Goldfish In Horse Water Trough

Momgoose56

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Smalltownfishfriend said:
That's not quite true. I have goldfish in an outdoor above ground pond, they easily survived several weeks worth of below 0 degree weather, the water was at maybe 35 degrees, just so not freezing. All the adults and babies survived. People underestimate the toughness of carp.
Maybe our carp were just wimps. The pond fish (goldfish and minnows) did fine as far as we could tell, but we found dead goldfish and some frozen in the ice in the tank many times in winter before we decided to bring the few we had left in for the winters. Of course, the 40 or 30 degree weather was usually the 'warm before the storm' and was frequently followed by ice storms, blizzards and sub zero weather. Fish in a barrel don't survive that. I dunno how you kept your water at 35 when the ambient temps and wind around the tanks are 0 'for weeks'. I guess if the cows huddle around the water tank they could keep it warm, but ours didn't. They went to low ground, down in the trees when it got really cold. We had to go out in 3 foot snow drifts and sub freezing cold almost every day in January to bust the ice on the pond with an old boat anchor and find newborn calves to bring them up to warm and dry them, bottle feed em and then take them back to moms in the morning.
 

scarface

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pagoda said:
When I was a kid, my dad built a fancy shaped pond in the back garden, he filled it with water via the hose attached to the outside wall of the house, put a few water lillies into it and some goldfish

No dechlorinator or any other chemicals, no heaters.....

The goldfish were still happily swimming around after 15-20 years, in winter we put a football in the pond to keep it relatively ice free

My cousin owned horses, I used to go ride out with her at weekends and all of her troughs had fish in them....some of her goldfish would play a game of stare me out with the horses....the goldfish always won and the horses would snort into the water in disgust and the little upstart goldfish

Again no chemicals in the water, it came right from the tap on a continuous flow and in winter she had tennis balls in the troughs to keep ice at bay

I don't know if goldies are weaker genetically thesedays but back then they were as tough as old boots and wouldn't care about the water, all they wanted it to be fed....and to tease the horses
I admit to adding water straight from the tap with no dechlorinator as long as I didn't do more than a 50 percent water change. I figure some chlorine gass out and whatever residual is left becomes so diluted it becomes irrelevant. I had a maintained cycle, zero deaths, and no stressed fish doing it this way. In the contrary, the fish would swim in front of the hose outlet with their mouths open, seemingly enjoying the rush of water moving through their gills.

Growing up, didn't even use tennis balls, a surface heater, or anything. We just let the entire surface become frozen. As with the tap water, also had no fish deaths. People talk about the importance of gas exchange during winter, which I do believe is important, but think many overestimate the amount of oxygen fish require. Water holds a lot less oxygen, but fish are perfectly suited to that environment. They can survive a week or more crammed traveling in tiny bags (yes, filled with oxygen, but we're still talking about a small bag with water and so still very limited) stressed and breathing rapidly the entire process, and yet many still survive. I imagine fish under ice with vastly slowed metabolisms use up even less oxygen. They eat less, move less, and expend less energy.

Now I'm not suggesting either one of those things. I don't even do either of those myself anymore (well, mostly). It just to show, anecdotally, that even the most basic, common sense, indisputable rules aren't so black and white.
 

Momgoose56

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Momgoose56 said:
Maybe our carp were just wimps. The pond fish (goldfish and minnows) did fine as far as we could tell, but we found dead goldfish and some frozen in the ice in the tank many times in winter before we decided to bring the few we had left in for the winters. Of course, the 40 or 30 degree weather was usually the 'warm before the storm' and was frequently followed by ice storms, blizzards and sub zero weather. Fish in a barrel don't survive that. I dunno how you kept your water at 35 when the ambient temps and wind around the tanks are 0 'for weeks'. I guess if the cows huddle around the water tank they could keep it warm, but ours didn't. They went to low ground, down in the trees when it got really cold. We had to go out in 3 foot snow drifts and sub freezing cold almost every day in January to bust the ice on the pond with an old boat anchor and find newborn calves to bring them up to warm and dry them, bottle feed em and then take them back to moms in the morning.
We did the ball thing too (old deflated basketball) and It worked! As long as it wasn't too cold and the sun came out for awhile during the day! The sun would heat the dark ball some and melt the ice around it. Thing was, the cows would sometimes grab it and fling it out of the tank getting at the water, or just playing, so we always had to break ice anyway just to make the hole bigger so the cattle could get to the water.
 
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natureandwildlife

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I went to the store to get 2 comet goldfish for the water trough and left with 2 fantail goldfish instead. I hope it doesn't make a difference but I couldn't resist. Anyway, let me know if anyone wants an update on them later. One is orange with a white tail and lower head. The other is yellow with black ribbons throughout it. They are very beautiful. I definitely favor the yellow one. I'm thinking of naming them Thing 1 and Thing 2 but I'm not sure yet. Let me know what you think. Thanks for everyone's feedback, I appreciate it.
 

Momgoose56

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70 - 82° F.
 

Annie59

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Not sure if fantails are as tough as comets. You may have a problem with that type of goldfish.
 

pagoda

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The thing about water troughs and ponds....no water changes needed cos even if they are not on a constant feed from the tap, mother nature will do a good job of adding fresh water every now and then with rain, sleet, hail or snow
 

scarface

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Fantails are relatively hardy compared to other fancy goldfish.
 

Smalltownfishfriend

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pagoda said:
The thing about water troughs and ponds....no water changes needed cos even if they are not on a constant feed from the tap, mother nature will do a good job of adding fresh water every now and then with rain, sleet, hail or snow
I agree with you. So many people say you HAVE to do water changes on a pond. I never touch my pond in that way just in the spring I drain it almost completely to get some of the gunk and leaves off the bottom. I have a very healthy thriving pond! As long as you get rain you will be fine!
 
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