Fish In Goldfish Pond Year Round

by Fran
(Alberta Canada)

Can my goldfish be left in my pond year round, I live in Alberta Canada?

Grant's Reply

Hi Fran

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 55oF (13oC) and below 80oF (27oC).

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 -16oC in January and up to 23oC 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.


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May 21, 2019
Winter Goldfish Survival
by: Grant

Hi Lisa

That is a small lake, not a pond!

I don't know where you live, so assuming the worst case scenario, yes they should, assuming they are Commons or Comets.

They should have a body length of at least 3 inches (75mm) so they have enough fat to survive several months without food.

They should be fed heavily in the autumn so they can build up a good fat layer.

May 20, 2019
Winter goldfish survival
by: Lisa

My pond is 60'x70'. Sloping to 17' deep. Can goldfish survive the winter?

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