sturgeon. The mature fish have been breeding the past three years so we also have about 40 youngsters. We spend a lot of time in the spring and summer, cleaning, filtering and planting. In the winter we switch the pump/uv off and leave them to it. We haven't had any casualties in years.

Have a read up over the winter months but don't make any changes until it starts warming up. March/April maybe. There are various pond keeping groups on FB which are full of advice. If you want to get the most from your pond, at a minimum you will need a pump and UV filter suited to size.

StuntNun Wed 12-Dec-18 14:43:32

Thanks for the tips. I was worried I was going to accidentally kill the fish because I had no clue what I was doing!

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