Can either koi or shubunkin goldfish mate with plecostomus?

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Lola, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Lola

    Lola

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    Hello,



    I started my garden pond which is 9' x 14' by about 18" with 3 goldfish, 3 shubunkins and 3 plecos. The initial fish all died, or at least we thought they did. I then bought 3 more plecostomus (larger than the first) and 3 more shubunkins. A man came to our home one day and asked if we would take a koi as he was shutting down his aquarium. We said yes as goldfish and koi are of the carp family. At any rate, we now have a 7 inch koi, a 7 inch shubunkin (which are almost always side by side), a smaller shubunkin (about 5 inches) and at least 10 offspring. The babies are mostly shubunkin colors with the exception of one that is colored exactly like the koi and the three others that are dark grey and do not have any koi or shubunkin colors.

    Does anyone out there know why I would have several babies that are only one color and that color being dark grey?

    Thank you for any assistance.

    Lola
     
    Lola, Jul 18, 2012
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  2. Lola

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hi, Lola! Welcome!!

    No, I don't think a plecostomous can mate wth koi or goldfish. Maybe your other fish had babies, or maybe when you thought all of your first round of fish died, they left some fry behind. Other people on this forum have reported finding fish when they didn't think they had any in their ponds. From what I've read about babies, they start out dark and change as they mature. It's their defense [camo] against predators.

    BTW, plecos will have to be over-wintered indoors [they don't tolerate cold temps], and they can grow quite large.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 18, 2012
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  3. Lola

    Lola

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    Thank you so much for your info TurtleMommy. I find our pond is a source of enjoyment and super learning... Do you think that in VA (Northern Neck) area that I will still have to bring the plecos in? I had planned on putting a heater in the pond.
     
    Lola, Jul 18, 2012
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  4. Lola

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    You'll get lots of responses from the other members -- those who have lots more experience than I do [my pond is only a month old], and some who live in VA :) . But I don't think the plecos will make it. I wish they would 'cause I'd like to have one, but even here in LA, the winter water will be too cold for them.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying your pond! We are, too. It started out to be "my" project, but now that it's completed [still working on some details & tweeking], my hubby & teenage son [believe it or not] are becoming interested, so it's becoming something for us to enjoy as a family!

    How old is your pond and do you do water testing? What kind of filtration do you have? Just asking, because others will be asking the same questions. It's info that helps our "resident experts" know what's going on with your pond so they offer advice if/when you have problems.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 18, 2012
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  5. Lola

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    The koi and shubunkins can cross breed, from what I read the babies might be ugly fish, but I have no personnel experience.
    Plecos won't survive the winter outside, in cold areas
     
    addy1, Jul 18, 2012
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  6. Lola

    sissy sissy

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    WELCOME The babies will all change color several times before they mature .I have had one so far that has changed color 4 times and is now white .Heard of Lancaster PA but not VA
     
    sissy, Jul 18, 2012
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  7. Lola

    ididntdoit99 ididntdoit99

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    No those plecos wont survive the winter with a heater, unless it is a super heater that keeps the water in the 80's year round :) pleco's are a tropical fish, they like the water in the 70-80's
     
    ididntdoit99, Jul 18, 2012
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  8. Lola

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] Lola
    I would not even try to keep that Pleco outdoors in winter even w/ a good heater. One power outage and it's all over even if you could keep the temps up.
     
    j.w, Jul 18, 2012
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  9. Lola

    don't ask

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    welcome Lola... and if you were able to heat it...oh my i wouldn't want the electric bill on that.. just give yourself plenty of time to bring plecos inside i would say when water gets in the 50's at the latest... earlier would probably be better though...the other fish can survive but not always..remember to get an airstone or some type of aeration before then to keep an air hole open during the winter.. there is a winter forum(can't remember the proper title) that will give tips and pointers for winter prep
     
    don't ask, Jul 18, 2012
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  10. Lola

    ComputerGuy

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    Plecos tend to die off if the water temp is below 70F. There have been cases of Pleco that have survived in water down into the mid 60s though it is VERY unusual.
     
    ComputerGuy, Jul 18, 2012
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  11. Lola

    Lola

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    I wish first to thank you all for your super fast responses.

