Fish In Goldfish Pond Year Round
Can my goldfish be left in my pond year round, I live in Alberta Canada?
This is a well timed question with your weather temperatures now on the decline.
Goldfish are warm water fish, and their optimal temperature range is above 55o
C) and below 80o
I don't know where you live in Alberta, but if we take Edmonton as an example of what temperature ranges are experienced, that city's temperature range over an average year would be between -16o
C in January and up to 23o
C in July.
This range means there are no issues with high summer temperatures, but the lowest winter temperatures are a problem.Some
Goldfish will adapt to these very low temperatures, but with a few provisos.
The Goldfish varieties kept should be limited to either Common, Comets or possibly Fantails.
The fish should be of a reasonable size, nothing under 3" (75mm) in body length. At these low temperatures Goldfish don't feed but use body reserves of fat to survive. Small fish don't have enough reserves for extended periods of hibernation.
The pond should be deep enough so ice doesn't completely freeze the water. The water should be at least 3 feet deep (900mm) in one spot, where the water temperature will be warmer than the surface temperature.
The pond should be of a reasonable size to buffer against sudden temperature drops. Anything under 1000 gallons (3,800 liters) I would consider too small.
Create a hole in the ice so the exchange of gases between the water surface and the atmosphere can take place. You can buy water heaters specifically made for this purpose.
If you do decide to bring your fish indoors and the temperature won't drop below zero, they should be fine without a heater.
Read the page on feeding goldfish
which explains winter feeding.