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.unknown. May 18th, 2010 11:59 AM

Pond life
I'm considering giving my three ex-feeder comet goldfish to someone with a well established pond. They are living in a 33 gallon tank, it is being filtered with a huge filter because the tank is too small for them, so I think that it would be nice for them to live in a big happy pond, but, I feel totally sad and guilty to let them go. I don't want them to die... Am I making the right choice?

I know they're "just goldfish" and they don't really care about me, but I care about them, it's just not in my budget to upgrade my tank right now....


serenamlambe May 18th, 2010 12:16 PM

I'm not a fish expert or anything, but my friend's parents had the same goldfish in their pond for years. So certainly they can survive in a pond if taken care of properly!

Because we lived in a area that got very cold in the winter, they would take the goldfish in for those months. They never seemed to mind the transition though... and the fish grew amazingly huge! Hahah.

Good luck with it!

.unknown. May 18th, 2010 12:31 PM

I would love for them to grow huge and old :) I don't think that I could buy a 100 gallon tank to accomodate that, unfortunately. I would make a pond, but my yard is tiny and my dogs would probably try to catch them/bathe in their water.

MyBirdIsEvil May 18th, 2010 02:05 PM

33 gallons is certainly too small for three goldfish, no matter how well filtered. Sufficient filtration will eliminate ammonia and nitrite, but will not eliminate nitrAtes, which can be harmful in high levels. Nitrates can only be eliminated by healthy plants, water changes, or a nitrate filter (the latter is hard to set up and run in a freshwater system). The only filter system that would eliminate nitrates is a drip system, where the water is being constantly changed out for fresh de-chlorinated water. If you would like to set something up like this I can help you, but it wouldn't eliminate the SPACE issues for your goldfish which is probably a concern.
Are you sure you can't upgrade to a larger tank? Used tanks can come cheap if you keep looking places like craigslist.

There is nothing wrong with them being a pond as long as the person knows how to overwinter and care for goldfish.

As for making a pond, you don't HAVE to dig. I currently have a 300 gallon trough in my backyard that is a pond. It doesn't take up as much room as you'd think. You can't overwinter in something like that unless you put a pond heater, but you could always bring the fish inside temporarily over the winter. Heck if you have enough room you can bring the whole trough inside, but you would need to cover it or else your house would have a ton of humidity.

.unknown. May 18th, 2010 04:52 PM

I honestly don't know much about this pond they would go to, other than it has been established for 7 years and is 12' deep and is something like 12' x 18'. I don't know if they currently have fish in it, or not.

When I got the 33 gallon about 6 years ago (the fish were not in it for that long), they were also selling 55 gallon tanks for $55, would that be an acceptable size for now? I can probably upgrade to that if I can get the extra $$. I've had a lot of sick pets the passed 6 months and haven't been able to spare a lot of money. Could you give me suggestions to help the current situation until I can afford a bigger tank?

Does that nitra-zorb stuff actually work? If i buy that with a bunch of plants?

I have tossed around the idea of a pond, but I am way too poor to even consider that right now. The grass area of my yard is probably the size of the guy's pond!

Thanks for your help, it's totally appreciated!

MyBirdIsEvil May 18th, 2010 05:11 PM

You can't just throw a bunch of plants into a tank. The tank needs to be set up for healthy plants, otherwise the plants will die and decay and cause more issues.

You could try some java moss, which will grow under a normal fluorescent strip. It's supposed to be really hardy and easy, grows like a weed, but I can't keep it alive no matter what :laughing:

Java fern is also really easy to grow and needs little light. Don't just get random plants because some aren't even aquatic even though they're sold as such, and they'll die when submerged permanently.

Not sure about nitra-zorb, since I've never heard of it. The best way to eliminate nitrates is just to do water changes. You can test them and do water changes to keep them below 40.

Hmmm, I just looked it up and not sure I'd use that nitra-zorb. It absorbs not only nitrates, but nitrites and ammonia, so if it runs out you're going to have an ammonia spike. If you already have an established filter you don't need anything like that.

