Wintering outdoor fish

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Wintering outdoor fish

Post by Mavs_72 »

This is the first year I have put fish (goldfish) in the pond. My pond is not deep enough to winter them outdoors and I want to bring them in, however I want to keep them dormant over the winter. I am considering buying a fish tank to keep in the garage and heating it just enough to keep it from freezing. Does this seem feasible? Any hints or suggestions?
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Jake Langeslag
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Location: Faribault, MN

Re: Wintering outdoor fish

Post by Jake Langeslag »

Hello -

Thanks for your question. Overwintering techniques are somethign I like to study very closely. A lot of it depends on where you live.

First off - what area of the country do you live and how deep is your pond? You may be surprised what fish can handle if they are given the correct care outdoors - especially goldfish... they are tough.

If you do bring them inside and want them to go dormat - i try to keep my temperature below 55 degrees. That way filtration is not as big of a concern. The trick is to find a location where it will stay in that range... a garage is usually good, but again it depends on where you live and if its heated or not.

Be sure to provide the overwintering tank with a good amount of oxygen via a air bubbler, cover the tank to prevent them from jumping out, maybe add a few areas for them to hide inside of the tank as well to prevent a lot of stress. Many people like to use Stock Tanks like the rubbermaid brand with rounded corners - glass can be hard on them for when they get spooked they often run head first into the glass pretty hard- if they are pond fish that are still a little wild.

If the fish are small and you want to keep them in an aquarium, i find it sometimes easier to bring them inside and treat it like any other fish aquarium system. Be sure to provide filtration and air and feed them from time to time. Before you put them into an indoor filtration system, be sure to allow your tank to cycle for a few weeks to make sure the water will not be toxic to fish... i also find it good to tank some filtration media from the pond and bring it indoors and put it in the aquarium to help the good beneficial bacteria colonize the aquarium... this will help with Ammonia spikes in a new aquraium enviroment.

It is good to see that you are already planning for this fall so early! I hope to post some step-by-step pictures of indoor overwintering systems on the site before this fall so check back again.

In the meantime if you have any other specific questions about overwinting fish - keep firing away on the forum!

Thanks again :D

Aqua Eden
Jake Langeslag

"Creating Waterscape Paradises"
Faribault, Minnesota
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