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mjfromga

Outdoor fish temperature

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So my little pondies did seem fine in 55° temperatures, but they are just babies and I'm wondering if it's a good idea for them to be in those temps over and over. If they were adults, I wouldn't worry but babies idk. They are pretty strong though and they all seemed fine.

Any input is welcomed. Thanks.

Oh - and this is probably important too. There is a short tailed fantail, a long tailed fantail, two broad tail Ryukins, and a long bodied flat wen Oranda. Smallest fish 11 grams, largest 22 grams so all very wee.

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Does it snow there?

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In Atlanta? Almost never and it definitely wouldn't snow anywhere near this time of year. I brought them into a tub for the night because I'm worried about them being in those temps for another night, but they're confused and seem to want to go back out. I'll get another tub so I don't smush them together but just wanted to know how long they can stay out before it's a good idea to keep them in.

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Goldfish generally are fine as long as the surface of their water doesn't freeze over. 55F is not bad at all. You have similar weather to me, and although I do not have any outdoor fish, there are several goldfish ponds in town and they all do well outdoors all year long. I'm only one state over in SC btw.

 

How big is your pond? If you are that worried, I wonder if you could use a couple heaters to keep the pond temperature from dropping too far - although "too far" is kind of unlikely in Atlanta. As long as you make sure the water surface stays agitated enough to not freeze over, you "should" be fine, even with younger fish.

 

EDIT, specs on the size of the pond? Width, depth, volume?

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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Depth is about a foot. Pond holds around 70 gallons. 5 wee little fish in it. They've been there since July.

They seem to want to go back home, so I'm wondering if I should put them back out. Seems they'll be fine. I was told not to feed them, as well.

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Goldfish of any variety do fine at those temperatures.  However you must lower the amount you feed as the temperature drops.  When you get days that don't get above 50F, you should let them fast for a day.  They will probably show little interest in food anyway.  

 

I made up a guideline for amounts to feed.  For each 10oF that the average daily temperature drops, cut the food roughly in half.  So if the summer pond temperature averages 80F and you feed a tablespoon of food, when in drops to 70F, feed a half tablespoon.  When it gets down  to 60F, a teaspoon, and at 50F, a half teaspoon.  this correlates well with what the more knowledgeable koi people now recommend -- feeding about 1/10 as much food in the winter as in the summer.

 

Remember, a guideline tells you where to start.  If your fish don't feel like eating as much as you feed, you reduce it.  If they quickly gobble up the food and actively search for more, you should feed more.  With time you will figure out what your fish need in your climate.

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Shakaho, thank you.

 

I have overwintered two commons in a fifty gallon tub every winter (mild here, and inside a plastic tarp hoop green house)  since 2011/12.  My previous understanding had been not to feed at all below 55F.  Weird, but they survived. 

 

Ok, so if we are to continue feeding, what to do about water changes?  Continue current schedule? Divide current schedule frequency by 1/10, and go with that?  Ignore, and add some Prime when ya think of it?

 

Thanks!

 

ETA:  on the feeding - 1/10 of the time, or 1/10 of the feed each time?  I can't feed 1/10 of a 3mm pellet.  Will big fish take the 1mm size?  Also, I'm afraid the fastest feeder in each tub will take ALL the food!  Every fish currently gets about 3, 3mm Omega pellets both morning and eve (more for the biggest), and a snack of peas. compost worm, or mealy worm in the afternoon, plus either "confetti" cut greens or crumbled nori.

Edited by Distaff

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mjfromga, didn't mean to hijack your thread. 

I hope the answers will be helpful to all of us.

My apologies!

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You need to continue water changes.  While your fish eat less food, the nitrifiers have greatly reduced activity. 

 

1/10 of the food per feeding.  You can use small pellets.  Cold weather means you have only slow fish.

 

Remember, guidelines give you a starting point.  You have to observe your fish and keep tabs on your water to get things right.

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Much clearer.

That makes sense.

Thanks!

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No hijacking at all there Distaff. Your questions are relevant to the thread.

Sharon, about when would I notice the fish slowing down? I feed them a tad less, but whenever I come out, they rush to the front and they still seem super hungry. They're all still quite "swimmy" and active, as well.

I also noticed exactly 1 gram of weight gain on all 5 of them a few days ago even though I've been feeding less for probably two weeks now. In defense, it's been 60° or even higher in there lately because its still hot outside.

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In my first year with a pond, I came out one morning in the fall after a chilly night,  and all of the little fish (spring babies) had huddled together on the bottom and paid no attention to me.  I feared the worst, and tested my water -- perfect parameters.  I still set up several buckets of dechlorinated water, preparing for a water change, and then thought of checking the temperature.  It was ~ 70F, and the poor little Florida fish thought they were freezing to death.  A couple of hours later they were back to normal and hungry.  After a few days, they had no problem with temperatures in the 70s, but when it got down to 60, they huddled on the bottom again.  This time I didn't worry.  

 

If the temperature of your pond goes down steadily, you might never see any change in behavior. They will get somewhat sluggish when the water temperature drops into the low 50s even with gradual adaptation.   If you see excess debris in the bottom or in the filter, you probably need to reduce the food.  If you don't see a trace of poop on the bottom of the pond, they need more food.

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At 53° a bit ago, all fish still rushed to the edge when they heard me and they all still eat well. I'm tempted to feed more, but I won't. They seem perfectly fine. I'm kinda impressed. We shall see how they fare as the winter rolls in.

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Air or water temperature?

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Water temperature. This was several days ago. It hasn't been that cool since.

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