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Breeding Goldies Without Filtration Or Aeration


Netertari

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Hello,

Rearing Goldies in closed systems with no filtration or aeration is something I wanted to know about, but never got a whole lot of info on "westerners" being successful at it. I've tried it and here's how I did it and what happened.

I have three medium sized Goldies in about 50 gallons of water, not truly green because there are a lot of plants competing with the algae. There are cocophods(sp?)---little crustaceans that look just like tiny, green, shrimp---and wrigglers (mosquito larvae), and blood worms naturally occurring in the tank. This old refrigerator is outdoors in partial sunlight.

I perform a quarter to a third water change once a week, with tap water and no water conditioner because I don't have any. I read a quarter to a third of chlorinated water can be added with no apparent harm to the fish, and so far this has proved true for me. Even the fry are thriving with this chlorinated water change.

I feed home-made paste or gel food, earthworms, Cheerios, and occasionally flake food three times a day, making sure I feed only what they will eat in about 15 minutes, including foraging the bottom.

They spawn after I've been feeding live foods for about a week, and then it rains or I do a water change. The Breeding tubercles indicate this also.

The eggs are quite obvious on the plants, like little clear, perfect bubbles scattered around. The opaque white ones were also obvious, these are not viable.

I removed sections of the myriophyllum with the clear eggs into an empty,green water tank outside thriving with the "shrimp". Green water was kept the shade of green tea, scoop water out and look at it. It looks much greener when in the tank, but when you scoop it out you can see the true color.

I didn't feed the "outdoor" fry for about a month and a half. The fish I had in the kitchen, fed every four hours on boiled egg yolk looked like little slivers, compared to there robust counterparts outdoors.

At about six to eight weeks I offered prepared food to fry. I think offering prepared food as soon as they can eat it is best because the fry that lives with its mother is larger most likely because she gleaned from what I fed the mother.

This is low cost Goldie keeping. I think each Goldie needs 15 to 20 gallons of water. Absolutely no less than ten or they will run out of oxygen, this proved absolutely true for me. Lots of clean, fresh water is key.

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Interesting. Any pictures?

The green water would account for why your fry are able to live in the water...otherwise they would get ammonia poisoning and die within a few days. But since green water converts ammonia, there ya go!

I am still rather surprised that they are doing so well. But that's how it is in nature, right? No filters on natural ponds! :)

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Hi,

"...otherwise they would get ammonia poisoning and die within a few days. I am still rather surprised that they are doing so well."

I was motivated to get Goldies to live in "natural" conditions by Chinese hobbyist, past and present. They don't use filtration and they used cement ponds with success for hundreds of years. It's only in recent decades that they even added aeration, Re: Fancy Goldfish, Goldfish Guide--- I'm sorry I can't remember the authors of Goldfish Guide, I think one of them is Dr. Matsui. I accept Chinese methods of breeding and rearing as "tried-n-true", especially since they have superior quality Goldies.

My fry tanks also have Myriophyllum, I add and take away plants depending on the shade of green of the water.

To be honest, I find that people who "fiddle" with their Goldies less, are more successful,their fish are hardy and longer lived. Like here in the Tropics people are keeping Goldies without a lot of fancy equipment, without the cabinet full of medicines and they have beautiful thriving fish.

My experience is "less is better".

I think circulating the water would be even better, but so far so good with what I've been able to do.

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It sounds like what you are talking mostly about is good ol' GW theory. Yes, most professional breeders swear by it. Here in Japan too. Certainly fish keepers that are in the business long enough throw out all the ornaments and extras and realize in the end just good old green water is the best and most natural. No more floaty fish and the fish grow like weeds.

However I am incredulous about the lack of aeration because although GW provides it via photosynthesis in the day, at night oxygen levels are reduced and can suffocate in spite of adequate water volume per fish. I know run through filtration systems are used here in breeders outdoor GW set ups to monitor that.

One of the biggest pond aquatic demons is an algae crash. It happens because most ponds rely on photosynthesis as main oxygen provider not sustained mechanical aeration like we use in tanks. Photosynthesis is fluid and fluctuating not constant like we can maintain in tanks.

Too much algae/green can cause big fluctuations in DO because algae is the main and only source producing and consuming DO. Large nocturnal demands from the green algae + life forms at night can plummet DO levels by early sunrise.

Pond metabolism is also unstable and at the mercy of the weather. We cannot change the weather. The weather affects the production and the demise of algae. A few days cloudiness for example will kill back algae- sudden too little algae will decrease photosynthesis due to lower light intensity and can cause severe oxygen depletion. Usually, almost always overnight.

In many parts of Asia the weather is very supportive of goldfishes outdoor needs. I think many owners here would agree with you that "less is better" though .

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I agree with "less is more"....with all pets, really. Not to be uneducated or ignorant. But to know what is healthy for the animal and then step back and not go neurotic with the care. Provide the basics of health, and most animals (free of disease) will manage it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Hi Trinket,

I'm not sure what GW or DO stands for.

Yes it's true that Goldies can be deprived of oxygen if the water is too green, that's why it's supposed to be kept the color of green tea. So far I've been keeping my fish like this for four years.

Oh I forgot to mention to those who are interested that you must vacuum the bottom periodically, twice a month works well for me. The longest I've gone was about five months, and that's with full exposure to sunlight and the water never became to dark. If you vacuum too soon, you remove vital plant nutrients. Take too long, you could create a poisonous layer at the bottom of the tank.

It's unfortunate that if someone offers a "different" spin on Goldie keeping---other than what's genearally pushed---they're treated with hostility.

"Incredulous". Give me a break:)

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GW-green water

DO-dissolved oxygen

Netertari, Trinket wasn't trying to attack you at all. She was just explaining the concepts behind these. You were just looking at her post rather differently.:(

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