Are Skimmers Bad for Fry?


DC1346

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I'm getting back into pond construction and maintenance after having been away from the hobby for three years. I used to have a 2000 gallon pond down in southern Arizona but lost the pond when district budget cuts eliminated my job. The person who was purchasing my home didn't want a pond, so I found a fellow enthusiast who gleefully took all of my equipment along with the koi, some of the mosquito fish, and most of the plants. Everything else INCLUDING THE EPDM liner was filled in. What a waste! (sigh)

The good news is that after 3 years in Nevada, I'm buying a new home and I'm going to put in a new pond. This time around, I'll probably avoid having koi because those gorgeous pigs with fins kept eating all of my oxygenating plants. I will most likely put in mosquito fish as well as some goldfish.

Based upon my past experience, I've thought about putting in a skimmer ... so here's the question. If I put in a skimmer, will it accidentally trap some of the fry? I know from my past experience that the mosquito fish and gold fish will breed.

I didn't have a skimmer in Arizona. I built the pond under the shade of a mesquite tree which turned out to be a mistake because of all the seed pods and leaves that wound up in the pond. Throughout the year (especially in the fall), I had to use a net to clean out all of the floating debris ... and since I invariably caught some fish, it took me a long time to manually skim the pond because I felt compelled to pick through the debris and to save what fish I could.

This new pond will not have any overhanging tree branches so I'm not even sure if a skimmer is needed.

Do you have any thoughts?

P.S. The picture in my avatar was from the pond in southern Arizona. Princess Tabitha, my adventure kitty, enjoyed bounding across the pond, leaping from stone to stone ... until the day when she got distracted and FELL INTO THE POND. Boy was she ticked! And she never bounded across the pond again. (Heh-heh)
 

Becky

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Just wanted to say welcome to the forum!

P.S. The picture in my avatar was from the pond in southern Arizona. Princess Tabitha, my adventure kitty, enjoyed bounding across the pond, leaping from stone to stone ... until the day when she got distracted and FELL INTO THE POND. Boy was she ticked! And she never bounded across the pond again. (Heh-heh)
:LOL:
 
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addy1

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Welcome to our group!

I have a skimmer with goldfish, mainly shubunkins. I do not see many fry getting into the skimmer. I do find a lot of tad poles. I put my skimmer on a ball valve. I can dial down the intake flow when there is not a lot of flower, leaf dropping. I have also put a old window screen across the opening, if I want to keep it running strong, but the fry etc are still being sucked in.

My pump is external which lets me control the skimmer flow, not a pump in the skimmer.
 

Meyer Jordan

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My question is- Why do you want Mosquito fish?

Goldfish fry will not usually be affected by a skimmer because they will spend most of their time staying very close to areas that offer protection fro predation...its their nature. As they grow, they may venture near the skimmer to play in the higher velocity water. Most will survive and be stringer because of this. Some, however, may be trapped in the skimmer. It may sound cruel but this may not be such a bad thing as Goldfish and rapidly overpopulate a pond.

I do not recommend placing any form of screening over the skimmer opening. This completely negates the sole purpose of the skimmer....the removal of floating debris and at times lead to pump cavitation.
 

cas

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The only time my goldfish ended up in my skimmer was when they were spawning. Either they were hiding from the males or the males pushed them inside. :) I check on my fish daily and when I notice some fish missing, I look in the skimmer. It never hurt the fish. I still have some of them that have been in the skimmer. I have also had tadpoles in the skimmer. But no fry.
 

DC1346

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My question is- Why do you want Mosquito fish?
.
Well as to that ... I grew up as a military service brat but my father wasn't Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force. He was with the U.S. Public Health Service. Most people don't know that the USPHS is the medical branch of the U.S. Coast Guard.

My father was a doctor and he specialized in malaria. The end result was that his specialty took our family to Ghana, Thailand (during the Vietnam War) and El Salvador (between revolutions). Although I was born in the states, I went to preschool in Africa, elementary school in Asia, and Junior High in Central America. I didn't live in the states until I was a junior in high school and the transition from international private schools to U.S. public schools was really hard ... but that's a story for another time and probably another forum.

As a result of my father's occupation, I learned more than I ever really wanted to know about mosquitoes. So the long answer to your question is that I really hate mosquitoes and I don't want them in my pond. I realize that mosquitoes like stagnant water but just to be safe, I really like mosquito fish because surprise-surprise, they love eating mosquito larvae.

I also like mosquito fish. I like the way they swarm if I toss a bread crumb in the water. Since the ponds I build usually double as old fashioned water holes that are deep enough so that I can immerse myself in crystal clear cool water up to my neck after a long day at work, I enjoy visiting with the fish.

Have you ever been IN a pond with mosquito fish. Those poor little guys are the eternal optimists of the fish world. Even though they lack teeth, these fish will try to gum me to death unless I distract them with some bread crumbs. It's a neat sensation, having a hundred or so fish trying to nibble on you. (Smile)

And feeding them is really fun. If I toss a large crumb in the water, they'll rip at the bread like sharks going after a carcass. Sometimes a fish will grab a particularly large mouthful and he'll speed away pursued by a half dozen or so rivals who are trying to steal his treat. The poor little guy will swim and swim and swim, desperately trying to swallow his morsel before the other fish snatch it away from him.

I think mosquito fish are cool.
 
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Meyer Jordan

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In the absence of other fish, Mosquito fish are a great control for mosquitoes. In a pond that houses other fish, especially Goldfish they are completely unnecessary.
Mosquito fish are considered 'nuisance' fish in many parts of the world and U.S.. They will decimate the population of native species, they are cannibalistic, they prey on the eggs and fry of other fish species. they will strip a body of water of most of the zoo-plankton. they gestate every 27 days, and they are suspected of being carriers of several fish diseases.
And BTW they do have teeth....strong teeth.
http://eol.org/pages/218297/details
 

DC1346

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.
And BTW they do have teeth....strong teeth.
Do they? Well they've never managed to hurt me and I like them. I'm sorry if you don't care for them but as they say, different strokes for different folks ... or perhaps we should amend this by saying different fish for different folk?

Anyway my pond, my fish.

And I like mosquito fish a whole lot more than I like koi. Koi are pretty but they're basically pigs with fins. They would have decimated my water cress if I hadn't built a "creek" that connected to the pond. The koi couldn't swim up the shallow creek. The mosquito fish could ... so they kept the creek and the small bog garden at its head mosquito free and after the first year, I had more water cress than I knew what to do with.
 

addy1

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I have some rosey reds in my big pond I think. I see maybe 3. They started out in the lotus tub, totally disappeared and I think I see some small ones in the big pond, or they are pinkish fry.
If they inhale eggs, good population control for the goldfish!
 
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None of our fry (koi) ever ended up in the skimmer. The only fish that ever ended up in there was one of the big full-size koi that died last spring after a harsh winter. The koi fry seemed to keep their distance from the skimmer box--they like to hide near the plants and under the big stone plank in the center of the pond.
 

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