A 55g tank would probably be ok, but a 75g would be better because it's bigger front to back and has a bit more water volume. If you do upgrade, do not discard your filtration system since it already has all of your biological bacteria (the stuff that removes nitrites and ammonia) just move it to the new tank.

Really you need to be tested your water for nitrite, ammonia and nitrate, probably weekly. Your water quality may not be as bad as you think, or it may be worse, but you don't know unless you test. If you can't afford a test kit, most fish stores will test your water for you.

.unknown. May 18th, 2010 05:50 PM

hehe, I wouldn't just toss in random plants. This all came about when I had to downsize this 90 gallon tank i had in the basement. It was there from my ex boyfriend, and had the three goldfish, and three giant plecos. I had to give away the tank because we are renovating our basement, so I gave the plecos to a guy who had a giant tank for each of them and now i've just been trying to keep this 33 gallon tank clean enough. I used to have this tall grass-y stuff Sword plant? it did really well, but when I downsized the tank, a lot of the gravel (flourite) went with it - was a stupid mistake.... So it all died, but I would get more of the same gravel and put in some of the same plants since they seemed to grow like weeds when the tank was healthy. I also have some Anubias left over, but they are having a hard time, obviously.

Right now I've got a coralife fixture with some sort of purple-ish spectrum bulb. It was a fixture my dad bought for me when my chameleon's light fixture broke... It was never used because it wasn't the right uvb spectrum. So, when i downsized the tank i gave it a whirl and it was the right size. It makes my fish look really bright and glowy, but in hind-sight probably killed the plants.

I will see what I can do... my basement is now crammed full of stuff so I couldn't get another tank down there. *sigh*

MyBirdIsEvil May 18th, 2010 09:45 PM

Well java moss and java fern don't need to be rooted in the substrate, so you might wanna look into them. Your anubias doesn't need substrate either and you can dose plant fert in the water column rather than adding fluorite to the bottom again. Kent marine sells it in bottles. Fluorite would be pretty messy to add to an already established tank.

As for your coralife bulb, it probably has saltwater (50/50 or 10,000k) lights in it. You can actually grow plants with the incorrect spectrum but then it takes a lot more light than you'd need otherwise. If you want to replace the bulb plants do well with 5,000-6000k. You can experiment somewhere around that range with what makes the fish look best and still gives the plants near the correct spectrum of light. If it's a compact fluorescent fixture though, the bulbs will be pretty expensive.

As far as a tall grassy sword type plant, you're probably talking about [URL=""]jungle val[/URL]. They'll get really thick and grow like weeds, though they do prefer higher light levels to grow quickly.

.unknown. May 19th, 2010 09:14 AM

Ok, cool. I will definitely take a look into Java Moss/fern. Thanks for your help... I will start to save up for a new tank and maybe I'll find a good deal on a bigger-than-55-gallon, somewhere. In the mean time, I'll stay on top of the water changes and add some plants. Should I do smaller water changes twice a week or, would that throw things off balance too much?

Thanks again!

**Update** I just got an email back from the pond guy, he does have fish established in his pond, some of his comets are 14"... Maybe they will be happier going then, rather than waiting for my broke a** to save money.

**The size is 50' x 75' and 12-15' deep...

MyBirdIsEvil May 19th, 2010 11:10 PM

That's a huge pond and I'm sure they would be happy there since it's established and all.

But if you do decide to upgrade I'd definitely go 75g+. 75 g is the same length as a 55g (as is a 90g) just deeper front to back. I've bought LOTS of fish tanks you just need to search around for deals on used tanks. You wouldn't believe how cheap people will sell them when they just want them out of their house. Heck, I've sold tanks myself dirt cheap before just because I had no use for them anymore.

