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Finally found some eggs before my pond crew ate them :)


Kayla102968

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Thanks Sharon.

I've only been feeding the big fish about 54 Progold pellets total per day (it has been 60 degrees in pond) until the last couple of days where I've fed them nothing. I have 9 big fish. I usually don't feed the big fish anything at all when it is under 50 degrees; then I feed Hikari wheatgerm food between 50 and 55. Would it be okay to feed the big adults some Super Green repashy at 43 degrees and see if they even want it?

I don't feed below 55 and my fish aren't interested in food when it's that cold (they are used to warm water). I can see no sense in the wheat germ foods. Why feed a low protein, high carb food instead of just feeding less of the good food?

If the water was at 43F for weeks, it would make sense to offer a little food, but a fish that has been at 60F and is at 43F, should be left alone.

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The reason I use the wheat germ Hikari is because my pond fish spend a lot of time in water between 50 and 64 degrees. Rarely (even in the summer) does my pond get much over 70 degrees and not for very long. I read that the bad bacteria aren't necessarily killed off during these temperatures, but if the fish isn't eating, they will be more susceptible to pathogens etc. The Hikari wheat germ food does have 32% protein, but it is plant protein that is more easily digested (same as the carbohydrates). Since it is faster to digest, it won't rot in their stomach and cause problems. I worry that even if I feed a lot less of the animal protein food...it will still be harder and longer for them to digest and I don't want to cause them a problem. Plus, there is also vitamins and minerals in the wheat germ/plant food that help with the fish immunity in the cold temps rather than just feeding them nothing. If I only fed my fish when it was above 63 degrees...I would only feed in June, July, August and September; that would mean 8 months of no food. If there was lots of algae in the pond (and plants), then they could feed on that...but because my pond is mostly in the shade even in the summer, I get very little of the thick algae growth (except in the spring with the hair algae). The hair algae disappears and not much takes it place on the sides and bottom of the tank.

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Plant proteins are not easier to digest than animal proteins Table 1 here actually shows the opposite. Carbohydrates are not easier to digest than proteins. As a matter of fact, the primary indigestible materials (fiber) in our diets are carbohydrates.

This is just a marketing ploy. I have read a lot of University Extension articles on fish nutrition without finding a shred of evidence to support it. The one thing that keeps popping up is that fish meal is the most digestible component of fish foods.

I assume by the fish immunity problem, you are referring to the Aeromonas alley legend. This has been disproven experimentally. Aeromonas infects fish most effectively at temperatures between 65 and 85F. This has nothing to do with feeding, and I have never heard of anyone not feeding at 63F.

If you want more information (and controversy) about winter feeding I suggest reading on the subject in a koi pond forum, like koiphen or koi-bito. Koi people have long held to a policy of not feeding for at least a couple of months during the winter. Now the trend is to feed very small amounts (like two pellets a day) of high protein food throughout the "fast period."

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I guess what I was saying was that carbohydrates are digested faster. So that they get the nutrients and vitamins out and then the rest passes through them quickly (due to the high fiber). Protein takes longer for them to break down and doesn't have as much fiber and so it sits in them longer. At least that is the way it is in people :). If we eat carbs our blood sugar goes up much quicker than if we eat protein... and the fiber in carbs passes through quickly, so that whatever is not used by our body doesn't stay in the body long. Maybe goldfish are different than people though.

Today the fry were at 49 degrees (up 5 degrees in 24 hours)...the big fish were at 46 degrees (up from 43). Not feeding either pond...but I'll do water changes tomorrow and keep the temperatures within 2 degrees of what they are then.

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The fry are still at 49 degrees and the big fish are at 45 degrees. I'm expecting the 200+ gallon pond with the fry will stay around 40-55 degrees (with the small heater turned on low) until end of March or April. Could I add a small block of Repashy Super Green to the babies pond in case there is not enough algae and see if they are interested? Would I be able to leave it in there for 2 hours without causing water problems? I figure since Super Green is made of all vegetables it would be like feeding them algae or green beans or spinach? The plants in the fry pond are going to have to be removed soon...they are looking pretty sad.

On the same note...could I feed the adult goldfish super green too if they are interested? They don't have much algae and no plants in their pond.

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Of course you can put some food in there. I don't know why you want to. Their metabolic rate is so low they really can't make use of the food even if they eat it. After they are acclimated to the cold water, they may have an interest in food.

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I'm wondering if I should have brought the 3 littlest fry in for the winter; but fry must survive cold weather in ponds right...or are fry born only early in the spring in the wild and get a good chance to grow by winter? If water parameters are good, should I just do 10% a week w/c's as usual?

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You may lose some of the fry in the winter pond, but you'd lose some indoors too. The water changes sound fine.

I had three fry hatch and survive the winter in ten gallons of dirty water. I pump my waste water from my ponds into a 55 gallon barrel with a tap on it that I can use to distribute water to the garden. We had (unusual) rain in mid winter last year and the barrel was filled up, so some water wound up in other containers. Most got emptied, but one just sat neglected off to the side, collecting a lot of leaves. In the spring, I walked past it and saw a flash of something black swimming in it, and it wasn't a tadpole. I watched a bit and an orange and white fish swam to the surface. I got a bucket of clean water, a net and and small container to scoop water out with. The little sakura fantail swam right up to the top and I scooped her into the pail where she calmly swam around checking it out. I had half of the container emptied by the time I caught both of the two uncolored comets that were also in there. The water in the bottom half of the container was so anaerobic it smelled like a sewer. I'm sure they came to the top for air, and wouldn't have lasted much longer. I moved them to the duckweed tub where they thrived. I called the friendly little fantail "Little Sweetie." When I came out every day to give them a bit of food and some fresh water, I'd call "Where's my Little Sweetie?" and she'd come swimming to the surface.

