Tag Archives: Goldfish

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

25 Mar

You want a big pond? Then you should build a pond, but if you saw how I spent the last 7 hours you would NOT want a big pond.

..and the smell is...I can't even think of a word.

The smell is…I can’t even think of a word.

I like to clean out the ponds early in the year. Then, if we get a warm spell, I can get the turtles and plants outside sooner.

Last week I cleaned out my little 30 gallon pond. That’s a quick job, taking no more than an hour.

Then a few days ago, I cleaned up all the plants that surround my big pond. That took a few hours. I was stumbling over the decorative rocks and wood, hacking and raking. But it was a beautiful day, about 60 degrees F.

Now the cold has returned and I have the day off, so I cleaned the pond. I should have stayed inside and done something fun, like prepare my annual income taxes.

These pictures don’t begin to show how dirty and disgusting and smelly it was. When I see someone’s beautiful pond I know the work that happened behind the scenes.

I disassembled a sponge filter and used the sponge and a plastic cap on my pond pump.

I disassembled a sponge filter and used the sponge and a plastic cap on my pond pump.

First, on goes the sponge...

First, on goes the sponge…

...then the plastic cap. I was able to pump all the nasty water out of the pond without the filter getting plugged.

…then the plastic cap. I was able to pump all the nasty water out of the pond without the filter getting plugged.

Here's the pond AFTER the I had hosed it out and climbed inside and removed rocks, etc. It was MUCH WORSE than this looks.

Here’s the pond AFTER the I had hosed it out and climbed inside and removed rocks, etc. It was MUCH WORSE than this looks.

Notice the plastic jug on the pond bottom. The jug had a square-ish shape and I use it as a scoop. This works well when tearing down aquariums, too.

Notice the plastic jug on the pond bottom. The jug has a square-ish shape and I use it as a scoop. This works well when tearing down aquariums, too.

The small pond had been dechlorinated and tested with 5 Rosy-red minnows.

The small pond had been dechlorinated and tested with 5 Rosy-red minnows.

Today I discovered that a lot of minnows had survived our very cold Winter. Even better, my two Comet Goldfish had survived! I really thought they were dead. I hadn't seen them since October.

I moved all the surviving minnows to the little pond. Even better, my two Comet Goldfish had survived! I really thought they were dead. I hadn’t seen them since October.

I was feeling so bad about the Goldfish dying that I bought two Fancy Goldfish a few months ago.

Since I thought my outdoor Goldfish had died I bought two Fancy Goldfish a few months ago.

Here's the other one. These two will definitely have to be brought indoors before it gets very cold next Fall.

Here’s the other one. These two won’t be spending the Winter outdoors.

After about 6 hours of backbreaking work, I am filling the pond.

After about 7 hours of backbreaking work, I am filling the pond.

As it fills, I made some minor adjustments to the stream, tucking a few rocks here and there.

As it fills, I made some minor adjustments to the stream, tucking a few rocks here and there.

All done! I added some dechlorinator and I'll test it with a few minnows about 3 days from now.

All done! I added some dechlorinator and I’ll test it with a few minnows about 3 days from now.

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And here's the prize find! A 4" long Bullfrog was sleeping on the bottom. It's going to get very cold in the next few days so I'll warm him slowly in my garage and feed him a few worms.

Here’s the prize find! A 4-inch long Bullfrog was sleeping on the bottom. It’s going to get very cold in the next few days so I’ll warm him slowly in my garage and feed him a few worms.

And here's a tip for my fellow bird lovers. After the snow melts there are a lot of seeds under the bird feeders. I wait for a nice dry day and get out the shop-vac. I only look like an idiot for a few minutes and I won't have all those seeds sprouting in the grass .

A tip for my fellow bird lovers. After the snow melts there are a lot of seeds under the bird feeders. I wait for a nice dry day and get out the shop-vac. I only look like an idiot for a few minutes and I won’t have all those seeds sprouting in the grass.

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Four seasons of a pond

14 Jun

If you build a pond these are the four stages you will go through every year:

(unless you live in a nice warm place but bear with me here)

During the season we call Winter let’s just call the pond FROZEN.

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Nothing happening unless your pond is deep and you leave the Goldfish or Koi outside to chill out.

As the Frozen season departs the pond thaws and we have that beautiful time of year when the birds chirp and the frogs croak and the pond is STINKY.

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Hey man, I mean stink, stank, stunk, ya know.

After some hard work we have the briefest season of all, which is simply CLEAN. The water is clear, the bottom of the pond is bare.

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This doesn’t last long. After A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall the worms crawl in and die. Leaves blow in. Dirt blows in. Everything is Blowin In The Wind, right into your nice, formerly clean,  pond.

The best time of year I call LUSH.

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The plants are growing like a jungle. Maybe your fish are breeding. The pond is alive from every angle. Insects on the flowers and in the ground. Birds bathing in the stream. Frogs and Toads , of course, find this oasis you have created. This is why you have a pond. After all the work, and the smell, you have a little paradise in your life.

