by Rebecca

We obtained a goldfish when buying our house, we do not have a confirmed age but this fish is at least 20 years old!

It lives in a pond that was built into the ground.

Our long term hope is to change this pond and create a raised koi fish style pond.

What we don't want to do, is do it now and inevitably kill this goldfish given its age, however, if it is safe to move them, we would love to give him a bigger pond.

We, about 9 months ago, bought him a buddy and now have a little goldfish in the pond with him.

Many thanks. Becky.

Grant's Reply

Hi Becky

For a Goldfish to live 20 years in the same pond, the environmental conditions must near perfect.

There will be a few things that will be contributing to the pond's eco-system that help maintain those excellent conditions.

I notice the pond has lilies. I think I can see other aquatic plants. The lilies will control sunlight during the summer months keeping the water cooler and helping control algae.

The other plants will absorb waste produced by the fish.

The pond has had a low bio-load, (one fish until recently).

The pond's location in the ground helps control water temperatures and the shrubbery next to the pond may be providing some shade.

You don't mention whether the pond is filtered on not.

Why I am mentioning these things is because if you want to give your fish a larger home, you must duplicate the conditions they have now.

One of the most important aspects of Goldfish care is water quality. Unless someone has been doing water changes, it is the natural eco-system that has maintained good water quality.

Just giving your fish a larger pond doesn't necessarily mean the eco-system will operate the same way.

As an example, if the lilies were discarded, then the pond would receive a lot more sunlight during summer. The sunlight could raise the water temperature to dangerous levels.

I don't want to put you off giving your fish a larger home. I just want to make you aware that what they have now is working well, and has done for many years.

What you need to do is be aware of what is currently contributing to the pond's success, and copy that when establishing the new pond.

As an example of how easy it is to change an eco-system, you added another fish 9 months ago.

You increased the bio-load, but not by much. That fish will grow, increasing the bio-load.

Will the current pond be able to support double the fish bio-load this summer?

If the new fish wasn't treated for parasites during quarantining, because it is spring in the UK, just watch that the fish are active and feeding.

In spring protozoan parasites such as Costia cause problems in pond fish.

As a final comment, when you upgrade their pond, make sure the location is suitable by having a read of the Goldfish Ponds pages, and if the new pond will be made of concrete, the concrete needs to be aged before it is safe for Goldfish.

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