Goldfish in an Outdoor Pond

by Rachel
(Wales, UK)

Feeding pond fish:
When we moved to our house there was a small pond and there were gold fish in it (sellers didn't tell us).

The pond was in the way of some plans we had - so we dug a new much larger and deeper pond for them, lined it - and its got oxygenating plants in it - along with pond plants round the edge.

Wildlife has of course moved in. The fish bred - and there are loads of them in there now of all sizes. They seem happy - just getting on with being fish.

If I throw dried food on the surface they will come up and eat - but I have been reading your page on feeding (thanks - very useful) and I can see that they will be feeding on larvae and plants in the water.

Do I need to feed at all? If so, pellets and what type? I never really wanted fish in a pond - they were just here and now I want to make sure that I am looking after them properly.

Thanks for any guidance you can give. The pond is very green by the way - but they are not on the surface looking for air - and I don't particularly want to put in chemicals etc. Thanks again. I'm in South Wales in the UK.


Grant's Reply

Hi Rachel

In a word, yes, you do need to feed them.

Any edible water life will be well gone by now. Only the biggest ponds with very few fish would be able to provide enough food all year round. I'm surprised the oxygenating plants haven't been ravaged by the fish if they are Elodea Canadensis or E. Crispa as they love them.

Refer to the feeding Goldfish page that names some of the better food brands. With any dry prepared foods, once opened they have a limited shelf life so keep it refrigerated.

As for green water, it is the bane of every pond owner.

Having water plants helps provide a natural balance by absorbing nutrients, but you need a lot of them.

I am assuming you aren't running a filter otherwise a UV clarifier would have been the simple answer.

I would suggest getting a water test kit to check the nitrates level. If they are above 30 ppm (parts per million) they will be contributing to the problem.

Green water needs sunlight and nitrates, and can often bloom on very little of each. As June is summer in Wales, sunlight hours will be high.

Read issue 44 of the Goldfish Gazette that gives some options on how to control green water such as growing water lilies that help control the amount of light the pond receives.

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