    In answer to the length of time we have the pond, it is about 3 1/2 months. It has been a dream of mine for a long, long time to have a water garden and the fish are just so much fun to watch. No we have not tested the water yet. We did have to buy a new pump (on the 4th of July no less) as the old one burned itself out. There was an oil spill into the pond from the pump and I thought all was lost. The water lettuce we had seemed to soak up the oil. I removed all the dead and dying leaves from the lettuce and it is coming around quite well. The water hyacinth are still losing leaves but look much better than they did. The fish are fine!! : ) All this is new to me and we are sort of piecemealing the pond and learning as we go.

    As for my plecos, I will start planning now for an aquarium that will accommodate them for the winter.

    Another question, if I have just one koi and the rest shubunkin/koi? mix, is there anyone out there that can give me info as to wether or not we will need a heater this winter?
     
    Lola, Jul 19, 2012
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  12. Lola

    don't ask

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    i would think you need either a floating heater or an air pump with airstone.. last winter was mild and being 18 inches deep you might want to plan for worse case scenario.. heater might get expensive even though it only comes on when water hits a certain temp..i think 39-40 somewhere in that range ..where an air pump and stone would generally be running the whole time during winter i think it would still be cheaper than heat.. if you do pump remember to cover it with a plastic container or similar to keep from the elements and probably a good idea to keep off the ground directly
     
    don't ask, Jul 19, 2012
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  13. Lola

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Didn't you say your pond was 18" deep? Not an expert here, but have learned that fish need water deep enough to go below "the freeze" in winter, and escape the summer heat. I was advised to go a minimum of 3 feet, and deeper if possible. I'm only keeping goldfish, but koi have their special needs. You probably would need a heater, but maybe someone else can advise regarding winterizing.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 19, 2012
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  14. Lola

    fishin4cars True friends just call me Larkin Moderator

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    18" pond, I wouldn't even consider putting koi in that pond. The pond will get way to hot in the summer and there is a chance it could freeze solid in the winter. 18" is not a depth that koi will do well in at all. As for Pleco's, they can survive well below 70 degrees. Mine have survived the last two years outside. The water got down both years in the upper 30's. Is this a decent temp for them. NO, they are tropicals and need warmer water. In the wild they live in deep pools in the river that may get down to upper40's to lower 50's. These are the extreme temps they would live with in the wild. Seldom would water in the tropics get lower than the upper 40's and even then it would be during the coldest part of the year and also naturally occuring springs might bring the temps down. The title to the thread is can the breed together. No not possible at all. although a koi, a gold fish and a pleco can all interbreed with fish similar in genetics Plecos are a catfish, koi and goldfsih are carp. they don't even breed or lay in the same ways. It's virtually impossible for the two to interbreed without human intervention.
     
    fishin4cars, Jul 20, 2012
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  15. Lola

    ididntdoit99 ididntdoit99

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    [quote name='fishin4cars' timestamp='1342741466' post='131627'] 18" pond, I wouldn't even consider putting koi in that pond. The pond will get way to hot in the summer and there is a chance it could freeze solid in the winter. 18" is not a depth that koi will do well in at all. As for Pleco's, they can survive well below 70 degrees. Mine have survived the last two years outside. The water got down both years in the upper 30's. Is this a decent temp for them. NO, they are tropicals and need warmer water. In the wild they live in deep pools in the river that may get down to upper40's to lower 50's. These are the extreme temps they would live with in the wild. Seldom would water in the tropics get lower than the upper 40's and even then it would be during the coldest part of the year and also naturally occuring springs might bring the temps down. The title to the thread is can the breed together. No not possible at all. although a koi, a gold fish and a pleco can all interbreed with fish similar in genetics Plecos are a catfish, koi and goldfsih are carp. they don't even breed or lay in the same ways. It's virtually impossible for the two to interbreed without human intervention. [/quote]

    Wow! Ive always wondered if they might survive if the temperature slowly dropped, kind of like the goldfish and koi, by going into "hibernation" but never heard of it being done. Now I kinda want to try it, but dont really want to risk it with the pleco I have had for 5 years. Plus you are futher south than me, my winters can probably be a lot worse than yours.
     