Rare sighting of Flying Aquarium Fish

1 Apr

A few months ago I was lucky enough to see one of the rarest sights that fish-keepers can see.

I went downstairs to feed the fish and a tankful of young Angelfish had escaped from their tank and were flying around the basement.  I fumbled for my cell-phone and snapped some photos.

CAM01885I didn’t understand how this could be happening!  I was going Click-click-click with the camera.

CAM01875   I could hear a gentle buzzing sound.

CAM01872Their little fins were beating like a Hummingbirds!!

CAM01876I turned to run upstairs and tell my wife what was happening. Then I heard splashing. The fish were diving back into the tank!

A moment later they were cruising around the surface begging to be fed, like nothing strange had occurred!! Oh, my head was spinning. I walked up to the tank and sprinkled in some food. They ate like they were starving!

You can imagine my shock at all of this. I took two days off of work trying to figure out if I was going crazy. Eventually I started searching the Internet Aquarium Forums , using a fake name of course, and asked for anyone to share their experiences with me about aquarium fish flying around the house.

Well, what I learned was a big surprise. One of the most common of the flying fish are Angelfish. They have skinny, light-weight bodies and when they get into the air their fins can beat 1,000 times per minute. That explains the sound I heard. And, it seems that young Angelfish are most likely to be seen while flying. They are young and excited and are so busy goofing off they don’t notice the human approaching.

But, they can’t fly very long. The fins dry quickly and they must return to water within a minute or so. Plus, they can only eat while in the aquarium. They need a little sip of water to help swallow their food.

If you have goldfish you can forget about seeing them fly. They are too fat, simple as that. Here is my Black Moor Goldfish:

He can barely swim, much less fly.

He can barely swim, much less fly.

One fish that is built to fly is the Pufferfish. For years it was thought that Puffers inflate themselves to save them from a predators bite. But that is not true. The Puffers inflate and then quickly rise into the air. They float around like a blimp, safe from the sharks and turtles below.

Credit for photo found at "puffer fish smile" at Galleryhip.com

Credit for photo found at “puffer fish smile” at Galleryhip.com

I know this information may come as a surprise to you and I don’t want to alarm anyone who has Eels or Piranhas.

Credit for photo at footage.shutterstock.com

Credit for photo at footage.shutterstock.com

Eels are too thin to fly. If they escape the aquarium the worse they can do is slither across the floor and go up your pants leg.

Piranhas are simply too dumb to return to the aquarium. I have heard that they fly out of the tank and dash about a few seconds before crashing into a wall or the floor, never to regain consciousness.

Please feel free to add your comments and experiences regarding this subject. In this way, we can make a contribution to an obscure facet of scientific knowledge.

Meanwhile, I’ll turn on one of my favorite albums from the 70’s and ponder those Tales From Topographic Oceans. Rock on, fellow fish lovers!

tales

 

 

 

 

Quilt Batting as filter material

7 May

If you use LOT of filter wool, either in indoor tanks or a pond, consider buying Quilt Batting. The regular batting is denser than Aquarium filter wool. The batting does not remove the finest algae particles but it collects more than the Aquarium wool.

I cleaned the pond filter a few days ago. Here is that process. It’s a cheap filter, supposed to work mechanically  (with filter wool ) but also biologically, with plants growing in the filter itself. Unfortunately, it is so brutally hot on the South side of my house that no plants have survived in to the Summer months. Plus, the turtles eat any aquatic vegetation in the pond, so this filter cannot keep up. Still, I would recommend something similar for a goldfish pond. (NOT a Koi pond, same problems as the turtles)

The empty filter. By the way, this is just the “filter box”. The pump is underwater in the pond and tubing runs into this box then overflows into a small stream.

2 bricks on the bottom. The water comes in through the white PVC tube at the back left. The bricks will support the rest of the filter material so the water can flow around underneath and percolate upwards.

The white grid is some of that “light diffuser”, plastic stuff that I use to breed egg-scattering fish.

Plus some Lava Rock.

Quilt Batting.

Another grid on top.

A strainer around the outflow.

Rocks to hold down the grid and the strainer.

And I still have green water.

It’s green, it’s clean, but the fish cannot be seen.

I realize that I failed to show you the real fun part, which is crawling and crouching while removing heavy, nasty, disgusting old filter material. Since I forgot to take photos of that please use your imagination.

Goldfish love weed

7 Jan

Duckweed covers the surface of this frog's tank.

Duckweed , that is.

Somehow I got Duckweed started in a few of my aquariums. It can be a curse but I have found one great use for it. I have an 8-inch Common Goldfish that lives in my outdoor pond and needs to be brought in for the winter.

I noticed that there was no duckweed in his tank. I thought there had been, so I scooped some out of another tank and put it in with the Goldfish. Next day it was gone!

I do this every few days now.  I think Goldfish love Duckweed! I never knew that.

"Put me in that frog tank!"