Larger fish to get rid of excessive mosquito fish?

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by SteveW, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. SteveW

    SteveW

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    It started with 4 gambusia (mosquito fish) back in the Spring, now I have several hundred. I would like to keep their numbers down and, having considered ways to do this, I thought that getting some other type of fry-eating fish would do the trick. This new fish would eat the gambusia fry, and possibly even keep the the goldfish fry in check.
    My concerns are that I don't want this 'new' fish to eat my Japanese trapdoor snails, nor the more mature goldfish (I have about 9 of them but a couple of them didn't seem to grow beyond about 3" max)
    I was thinking about a single specimen, but prefer not to have a catfish or bass.
    A Golden Orfe comes to mind, but it seems that they like similar company - a small school of 5, might be best suited for them - and they might eat the snails, so I am told.
    Can anyone advise re a suitable fish - or some other way to reduce the gambusia?
    Thanks
    (Pond has 450 sq ft surface and 12,500 gals, well aerated. I have tried netting them but only caught about 4 each time)
    AZ, USA, Zone 9b.
     
    SteveW, Jul 23, 2015
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  2. SteveW

    Tula

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    Welcome :) I don't have experience with gambusia, but have heard they really reproduce FAST!! I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.
     
    Tula, Jul 23, 2015
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  3. SteveW

    Big Lou

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    I too have hundreds of Gumbasia's with no othe fish. No problems here. With crystal clear water we enjoy seeing the swimming them swimming all about.
     
    Big Lou, Jul 23, 2015
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  4. SteveW

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Maybe check with your state's wildlife & fisheries dept. and see if there is a native [IOW, non-invasive] fish they would recommend. But of course, you want something that will balance things out and not take off on its own breeding frenzy, LOL!

    With goldfish, you shouldn't really have a mosquito problem as the GF will eat any mosquito larvae -- plus, mosqitoes usually only lay eggs on calm, stagnant water, not on a pond with active water movement. Unless you just like having the mosquito fish.....

    If you were up to it, you could always seine-net the pond. No, on second thought, the mosquito fish would be too small for the net to catch (unless it was a fine net). OK, then you could seine-net the pond and remove the GF and trapdoors, then suction out everything else in the pond -- the ultimate water change, LOL!
     
    Mmathis, Jul 23, 2015
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  5. SteveW

    Lisak1

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    I was going to suggest that, too - take out the fish you want to keep and then pump the rest out with the water. Throw the baby out with the bathwater if you will! Sounds harsh, but I've heard horror stories about trying to get gambusia out of ponds. And be really careful about where you pump that water - you wouldn't want to introduce them into any other waterways accidentally.
     
    Lisak1, Jul 23, 2015
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  6. SteveW

    Big Lou

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    A pool debris scoop net captures them. Maggie, most governmental fisheries agencies recommend Gamgusias. Winter lowers their numbers but Steve is in Airizona.

    Hey Steve, others in your area may want them. Including your county. These little fish are a front line defense against West Nile. That disease was deadly serious here.

    Good luck Steve.
     
    Big Lou, Jul 23, 2015
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  7. SteveW

    SteveW

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    Thank you for all your replies and suggestions.
    I will contact my County to see if they want them as I know they run out of stock now and then - a great idea, Turtle Mommy.

    My reason for wanting to cut down on the gambusia is that they crowd out the GF at feeding time; I've noticed that the GF wont go for the pellets if there are gambusia already on it. Another reason, and I'm not absolutely sure of this, but I have a new (baby) Euryale Ferox (a large-leafed lily) and I keep seeing new small, tender leafs and then they disappear AND and I keep seeing the gambusia around it. I can't tell if they are eating it, but I think they may be. Some sort of netting might be in order!
    Again, thanks for your replies
    Steve
     
    SteveW, Jul 23, 2015
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  8. SteveW

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    What I meant was to check with WL&F to find a fish that would eliminate or control the "mosquito fish," which was, I believe, Steve's original question. Sorry if that was confusing.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 23, 2015
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  9. SteveW

    SteveW

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    Yes, I'm sorry. With so many replies, I became confused as to who said what.
    It was Big Lou's idea to offer them to the State for mosquito control. I know that my local County, Maricopa, frequently run out of them, which they offer free to residents.
    Turtle Mommy, I will check with the WL&F, that's a great idea
    Yes, Big Lou: West Nile virus, Africanized (killer) bees, black widow, brown recluse and scorpions - other than that, it's paradise here in Arizona ;-)
     
    SteveW, Jul 23, 2015
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  10. SteveW

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Au contraire! Gambusia are listed as an invasive or nuisance specie fish by many state government agencies. Even their effectiveness in mosquito control has been challenged by some.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 23, 2015
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  11. SteveW

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    There is no known biological control for Gambusia.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 23, 2015
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  12. SteveW

    Lisak1

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    We have relatives in CA that live in an area with lots of foreclosed homes. The backyard pools were filled with stagnant water and became breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The local agency would come around with buckets of gambusia and dump them in the ponds. Neighbors in the vicinity were reporting finding them in their own garden ponds, pools and fountains - they suspect birds were transferring them, although since they are live bearing it seems more complicated than it would be with a transfer of eggs.
     
    Lisak1, Jul 23, 2015
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  13. SteveW

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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  14. SteveW

    Big Lou

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    Legal and used here by county health departments to control mosquito larvae in bodies of water. I can see how they could be considered invasive.
     
    Big Lou, Jul 23, 2015
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  15. SteveW

    Priscilla

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    We have them here (Cayman Islands), they are equally happy in salt or fresh water. I have been told they are very aggressive and may cannibalize and bother other fish.

    I'm sure the State for mosquito control would come around and collect them for you.

    Good luck getting rid of them!
     
    Priscilla, Jul 24, 2015
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  16. SteveW

    John123john

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    Any suggestion how to kill mosquitoes so fast?
     
    John123john, Dec 13, 2017
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  17. SteveW

    Faebinder

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    Mosquito dunks, rosey minnows and removing floating plants is what worked best for me.

    Goldfish are alright but once they grow big they really don’t go after mosquito larvae.
     
    Faebinder, Dec 13, 2017
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  18. SteveW

    Spartamets

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    I have four orfe. They're fun fish, but I haven't noticed them making much of an impact on the population of my other fish. My goldfish multiplied so rapidly this year, I don't know exactly how many new ones they made, so I don't know if the population has gone down from some previous peak due to orfe eating down the population. Maybe I had eighty fry and now I have 50; who knows. The fact that I can't tell suggests that they won't solve your problem. I do like my orfe, though.
     
    Spartamets, Dec 14, 2017
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  19. SteveW

    Mucky_Waters

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    A little bit of nursery rhyme advice if you do decide to get some larger fish to eat the smaller fish.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Dec 14, 2017
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  20. SteveW

    JamieB

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    I’d love some misquito fish! I’ve got several spots I could put them, where water collects. If your county won’t take them, Craigslist will! Post them at like .25 each, see how fast they sell! Or you could post them free if they come catch them.
     
    JamieB, Dec 15, 2017
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