Even though I've found hundreds of fry, I've yet to see an egg in my ponds. I always check the waste water for fry, but I never see eggs. I keep potted plants in shallow tubs of water, and dump my waste water there. Usually when I clean out one of these, I find at least one baby goldfish among the tadpoles. Even though those are muddy, they are shallow, so the fry enjoy well-aerated water and lots of natural food. The deep container I rescued Little Sweetie from was far from a suitable home for goldfish fry.

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It is 52 degrees in the pond tonight even though last night the air temperature was below 30. We did have a lot of sun today, so I think the greenhouse is helping to keep it warm. Ladybug (the small fry with the bent spine) was bottom sitting. I feel bad for her. I don't know what is wrong with her that is keeping her on the bottom. Would it be bad to bring her inside in a 10 or 20 gallon? It is 69/70 degrees in the house, but I don't know if 10 or 20 gallons would warm the pond water up too quickly and stress her out even more. What should I do...just leave her?

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Whenever the temperature drops, my fish all sit on the bottom, huddled together. If it's not really cold, they are moving around again as they get comfortable with the cooler temperature.

It will be warmer at the bottom only if the temperature of the water is below 39F. However, I expect temperate water fish such as goldfish that normally spend the winter under ice ice, instinctively go to the bottom when it seems cold.

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It was 57 degrees in the fry pond today. I accounted for all fry except one, and it wasn't one of the three small ones, it must be hiding in the plants somewhere. Ladybird seems to be working hard to stay at the top...she does seem to settle to the bottom and rest. I am guessing she may have swimbladder problems or other problems from her curved spine. She is also all white with one button eye and one partially metallic eye just like the other fry I lost a short while ago. I wouldn't expect she should be bottom sitting when the temp is 55 to 57.

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Here is an updated video of my fry.  It has been really warm here the last 4 days or so and the fry are very active.  The temperature in the fry pond is 66 degrees and they are all happily swimming.  In a few days it is supposed to cool down again so I am feeding them very little, they sure look hungry though :).  It still amazes me the size, shape and colour differences in one batch of nineteen fry born the same time.

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There's no reason not to feed them at 66F.  The prediction that it is going to get cold in a few days is not relevant to feeding now, unless you want to give them a little extra before you stop feeding because the water is cold.

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There's no reason not to feed them at 66F.  The prediction that it is going to get cold in a few days is not relevant to feeding now, unless you want to give them a little extra before you stop feeding because the water is cold.

I've always read on the wheatgerm based winter feed that you should not feed if the water is in the feedable temperature, if it is going to go down in the next four or less days.  I kinda thought that was strange since goldfish digest their food fairly quickly so it would be out of their system before the cold temps came anyway.  Thanks for letting me know Sharon.  I've also been feeding my adult fish small amounts of the ProGold rather than the Hikari wheat germ feed.  They sure are happy about that.  They really don't enjoy the Hikari wheat germ based food and will only eat it if that is all I give.  If I put a little of the ProGold with it, they eat all the Pro Gold and bypass the wheat germ and open and close their mouths for more of the ProGold....while the wheat germ is right there :).

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Not surprising.  While goldfish may have been domesticated from rice patties, and thus might have found some grains of rice for nibbling on, I see no way they, or other wild fish, would have eaten wheat.  

 

As I mentioned before, some koi people are excited about feeding Kenzen, an expensive high-protein food, year around.  Of course the cold-water meals are very small.

Edited by shakaho
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Not surprising.  While goldfish may have been domesticated from rice patties, and thus might have found some grains of rice for nibbling on, I see no way they, or other wild fish, would have eaten wheat.  

 

As I mentioned before, some koi people are excited about feeding Kenzen, an expensive high-protein food, year around.  Of course the cold-water meals are very small.

There must still be a point where they stop feeding altogether?...for instance under 50 degrees, the fish probably wouldn't be interested in eating right? Or would they still feed one pellet per fish?

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I was curious about goldfish colouration and thought I would ask here.  Can a goldfish be tri-colour and still be matte or is a tri-colour goldfish always nacreous or metallic?  The reason I'm asking is that a lot of my fry have orange colour on them that doesn't seem to be metallic (it doesn't reflect light)...is this just because they are still young and will look more metallic when they mature?  Neapolitan is a fry that I have brought inside to treat with metro and I have some close up pictures of her.  How can you determine if orange coloration is matte or metallic?  I also can't see clearly defined scales on her body...is that due to her age or is that areas that are considered matte?

Here are some pictures of her left and right side.  Can you tell if she is a shubunkin or matte colour?  If so, how?

Thanks,

Kayla

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i322/Kayla102968/IMG_2460_zpsebd495c6.jpg

 

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i322/Kayla102968/IMG_2459_zpscd90d37a.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
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It is 47 degrees in the pond outside now (with the heater on low).  It has been getting down into the 20's during the nights.  The fry seem to be handling it fine though; they swim around more than the adult fish when it's cold.  No one is bottom sitting...woohoo!

The 3 fry inside in the 20 gallon are doing well.  They swim quickly and are constantly searching for food...like goldfish do :).  I think the 2 little ones have already gotten a bit bigger.

I added an AC20 filter to the tank and put a sponge over the intake.  They seem to handle that just fine.

I now see metallic scales on all 3 of the fry in the inside tank.  Here is a video of the inside fry:

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