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Eyeballs in the sky
Member Name: Fluffy Slippers
Date: 01/10/01, updated on 09/11/01 (3985 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to keep
Disadvantages: Not to good when you have leaky wellies
During the weekend I happened to venture down the garden passing on my way 5 sets of eyes peering into the fishpond on the patio.
SON 1: “ I counted 12 “
SON 2: ” No there is 15 you missed out them ones over there”
SON 3: ”Well I just like the spotty one”
DAD: “They are good swimmers aren’t they”
CAT 1:” I have a cunning plan to eat them, we shall discuss tactical manoeuvres when no one is looking”
CAT 2: ” You have been having cunning plans for 4 years now and still we go hungry, even nasty tootles from number 45 can’t catch ‘em”
CAT 1: “hissssssssssssss”
FISH: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s the eyeballs in the sky, send the spy fish up to see if they are friends or foes, do they come with food or claws.
Can you just imagine as I did the 6 of them then and the fish just peering up at all those eyeballs?
A FISHY TALE
Keeping fish was never my idea. The fish were here when I bought the house I live in now.
Actually the house used to belong to my grandparents and when my grandfather died 4 years ago my grandmother felt unable to live on her own and moved in with my mother. The fishpond was actually placed there for me in the first place when I was 5 years old. It was a novelty, I think that they were the ones that actually wanted the fish but used me as an excuse to have them in the first place children are good like that sometimes aren’t they (this I have come to realise with the birth of my own).
I am 35 now so the fishpond has been in existence for 30 years. It is situated on my patio, rather a nice patio I have to say, and it’s very large, sheltered from the wind and a great little suntrap.
I promised to keep the pond when I bought the house and of course for sentimental reasons I have done
so. If you have a pond or are thinking of creating one I hope you will find this information useful for you.
THE POND ITSELF
Although this opinion is about my goldfish it would not be a useful opinion without including basic facts for good pond maintenance. This is where they live so to enable them to live happy little lives you really do need to know a little bit about the pond too.
My pond measures 10 foot by 4 foot and is a depth of 4 foot. It is made of a polyurethane resin
Pond water goes green
Green water is the effect of algae within the water. Algae are a plant that needs sunlight and basic nutrients to grow. It is a simple plant in its structure but one that has become highly efficient in multiplying itself in large numbers in hardly any time at all. It is therefore the algae that make the pond water green. If the algae are multiplying in ideal conditions then it can reproduce itself 3 times over in 24 hours. Imagine half a teaspoon of green water, this could contain anything up to 6 million algae. An awful lot isn’t it?
Many people think that a pond has to be crystal clear, and go to unnecessary lengths to try to keep their ponds this way, but they are fighting a losing battle. In actual fact the aim of keeping a fishpond in good order is to be able to see to a depth of about a foot. That way you can still see the fish and the pond life and plants, but the water being green is actually good for gold fish and actually stops them getting disease ridden.
Algae by products contain essential minerals and vitamins that keep the fish healthy so green water is actually help not a hindrance, as some would have you believe.
Can you get rid of green water?
There are certain algaecides available in most garden centres.
“Interpet” do a product called “
Green Away” at the cost of about £ 13.99, which you add to the pond.
It is a chemical and although it won’t harm the fish it kills plants so if you do decide to use this type of product then plants won’t grow effectively in the pond. Also the green comes back, it doesn’t go for good, a little bit like having to cut the grass at regular intervals or weed the garden, this product will need to be used regularly too, in fact, every 2 weeks.
The best idea is to fill your pond with plants that are especially adapted for living below the water surface. Common examples are marsh marigolds, water lilies and irises. All can be obtained from any good garden centre. Although they do not get rid of all the green water in the pond they are effective at reducing it as they use nutrients form the water that the algae depend on therefore slowing down the algae growth and not making the environment an optimum one for its rapid growth. I would advise against pondweed though as this floats around in the pond and grows so rapidly it strangles other plants and tends to fill the pond up very rapidly.
**TIP ** Buy pond plants in the autumn garden centre sales you will get them at a fraction of the cost than of that in the spring. They may look a little worse for wear but this is only because they die back during the autumn months in readiness for the next spring.
Another way to keep the green water to a minimum is to by a water pump with a filter.
*By a minimum I have to stress again I mean whereby the green water still exists but if you look into the pond you can see to about a depth of 1 foot. *
These can vary in cost depending on the size of the pond but it is always advisable to get a pump that is a little bigger than the pond actually needs.
The formula for deciding the size of pump is LENGTH x WIDTH x DEPTH (all in feet)= (the answer) then time
s this by 6.23 to get the amount of litres of water your pond holds. This formula will also tell you how much algaecide to use if you are doing so.
A pump and filter for my size pond is approximately £100.
Do you need to ever clean the pond out, how often and why?
I clean the pond out 4 times a year.
The first thing you have to remember is that fish do not like sudden extremes of temperature and to clean a pond out it means catching the fish and transferring them to another receptacle. The reason they do not like sudden temperature change is because it puts stress on them, which can lead to death or disease.
I use a big round container that is 4 foot deep that I purchased form Home base. This has to be filled with water 24 hours before the fish are transferred so that the temperature is at a constant.
I take out 2/3 of the water first with a bucket before even attempting to catch the fish as otherwise they are too fast. I then remove the pond plants.
Ensure you warn the children if you have any to keep out of the area, last time I did this one of my son’s decided he was going to help and fell in! He was rather green and smelly for a while.
