Disappearing fry. :-(


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Hi Folks. I need some advice, please.

My goldfish spawned last summer and we had lots of tiny fry - I counted at least a dozen. There are three adult fish in the pond and until a few weeks ago everything seemed fine. The babies were active, healthy and growing and by early February we could still count about 8 of them. However, I now can't see any fry. They have all disappeared. The pond is covered and nothing external can get at them so I'm wondering if the big fish have eaten them? I have been feeding the fish proper goldfish food so food shortages shouldn't be an issue. I am really confused and quite sad.

If they breed again how can I stop this happening next time? Also, we are not entirely sure whether we have male/female fish left (we think we have one male and two females). Is there an easy way to tell? Sorry - this is a lot of questions but unless we have the right mix of sexes I might have to introduce new fish to start them breeding again. Thanks.
 
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mrsclem

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Hello and welcome! I just saw your other thread about your build. Adult fish will eat their young but only as long as they are under an inch. Guessing yours were larger. The cover you have could allow some things in. Do you have any frogs in the pond? Snakes can also be an issue. Also, is there a guard on your pump so small fish cannot get pulled in? I have koi and I stop feeding mine as soon as they spawn- don't want any babies!
 

addy1

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I let mine freely spawn, 10 years later the pond is still not overfull with fish. I don't feed they snack on the eggs, fry. Fry just disappear, some don't make it health wise, frogs snack on them dragon fly nymphs can snack on them also. And snakes etc.
 

Mmathis

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Yes, sometimes, fish do just disappear! Not all fish that hatch are healthy. Some might die as they aren’t strong enough to survive, or they could have defects. Attrition via Mother Nature. Your pond doesn’t look big enough for too many fish (goldfish, right? Not koi?), and you will soon have more fish than you can keep up with (they breed prolifically) — again, thanks to Mother Nature. As devastating as it is to loose fish, just keep an eye on things. Watch for predators. Watch for unusual behavior that could indicate an illness.

It can help to have plenty of plants in the pond — floaters as well as submerged and marginals. This will give the fry a place to hide and keep themselves safe.

Take a deep breath, relax, get to know your pond (and the critters — from fish to amphibians), and enjoy!
 

brokensword

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yes, if you want the fry to survive, provide lots of hiding spots. Most here get babies and get over run in no time, so like addy and mrsclem, I don't feed during this time as I'm one of the over-run ponders!
 
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Thank you all so much! This is great advice. I will check that they are not getting into the pump and I also plan to put some floating oxygenating plants in soon, to give the fish shade over the summer - the sun is directly on the pond in the afternoon and it can get quite warm in there. I agree, it's not a big enough pond to sustain a lot of fish but I was hoping at least a couple of the babies might survive. I have no problem with them being eaten by frogs, dragonfly nymphs etc although there is not evidence of frogs in the pond at the moment. I also doubt it is snakes - I'm in the UK and we don;t get a lot of those (thank heavens!). I will let you know how I get on. I must say I don't like the idea of fish eating their own babies but I guess nature can be very cruel sometimes!
 
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They can also hide very well. I've had fish disappear and reappear weeks later!
I wish I could give you some of my frys.
Check out my amusing rhetorical question thread....
 

brokensword

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Koi can lay 10,000 eggs per body weight. Can you imagine that many fry?
I bet that quote shocked the OP into sobering up re WANTING fry, hey? But I do remember getting my first fry and loving every moment of it. But it does get hazardous and if one is wise, they stop feeding and let Nature take over for a bit. Going to be interesting this year for me as this will be my first spring with the underwater cam and I'll be interested to watch the process. Most of my koi are too young though 3 look heavy with eggs and 6 are probably old enough. Began seeing the goldfish begin the chase just the other day, so...get yer popcorn ready!
 
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mrsclem

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Didn't rehome my 3 big breeders so expecting fry again this year. Usually with spawning going on, cameras either get knocked loose or the water is too foamy to see much.
 

addy1

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I have watched the shubies do the dance. Boy do they go crazy! Then they go insane eating up the eggs dropped.
 
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