.unknown. May 20th, 2010 09:20 AM

Thanks for all of your help, I really appreciate it! I think after-all they will go to the pond - It's huge and I am not really sure when I can upgrade their tank since I'm still paying off vet charges on my credit card from months ago :(

MyBirdIsEvil May 20th, 2010 05:08 PM

Don't feel bad. A lot of people don't have the courage to give up their fish once they outgrow the tank because they're attached to them. It will be better for them in the long run and they'll have a lot of room to be happy and swim around and live out the rest of their lifespan (which will probably be much longer in that environment anyway!) :thumbs up

Tundra_Queen May 24th, 2010 02:39 AM


I had to take my goldfish out of a 20 gallon tank and put it in a garden tote cause he couldn't turn around in the aquariums easily anymore.

I got a round garden tote, ya know the one with rope handles? It's quite large, but because it is round Dexter can swim around it with no problem. Dexter is 10 years old and quite big now. LOL I put him out on the patio in a half oak barrel with a liner with a pump in the summer time and then just bring him back in the house in the fall. I use to put him in my pond, but he got too hard to catch and my pond freezes solid in the winter time.

Debbie :)

.unknown. May 25th, 2010 09:46 AM

Well, they went to their new pond home on Sunday. The man who picked them up was SO nice, and seemed to know what he was talking about :) I hope that they are happier!

:thumbs up

I have a clown pleco living in the tank, I tried to offer him to my dad for his tank, but he's already got a pleco. oi. I totally dreamed about fish tanks and fish last night, too.

MyBirdIsEvil May 26th, 2010 04:42 AM

[QUOTE=.unknown.;921441]Well, they went to their new pond home on Sunday. The man who picked them up was SO nice, and seemed to know what he was talking about :) I hope that they are happier!

:thumbs up

I have a clown pleco living in the tank, I tried to offer him to my dad for his tank, but he's already got a pleco. oi. I totally dreamed about fish tanks and fish last night, too.[/QUOTE]

Good to hear your goldfish are in a better environment.

Why do you want to get rid of the pleco? Just want to take the tank down?

An actual clown pleco doesn't get very big and should be fine in the tank you have. He'll actually be better off now without all the extra bioload.

.unknown. May 26th, 2010 09:38 AM

Yeah, I don't need to take the tank down I just asked my dad to see. I actually love plecos, and he is just a baby - about an inch long. Do you think he will grow faster/better now that the goldfish are gone?

I will still add plants and he's got some nice caves and a big peice of driftwood to hang out on. Once the plants take root, could I add some community fish?

MyBirdIsEvil May 27th, 2010 12:00 PM

[QUOTE]Do you think he will grow faster/better now that the goldfish are gone? [/QUOTE]

He could. Better water quality certainly tends to help with growth. I won't guarantee it though since there are a lot of factors that affect growth.

[QUOTE]I will still add plants and he's got some nice caves and a big peice of driftwood to hang out on. Once the plants take root, could I add some community fish?[/QUOTE]

Keep in mind he may eat some of your plants. Plecos are after all mainly vegetarians. You can actually throw in some cucumber or zucchini (you will need to weigh it down so it sinks) and he will munch on it.
He should like the driftwood since most plecos tend to enjoy chewing on them periodically. They actually get some kind of nutrition or digestive help from it in the wild.

I don't see a problem with adding community fish as long as they're compatible with your setup (i.e. won't outgrow the tank, need same temp as the pleco, won't harrass him, etc.)

.unknown. May 27th, 2010 05:43 PM

I'll attach some cucumber to a rock when i get home :) I was thinking along the lines of something small and school-y like danios or something.

I used to have a 15g tank that I kept at work with a few Mollys and they had babies all the time. I just hung a betta tank inside the other tank at the top and scooped babies in that as they were born. It was really neat to see them grow and stuff, but I am not sure I have enough free time to tend to babies.

I've always liked rainbow fish, but I read that they can get bigger than my tank would handle. Maybe a couple Dwarf gouramis? If you have suggestions for some nice-termpered warm water fish that are colourful-ish, that'd be swell.

