Anything besides goldfish for a smaller pond?


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I'm putting in a small pond that will be around 50-60 gallons. It will be well planted and have couple of waterfalls for aeration.

I don't want to do goldfish, cause of the their large potential growth size. I don't think my pond will be big enough for them in the long run.

I am definitely thinking mosquito fish for this little pond. I like the look of them and their is a big problem with mosquitoes in my yard. We have a lot of Pacific Tree Frogs here as well, so lots of Tadpoles will be there, too.

Are their any others that are smaller and possibly colorful?
 
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j.w

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There are a few people here who have the Rosy Red Minnows. They do well for some.
 

fishin4cars

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Want something a little more exotic? Try white clouds. they like cooler water, they have nice color, stay very small usually around 1" maybe slightly smaller, similar to care for as goldfish in breeding and in care, but they like to school. It's not easy to tell males from females when you purchase them but when they start courting there isn't any doubt which ones are males, they will put on a show! Oh and they love mosquito larvae and don't cost much either, usually under $2 and I have seen them on sale at certain times of the year for 2/$1 at petsmart and Petco. Oh and if you get really lucky there are also longfins and albinos out there to be found but they are pretty rare, although not very expensive when you do find them either. I like the long fins during mating, little males really stand out on a black liner and and in planted gardens.
 
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Want something a little more exotic? Try white clouds. they like cooler water, they have nice color, stay very small usually around 1" maybe slightly smaller, similar to care for as goldfish in breeding and in care, but they like to school. It's not easy to tell males from females when you purchase them but when they start courting there isn't any doubt which ones are males, they will put on a show! Oh and they love mosquito larvae and don't cost much either, usually under $2 and I have seen them on sale at certain times of the year for 2/$1 at petsmart and Petco. Oh and if you get really lucky there are also longfins and albinos out there to be found but they are pretty rare, although not very expensive when you do find them either. I like the long fins during mating, little males really stand out on a black liner and and in planted gardens.
Thanks for the suggestion! I definitely need a cold hardy fish here.

How are they for ice and 10*F weather?
 

j.w

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I thought about recommending the White Cloud Mountain minnows they sell in the pet stores but when I was reading on line they said they could only go down to around 41F so didn't suggest them. Maybe there are some other kinds that are more cold hardy.

From Wikipedia:

In the pond:
Although it is a small fish, the White Cloud Mountain Minnow is sometimes used as a pond fish, especially in ponds intended for frogs to breed. The White Cloud Mountain Minnows do not eat either the frog eggs, or the tadpoles, but will control the breeding of mosquitoes. They will breed readily in ponds as long as there are no other fish. While they can endure temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F), they should have good heating systems in the pond to prevent the water from freezing over in climates where this occurs regularly, making them more ideal for Subtropical climates (similar to their native habitat).
 

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HMMM, JW by the sounds of it maybe they aren't that good of a choice. I've had them survive in colder water than 41 degrees. But seldom do we ever get actual frozen over ponds.
 

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Yep we have about the same temps as the Oregon coast up here and we do get a bit of freeze on the ponds now and then and have gotten lows to -6 above water but not for long. Who knows they might make it alright as the water temps would be warmer than the air temps and down deep it might stay around in the 40's all winter. One could try a few and see how they do but if you are the type to get sad and regretful for putting them in there when they get chilled and die better to skip it. It would be interesting to see if they could survive. Maybe someone has had them in a cold pond here on this forum and they will give a shout out about it.
 
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I am pretty curious whether they'd make, as well. I'd be a bit sad if they died, but not if I detached myself first.​

I love the looks of them and if they work, that'd be great!​

Only thing about here is that we can get snow in August and that's when the temps can drop to 10*F.​

My pond also may have to be bigger if I can do it. My friend is moving and has 4 gold fish that are 5-7" long and can't take them. She loves them and they all have names. I have the ability for a big pond, so that may be what I do.​
 
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HMMM, JW by the sounds of it maybe they aren't that good of a choice. I've had them survive in colder water than 41 degrees. But seldom do we ever get actual frozen over ponds.
Some of my very first aquarium fish were White Clouds -- long time ago, elementary school days :)! Pretty -- I might have to look for some.

