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Strange Story And Advice Please


Guest pdes

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Hi Goldfishers. I am in the south of the UK. I have a small pond with a circulated waterfall and stream. The pond area is probably no deeper than 18 inches at best and the surface is approx 12ft x 12ft. The water seems to be very healthy as the weed is growing well and I seem to have overcome the usual blanket weed problems (for now!). Two strange things have happened. When the pond was new, we bought a number of goldfish and golden orf (presume golden orf can be mentioned here!). In total, after losing some and replacing them (to this day we don't know where they went but we never found any bodies) we now have five happy growing fish. Now, having bought the stock from the local garden centre and having picked each one individually, imagine our surprise when we started to notice a moving shadow in the pond. Over time it became apparent that, lurking in the weed was a black fish. We now see it quite regularly but cannot imagine how it got there. It is black on top with a VERY dark gold underbelly. It looks like a goldfish but not being a goldfish authority, I can't tell. Is it possible that one of the original fish changed colour?

It seems that the fish (orf I think but I can't tell) have been up to no good and have bred hundreds of off-spring. There are two shoals of miniature gold-coloured fish in the pond. I would estimate that there are at least 200. They all seem to be doing fine and growing rapidly. So, what happens next? Will they eventually all be eaten by their parents or is there a chance that they will mature? If they survive, what do do with them? We have a large lake nearby. Do I release them into the wild? Presumably they have no re-sale value as they cannot be guaranteed free of disease etc.

Any thoughts and comments gratefully received!

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goldfish often start out black or very dark when they are born, and gradually get their gold colour as they mature. so i'd guess that the shadow you're seeing is in fact a juvenile goldfish! goldfish don't tend to turn black from gold, you see. black is a very unstable colour for them.

yep - goldfish will BREED! take it as a sign your pond is healthy and happy!

however, do NOT release them into the wild. at best this is illegal, and at worst it could have a really bad effect on the local wildlife and food chain etc. you might find friends who can take them, or even putting an ad up giving them away for free, if you're not interested in making a profit from them.

some garden centres etc may take them, but i wouldn't take my word for that :)

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goldfish often start out black or very dark when they are born, and gradually get their gold colour as they mature. so i'd guess that the shadow you're seeing is in fact a juvenile goldfish! goldfish don't tend to turn black from gold, you see. black is a very unstable colour for them.

Thanks for that. This fish is as large as the other "mature" fish and the only fish in the pond apart from the fry are the ones we bought. All of these were quite small when we bought them but they were definitely all gold. Also the fry are only a couple of months old but they all appear to be gold (but as I said earlier, they could be golden orf).

Cheers,

David

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Or perhaps a neighbor who no longer could keep their fish thought they had found a perfect home for it in a nice healthy pond! They may have "released it into the wild" - the "wild" being your pond.

It is not uncommon around here for people to place unwanted fish in other's ponds - a practice that is a scary proposition considering disease.....

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is there any possibility that the dark coloured fish was already in the pond before you added the gold-coloured ones? they can be hard to spot due to their colour.

No, this was a newly built pond so only fish bought by me went in. Are there any wild fish that fit this description? Iwas wondering whether something (an egg?) could have been brought in by another animal - we have a lake nearby and occasionally get a passing duck etc. Having said that, we noticed the fish last year and it seemed to be a normal size then. Considering the pond is only three years old could it have reached this size in a year or so? I have no idea of the growth rate of fish. BTW, do you think the mature fish in the pond will munch their way through the fry or are some likely to survive?

Thanks

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http://www.pond-doctor.co.uk/bphorfe.html

This article is about golden orfs and it says sometimes they can have darker pigmentation making them look almost black--maybe that's what happened to your mysterious moving shadow??! Just a thought. :)

This is more of a goldfish shape. Nothing like an Orf. Tried to get a better look last night but only concluded that what I thought was black is probably a very dark brown.

In answer to the other comment regarding neighbours, I only have two, none of which have fish and there is no access to my garden unless you are a skilled burglar!! :D

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Having said that, we noticed the fish last year and it seemed to be a normal size then. Considering the pond is only three years old could it have reached this size in a year or so? I have no idea of the growth rate of fish. BTW, do you think the mature fish in the pond will munch their way through the fry or are some likely to survive?

Thanks

goldfish do grow fast, so could reach a pretty large size in a year or so. how big is it? as for the mature fish eating the fry, goldfish can be opportunistic of eating lettle fry, but once they get a bit larger they should be safe. and i think not even the most dedicated fish could eat all of 200+fry, so at least some will survive imo :)

Edited by alex
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goldfish do grow fast, so could reach a pretty large size in a year or so. how big is it?

This guy is around 4 inches. We first noticed the "shadow" moving round the pond last year.

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We have a large lake nearby. Do I release them into the wild? Presumably they have no re-sale value as they cannot be guaranteed free of disease etc.

DO NOT release them into the wild unless they were originally from the lake that you are talking about. if released, you could put the entire eco-system of that lake in risk. there are many cases in the US with people releasing fish into the wild where it is not their natural habitat, with the fish multiplying unchecked because of no known natural predators and they start to wipe out other natural speices because of lack of food. i could go on and on about the problems that have been caused by these actions. try to get rid of them by other means. just some friendly advice

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