MyBirdIsEvil May 27th, 2010 07:16 PM

Dwarf gouramis would be compatible in your tank. The main problem I have with them is finding good stock. They tend to be really overbred and you'll see a lot of low quality and unhealthy ones. If you can find good stock though they'd be a good choice.

As far as rainbows go, it depends on what species you get. The australians do get pretty big, and the boesemanis a bit smaller than that. There are some like the dwarf rainbow that only get a couple of inches long. You just have to hunt around for what you want.

There are a lot of tetra species that are pretty hardy and would be just fine in your setup. A lot of people like black skirts, and they look different than the standard tetra and don't get very big.
Glolights are pretty neat looking and easy to take care of. Rummynose are an attractive red, white and blue-ish/black color. Neons, which are pretty common, could do ok in your setup, but I tend to stay away from them due to having trouble finding healthy stock.

You could actually do an angelfish, or a pair, in your setup since they're not super active. I have one in my 220g aquarium and he just sits in the same corner of the tank all the time. Just make sure not to buy altums, which get too big, though they're not commonly found in aquarium stores anyway.

I dunno, there's just too many fish to think of. You could even do a group of female bettas or something.

.unknown. May 28th, 2010 02:45 PM

Good ideas, thanks! I used to have black skirt tetras, their faces remind me of little piranhas. I used to have a few tanks going with different fish...So I guess I could also just try harder to work from my memory, too :o

I had crayfish once, they were super cool. I had them in the same tank which went well, until the red one shed and the blue one ate most of his legs off. I ran out and bought a tank divider thinking it was all good, until about an hour later; I checked on them and the blue one climbed over the divider and ate into the red one's head. Poor guy. The blue one was then dubbed "Clawnibal Lector". A while later, After changing his tank to one with a lid, he managed to escape and disappear. I looked everywhere to see where he got to, but never found his body or anything.

I love watching crustaceans, but I wouldn't get anything like a crayfish because of the pleco. I had ghost shrimp once, those were super neat.

Anyway. haha. I will let you know how it goes and take some pictures of the setup once it is completed.

Thanks for all your help!!:D

MyBirdIsEvil May 28th, 2010 11:11 PM

Actually, if you want a crustacean you can try a bamboo shrimp. They don't have claws and I know people that keep them with small plecos, so your pleco may not bother him. The big problem would be when he molts, they need somewhere to hide the pleco can't get to and that might be a problem since plecos are pretty good at wedging into spaces. Your pleco may or may not have a taste for for crustaceans, it would just be a trial/error thing. Though, bamboo shrimp are kind of expensive so I dunno if you'd want to risk that :laughing:.
But if you ever set up a tank with no dangers to them they are pretty cool. They get really big and they are filter feeders. They have little pom pom things on their arms and they catch stuff floating around in the tank.

There are also a ton of smaller and colorful freshwater shrimp, but they'd definitely be tasty to any of your fish.

Crawfish are definitely escape artists. I used to have a couple in my native tank which which had really tall jungle vals all the way to the surface.
I woke up one morning and wandered down the hallway with no glasses on. I encountered this huge bug looking thing that reared up and waved its arms at me. Freaked me the heck out because I couldn't see good and didn't know what it was. I thought some huge aggressive bug had gotten into my house and might bite me :laughing:. Finally when I got the nerve to get close I realized it was one of my crawfish, who had apparently climbed up the jungle vals and figured out how to get out the back. I guess I scared him as much as he scared me the way he was waving his claws around.

hazelrunpack May 29th, 2010 04:37 PM

LOL, MBIE! The Attack of the Killer Crawdads!!! :laughing:

.unknown. May 31st, 2010 10:36 AM

hahaha, that's hilarious!


Are you threatening me?!


.unknown. June 28th, 2010 09:16 PM

I emailed the guy who took the goldfish and he says they're all doing great, he sees them all along the edges near the bullrushes jumping to eat mosquitoes and flies.

14+kitties June 28th, 2010 09:46 PM

Great news!! :thumbs up

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