Now, to the issue of water temps: How do you know how cold the water is at different depths? I have an area that goes down to 4' and obviously at 4 feet it will be warmer than at 1 foot, or the fish wouldn't be able to survive.
 

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RF I think you must have put the wrong month (August) in up there for your snow days and freezing weather right? And as for making your pond bigger, I say yes go for it and we'll all be rooting you on as you dig :razz:

TM maybe there is a drop down thermometer of some sort that you can leave down at certain depths and then pull up and read it? Not sure, never tried it myself. Just know in the winter my fish hang down low in the pond and ice sometimes forms on the top of my pond and not on the bottom.
 
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Yes! Always fun to watch people dig! Lol.
RF I have Fancy tail or Fantail goldfish in my small 60 gal pond. They will winter ok as long as the pond doesn't freeze over solid. So if you aerate with a bubbler it will be fine. Fancy tails will only get around 6", maybe a bit longer if their tails get really long; but very pretty :) That way you can have the goldfish coloring without the size! You shouldn't put them in with common or comets because they are slower and can not compete for food, and can also be hurt by the more aggressive fish.
Oh! And if you do get smallish fish be sure to watch out for the bigger bull frogs, cause they will eat them :(
Good luck!
 
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You would be find to put Mountain minnows in your pond as long as you do it in late Spring early Summer and make sure you get them all clear of any diseases that most of them come with in the pet stores. I worked on mine for a year in a greenhouse breeding up a stronger stock and now have had them outside in my pond for years and they breed great. The golden ones bred back to normal as I would expect but I still love them in the pond. I live in Albany, Oregon zone 8 with occational times dipping down to 12 deg.F. my pond has a fast flowing stream as well and lots of plants. If you are ever up near the Salem/Albany area you could come get some of mine if you want as they are hardy Oregon outdoor bred White clouds and no diseases either and could be put in your pond any time of the year I only keep Black Moore with them though or they would all be eaten. I have way more than I would ever need they breed like crazy in my pond. I do not recommend them if there is any chance that in a flood they could excape into the wild though like the mosquito fish did.
 
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My fancy goldfish pond babies exceeded 6 inches of total length within a year. The 3 year olds are 9 inches total length. They are also both taller and wider than comets/commons/shubunkin. Nevertheless, you could stock your little pond with two goldfish.

Most people seem to regret getting mosquito fish, so the minnows mentioned may be your best bet.
 
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fishin4cars

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Another great small pond fish is the Paradise Gourami, I put two females and a male in a 20 gallon tub this spring with my lotus. this past week I took the tub down repotted the lotus and transferred 6 babies one mom and one pop to there new 8'x8' home for the winter.
 
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Has anyone had any luck with the White Clouds in the colder temps?

I live in zone 6 (although we had a zone 7 winter last year) and also have a 50 gallon pond. I was thinking of getting about 5 or 6 of these for the pond. They have them at the pet store and thought I might give it a try.

I did find this nice article on White Clouds.

In general, I've had a hard time finding info online for small fish (1" - 3") that are suitable for small ponds (~50 gallons) in northern/cold climates. I typically come across this same list:
  • Fathead Minnows
  • Goldfish
  • Rosy Red Minnows
  • Sticklebacks
I've also seen articles here and there about mosquito fish, with many of them kind of suggesting to stay away from them.
 
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I have a mere 40 gal. trough pond. A handful of mosquito fish are a must; I have two shubunkins and a comet that have been thriving, so much so that they have already had one spawning frenzy that resulted in eggs and fry. Sadly, none of these survived past the fry stage.
 
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I second the rosy red minnows, more commonly known as feeder fish in aquarium stores. Very inexpensive, approx $. 20¢each. Very hardy once you get healthy ones. If mixing with other fish, you should probably quarantine them for a while. Lots on Google about them.
 

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