Setting up a shallow pond for goldfish


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Hey folks,

Dipping my toes (ha!) into the world of ponds, still a newbie.

We recently added a rain curtain water feature in our back yard that looks like this:
IMG_20170415_114043.jpg


So it's a rain curtain and underneath the rain curtain is a pond about 3 feet wide, 6 feet across, but only 10 inches deep.

Currently I have a TotalPond 1300GPH pump + UVC pushing the water up the 6 feet to the rain curtain.

I'd like to build a setup that allows me to keep a small number of small goldfish in the pond underneath.

I've been having trying to work out a setup that accomplishes this, because 10 inches is pretty shallow and most products are designed for greater depths.

I think what I need is:

- A pump with an intake (the above pump doesn't).
- A surface skimmer to get rid of leaves etc that fall in.
- A mechanical and biological filter.

How would you tackle this? How you would build a goldfish-friendly setup with these constrains? Also, will the rain curtain itself cause any issues?
 
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sissy

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You could get a pump with a built in filter and instead of a skimmer you can get a net to pull stuff out and instead of goldfish since the breed to much ,go with fat fantails .What are your winters like .The fat fantails have never had babies for me and been in the pond since 2004 .I call them butt wigglers because they wiggle their butt to swim and so cute and can be very friendly
pics on durecell back up 609.JPG
pics on durecell back up 599.JPG
 

Meyer Jordan

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I completely agree with @MitchM. !0 inches is entirely too shallow for keeping any type (specie) of fish. If you live in the Northern latitudes the pond will completely freeze during the Winter months. If in the Southern latitudes, the pond will become too hot to safely keep any fish.
 
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Thanks for the feedback MitchM and Meyer! I'm in Northern California, so the weather is pretty nice here.

What's the minimum depth you would recommend?
 
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Thanks again! Are there any fish that you think could live in such an environment?
 

addy1

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Welcome to our group!

Maybe some minnows
 

addy1

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In the peak of the Summer months, any fish will cook in 10" of water unless ample shade is provided.
I was wondering if that constant fall of water, assuming it is always on, would keep the water cool enough for some small fish.
 
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I was wondering if that constant fall of water, assuming it is always on, would keep the water cool enough for some small fish.

I can't imagine it would. Plus I don't know how fish would feel about water constantly falling on their heads with no where to go to get away from it.
 
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Why don't you just remove some of the rocks and let a fish liner go out 2-3 feet in each direction from your water feature? This way could go under the waterfall to go from side to side but they don't have to. Generally the more space fish have the happier they are!
 
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So, quick update.

I decided to take the plunge and get 5 1.5" comets to see how they behave (talked to another fish owner who said I should try and that he thinks there might not be any issues).

They seem to like the environment OK. The water feature doesn't seem to bother them much, other than -- weirdly -- it providing camouflage from predators -- I can't see them unless I turn the water feature off.

Also discovered I do have mosquitofish after all ;-). Thought they had all died, just turns out it's impossible to see the mosquitofish with the water feature running and there's _plenty_ of them.

Temperature variation does seem like it could be an issue. Today's weather ranged from 50F to 80F, with the temperature of the 100 gallon pond varying from 53F to 70F. So it does appear the water feature provides some cooling, but that's a double edged sword.

Considering putting a 300W aquarium heater in there to help with that.
 
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I wouldn't advise using a heater.
Heat loss through evaporation will exceed the heat that a heater puts out.
 
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Well, I guess we'll just see how your experiment works. Although I'm a little curious about this statement:
They seem to like the environment OK
What would you expect them to do if they DIDN'T like the environment? Obviously they can't leave, so what behaviors are you watching for or observing?
 
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I guess I was thinking general wellbeing -- they eat well, they appear active, their bodies don't show signs of illness like missing scales, or lost fins, they don't show oddities like swimming sideways, etc. Also -- and I don't know how to put this delicately -- that they don't die.
 
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I was really just having a little fun with you @Waleed K - imagining your fish packing their little bags and moving on to more favorable accommodations! haha!

You've named the signs to watch for that your fish are stressed or not doing well in their environment - do you have a Plan B in case this doesn't work for them? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that this works, but still have my doubts.

We were walking through a local resort town one summer and admiring the beautiful gardens in front of some of the stores. One of them had a fountain with a basin about 10 or 12 inches deep with goldfish swimming in it. The owner was out front so I asked her how it was that the fish could survive in the fountain when it was so shallow and in the full sun. She replied "oh we have to replace them about once a week". Hmmmm....
 
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Well, I guess we'll just see how your experiment works. Although I'm a little curious about this statement:

What would you expect them to do if they DIDN'T like the environment? Obviously they can't leave, so what behaviors are you watching for or observing?
lol , may b in a heavy rain they will run away , i dont see any border
i wud prefer tiny wild fishes , mosquito fish is good choice .
 
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Here's an experimental update -- about a month since my last post.

The fish are doing pretty well. I lost one of the comets (not quite sure how, couldn't find the fish), but four are doing very well, it seems -- they're getting fatter. The minnows (about 20) and mosquito fish (don't know: 40? They are breeding it seems) are also happy. Temperature does see some variation, typical is 55-75 degrees, but fish do not appear to be bothered by this.

Only really have two problems: algae (since the water feature is in the sun) and pH (I think a lot of the leaves and bark fall in and make it a little more basic, plus I have very hard water), with end-of-day pH being around the 8.2 mark.

The goldfish are a little bit shy/quiet especially in the mornings, but in the evening, I've been offering some brine shrimp and flakes, and they're cautiously coming up to the surface.

I was worried about the water feature pouring on top of them, so I stuck a GoPro under the water to see if it was disruptive. I got some fun footage of the 4 goldfish buzzing the camera, but it seems that aside from the noise, the falling water doesn't really seem to bother them too much.

Video is below. This isn't sped up! The goldfish are really that quick (well, when the water is warm).

 

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