    ididntdoit99, Jul 23, 2012
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  16. Lola

    brandonsdad02 They call me Ryan

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    Cichlids don't to well in cold temps either. I found out last fall when I sold my tank inside when I got the pond finished and put everything outside. They got really big and colorful but once the water hit 50*, they were belly up.
     
    brandonsdad02, Jul 23, 2012
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  17. Lola

    Lola

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    Regarding depth of pond and koi. My husband said that the one end of the pond is 2 feet deep. As to the koi itself, the man that gave it to us said that he was tearing down his aquarium and did not know what to do with the koi. As we rescue animals of all sizes and species, the koi was just another one of God's creatures that we gave a home. I hope that clears up why we have a koi in a pond that is 18 to 24" deep.
     
    Lola, Jul 24, 2012
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  18. Lola

    don't ask

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    Lola, the goldfish and koi can survive in 18-24 inches of water in winter.. The reason people say go deeper is to err on the safe side as winters can be up and down...and precaution as to water possibly freezing to that depth..also a koi will grow larger than goldfish and the added/extra depth and space which might be needed..very kind hearted of you and your husband to do that or he might have done who knows what to the fish
     
    don't ask, Jul 24, 2012
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  19. Lola

    CountryEscape

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    Welcome, Lola. I'm glad Fishin added that plecos can survive below 70, as I had one in last summer, thought it could stay year round, then had to remove it. Put it in at about 5", and 3 months later removed it and it was over 11" long . So, keep that in mind if you have the common type that grow really fast. I put in an albino this late spring (since it was so darn warm here already in March) and had it in an aquarium since last summer trying to "grow it up", but it was still only about 2" long. I think it has grown another inch, but still growing very slowly.
    As far as the colors, it's very possible, maybe likely, that the gray fish are cross with the goldfish and koi. That's why I separated my koi and goldfish this year with a second pond. Well ... mostly separated them, still have a few stragglers to catch. :) I've found with my goldfish and shubunkins that the babies are born either red/white/black or solid red or solid black. The solid black ones will change to solid orange/red, usually the first year, but I had 2 that were still black this spring and one just this week changed to orange, and the other's belly is now orange, so he/she is changing. The red/white/black ones tend to stay more the same from little on, although my fish tend to lose their black markings. I have some really pretty red and white goldies, though.
    The main thing, enjoy your fish. Yes, 18-24" is borderline depth for koi or goldfish if you plan to leave them outside, you have to worry about freezing too deep in winter, but you can use an air stone to keep hole open all the time. Heater is best used occasionally, because of the cost factor. You can also remove tube from a small pump and place it so it shoots the water straight up to the surface, thus keeping the surface area open for oxygen to exchange. I used the pump shooting the water straight up last winter, and didn't even keep that on all the time. If it froze over, I used heater on top (be careful it doesn't spin and burn the cord though!) to thaw through the ice, then the water pressure from underneath to melt it the rest of the way. Just need to have an opening at least once a week. BUT, if you get deep freeze/frost near you, THAT's when you may have a problem being only 18" deep on the one end.
    Another factor, is your pond completely underground, or is it partially above ground? If it's somewhat above ground, you have to figure how much of the depth is below ground level, as the part above ground may freeze quicker and deeper than the part below ground. Either way, GOOD LUCK!
     
    CountryEscape, Jul 24, 2012
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  20. Lola

    Lola

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    Hi CE,

    Ok, I think that some of the grey babies may be the iridescent shark tropicals because of the dorsal fin. The other babies seem to be a mix of shubunkin and koi. They move so darn fast that as of now I do not have any pictures of them. I do have a new camera that leaves me deep in the learning process of its operation.

    At any rate, I will be bringing in for the winter, at least three plecos approximately 5 inches long. Can anyone give me input as to what size aquarium to purchase and what extra things I may need? I raised tropicals years ago and remember some of the basics but I am sure that things have changed.

    As to the "heater" for the pond, we were considering the same type of heater that we use in the water trough for the horses. Thoughts?? As we have a waterfall, do we need aeration of another type also?

    Thank you all for your help.

    Lola
     
    Lola, Jul 24, 2012
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