Iowa goldfish pond


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I have a small goldfish pond. We take the fish out for the winter. This year they all (22) fish dissapeared in the mud on the bottom. We need to get them out or they will die. How do we find them or what can we do to protect them from the cold winter. We have been taking them out for 8 years with no problem.
 
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brokensword

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I have a small goldfish pond. We take the fish out for the winter. This year they all (22) fish dissapeared in the mud on the bottom. We need to get them out or they will die. How do we find them or what can we do to protect them from the cold winter. We have been taking them out for 8 years with no problem.
you'll need to lower the water level or, wait until the mud clears. If you have that much, you may experience water issues in the near future. If your pond is at least 18" deep (24 is better, imo) your fish should survive. Unless you live where polar bears roam and/or Canada.
 

j.w

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1635548056949.gif
@Kuli48
Can't you put a cattle heater in there to keep the ice from freezing over the whole pond?
 
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It’s a plastic lined pond with several water plants. Some of the fish are 6 years old.
 

brokensword

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How deep does it freeze there?
I'm sure the frost line is deeper than 16" in Iowa; this pond is perilously shallow for any over wintering, imo. I'd definitely think about a new pond that is deeper so you don't have to move the fish in every year. Goldfish can withstand some pretty cold water (even being frozen) but I'd never tempt fate like that.
 
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I'm sure the frost line is deeper than 16" in Iowa; this pond is perilously shallow for any over wintering, imo. I'd definitely think about a new pond that is deeper so you don't have to move the fish in every year. Goldfish can withstand some pretty cold water (even being frozen) but I'd never tempt fate like that.
 

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j.w

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No way then can you leave those fish out there I would think. Hope you can catch them somehow. Maybe w/a net, just reach around down in there and do sweeps and pull out what you can. I think your are going to have to lower the water to do all this so you can see better. Might mess up your plants but they will regrow next Spring. You might have to take out all the plants too. Big job but I don't see how else you can do it.
 

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a good method is to use 2 nets; one to gently steer the fish toward and into the second net. Don't move the 'catch' net until the fish are inside. You want suprise on your side. Too, I'm talking large fishing nets, the kind that can pull a lake fish onto the boat.

As noted earlier and by j.w, lowering the pond will help immensely. Good Luck!
 

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Yep just as @brokensword said, the bigger the nets then the less places for them to run away. Course the holes will need to be small enough for the fish not to get out of but then we all know that already right? If you are gonna be doing this every year then I would suggest you come up w/a seine net idea. a net that hangs across the water and stops the fish from going anywhere and then another one on the other end and you bring the one net closer and closer to the other net so all the fish are right there in one spot and all you have to do then is pick them out w/a hand net. You could use just one seine net like below. This is gonna be a 2 to 4 person job depending on how many nets you use. The idea is to trap them all in one spot.
https://njseagrant.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/How_to_Construct_Seine_Net.pdf
 
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We have to run water lines 4’.
Hi Kuli and welcome! Good luck with your fish. I’m in Chicago. My pond is 42 inches deep. A few years ago the temps dropped to 26 below. You could hear the ground cracking at night it was so cold! My 50 or 60 fish all did fine with no issues. I keep running all winter a pond breather, a small air pump, and an internal water pump with a pipe dumping water back into the pond. . Even last year when we had two feet of snow on the ground for a few weeks all my fish were fine. Personally I think it’s a lot easier to leave them where they are than bringing them in if you make the pond deep enough and add something like a pond breather and at least one other element to make the water move even if it’s under the ice.
 
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If you can't catch the fish, you can put a greenhouse or hoophouse type frame over the pond and cover that with a couple of layers of heavy plastic or a solar pool cover, or both.

I would also use the heater in your situation, and the cover will help to hold that heat in.

But I hope you can catch them and bring them back inside. I'm sure that would be much less worrisome for you.
 

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Yep that's right @WaterGardener I forgot how @callingcolleen1 leaves her little guppy pond fish out there all winter and she's is in very cold Medicine Hat up in Canada. She covers her small pond w/plastic and also has a few aquarium heaters in there. Her fish do fine out there. Look up guppy pond in the search bar and post by @callingcolleen1 @Kuli48 and you will see her thread about it all.
 
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It's the way we deal with our pond as well, minus the heater. It's not nearly as cold here, but just covering the pond without any additional heat keeps it from freezing at all, even when temps get a little below zero once in a while.
 

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