When to Transfer a Goldfish to a Pond

by Kate
(Virginia, USA)

How large must a goldfish be before you can transfer it to a pond?

Grant's Reply

Hi Kate

Size is probably the last thing that needs to be considered before transferring a Goldfish to a pond.

A newly hatched fry a few millimeters long can be put into a pond as long as there is available food and no predators present, which includes other Goldfish.

My checklist would go something like this:

1. Is there anything in the pond that will eat my fish? This includes larger Goldfish or any other wildlife that would consider a pond a natural home and food source.
I am assuming your fish has a body length of 25mm (1 inch) or larger. This eliminates most predator "bugs" that can kill small Goldfish.
If there are Goldfish already in the pond, your fish should be at least a third the size of the existing fish otherwise although Goldfish are considered non-aggressive, any new fish in their environment are considered food until they get used to them.

2. Water conditions. Goldfish shouldn't be put into a pond during winter because they haven't had time to build up a fat reserve. Even early spring is usually too cold.
I put fish out into ponds in late spring through to early autumn when temperatures are above 15C (60F).
The water should be tested to ensure the pH is around 7.00, ammonia is zero and nitrates are below 50 ppm.

3. Goldfish varieties all have different care requirements.
Don't mix fancy varieties with single tailed varieties, as the single tailed fish will always get to the food first.

4. Unless you are absolutely sure that cats and fish eating birds can't reach the pond, it should be covered.

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May 11, 2017
Things that go bump in the night and eat things.
by: Anonymous

Snakes and Bull frogs also have to be considered in the deep south. I have one, maybe two frogs in my small pond but I haven't missed any of the larger goldfish, three inches and larger. I had a snake as an inhabitant, non-poisonous for sure, but my neighbor caught it in his yard and killed it. I never actually missed any goldfish for the couple of years he resided in the pond. If he ever ate any of the fish it was some of the small ones.

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