The fish are not so hard to catch once most of the water has been removed. I catch them in a small fishing net then gently put them into the other container of clean water taking care not to damage their scales. When I think I have caught them all I empty the rest of the pond very carefully in case any rogue fish are still in there.
I just tip the water down our grassy bank (the plants there seem to like it).
I then use a paint scraper to scrap the green algae off the pond sides and hose the sides down with a hosepipe. I empty this water out and then refill the pond to 1/4 full, replace the plants and continue to fill the pond up to the top again.
This water then
has to stand for 24 hours so that the temperature is constant to that of outside and the fish do not go into shock when they are placed back into it.
There are a few small differences every time the pond has to be cleaned, let me explain:
*1st clean (springtime) basic cleaning as above.
*2nd clean (start of summer) basic clean as above.
*3rd clean (mid summer) all pond water has to be passed through the small fishing net as it is emptied to catch any baby fish that may of occurred due to breeding. These fish are then transferred into my old fashioned white outside kitchen sink believe it or not! This stops them being eaten by the larger fish.
*4th clean (autumn) basic clean as above plus removal of all old plant debris and dead leaves from the pond plants.
**TIP** It is probably not a good idea to put a pond next to a lot of trees as you will be forever more clearing dead leaves from it.
**Note to myself: Fluff you must remember to get new wellies, last time you cleaned the pond out the left one was leaking badly dear, pond water is not a nice thing to get into wellies. Squelch**
The goldfish originally was a native to China, originally domesticated because of their pretty colours and their ease to be kept. There are all sorts of types and colours that can be obtained in garden centres nowadays ranging from £1 upwards to purchase. They can live in excess of 10 years or so if cared for properly. We have a fish in our pond that is 15 years old. Some goldfish have been know to live for up to 25 years or more.
They have acute awareness of sound and smell and have teeth near the back of their mouths with which they crush their food.
I have 17 fish in my pond at the moment of various ages and sizes, and they are all common varieties of goldfish. Some are golden and some are white others being a mixture of the two.
There are also some brow
n coloured fish, these are about 2 inches long and are the “babies” of the pond. During a goldfishes first 3 years of life they are brown in colour it is not until after this that they develop their true prettiness.
My biggest fish is about 8 inches long. It is best to not have more than 20 fish for my size pond so bear this in mind if you are thinking of having a pond yourself, as they need room to grow and develop. Fish can grow to be very big.
Goldfish are capable in living in many different water temperatures. That means that seasonal variations in the temperature do not affect them. If the pond does freeze over in the winter this has no effect on them they can survive this. It is just dramatic and very sudden temperature fluctuations they cannot withstand.
Even if the pond freezes over in the winter they will survive.
Goldfish will eat almost anything, but it is best to stick to specially prepared fish food. I use fish food pellets that float on the surface of the pond. They can be purchased at any good garden centre or pet shop for around £1.50 for an amount that will last at least a year. A small handful once per day is enough. The children love to feed them and see them take the fish food pellets, as the fish tend to chase the food over the surface of the pond.
One very good thing about keeping goldfish in a pond outdoors is that the fish will eat any mosquito lava so that they do not hatch and bite in the summer months. A handy thing to know, therefore it is better to keep fish in your pond than not.
Fish need various nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates to promote healthy growth and fight disease. It is important to note here that you do not feed the fish all the year round. You start feeding them in the spring, it is then that they swim more closely to the pond surface and then stop feeding them in November.
This is not cruel; it i
s because when the temperature of the pool drops during the winter months the goldfish cannot digest food effectively. The undigested food will remain in their gut and lead to disease and eventual death of the fish. They cannot starve during the winter; they go into a sort of hibernation. They stay at the bottom of the pond and are less active. They still continue to grow though.
The fish do interact with each other differently throughout the year. There is something soothing about watching them swimming, everyone seems to like to watch them. In the summer they chase each other round and round for hours at the time, this is known in our house as “kissing and tickling “, yes you’ve guessed it, they are breeding. They actually get very very frisky, but they are fun to watch, the children think they are playing. The female goldfish produces spawn, which hatches into small goldfish fry about 4 days later.
As we have a few baby goldfish that live in an old fashioned white ceramic sink I have to care for these fish too. They same rules apply as to the care of the fish in the bigger pond. As I can only keep up to 20 fish in my own pond these eventually get given to friends and neighbours who have outdoor ponds too. I do not like to think of them living in bowls so would not pass them on to anyone who had this as an intention. I keep them away from the bigger fish in the other pond, as otherwise they would get eaten. Currently we have 7 babies, as they only stay in the sink for a year I do not mind keeping so many in it as it is not like they will remain there for the duration of their lives.
It is not safe to allow very young children to be near a pond unattended. They could drown. If you are thinking about having a pond in your garden you need to ensure that young children cannot get to it by themselves. We have a fence and a locked gate that separates the area from the rest of our patio
. We do not allow the children to be there unattended.
GOLD FISHY FUN
** Goldfish chat: chat to other fish lovers **
** Willy & Wally: virtual goldfish**
** Goldfish community forum**
** Learn how to do the eating a goldfish trick**
** Big brother fish! 10 fish face eviction coming soon!** http://www.ananova.om/new/story/sm_63244.html
Just completed the last pond clean of the year and tucked up the fish for the winter.No need to feed them now until the spring. Goodnight dears...
I really hope you have enjoyed reading .
º F º l º u º f º f ºººº
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