Waterfalls & Fountains:
eBook on Amazon
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples
eBook on Amazon
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
New Ranchu Questions; pond fdg. gf
My latest addition is Leia. She is a green Ranchu. She is very small right
now. I am feeding her goldfish granules right now. She lives in a 765 gallon
pond with 15 other adult goldfish. Is there anything else I should be
<? Not if the goldfish food is complete nutritionally; no>
I tried green seaweed the other day, but she didn't like it. She seems to be
getting enough algae. But I worry about her. She hides under the filter
since I added her to the main pond three weeks ago. I have been making sure
she gets fed every other day by temporarily turning off the filter and
lifting the filter up carefully to feed her. Then I wait until she gets some
food. And then wait until she swims away. Then replace the filter and turn
it back on. I always feed the adults first so they don't get in the way of
me feeding Leia. Am I doing the right thing in making sure Leia gets her
share of food?
She is the slowest fish I have when it comes to feeding. I also have pond
comets in my pond. Leia has met the comets and the comets never hurt her.
They are used to small fry being in the pond. Is Leia hiding because of the
Or is it normal for a goldfish to hide for this long?
<Possibly both. Bob Fenner>
Re: New Ranchu Questions 3/6/17
Thank you so much Bob!
Trouble Getting Pond Fish to Eat
Hi. I live in Arizona's desert. I have been having difficulty feeding my
pond goldfish lately.
<Likely too early in the season. See WWM re Spring Maintenance of ponds>
My pond goldfish are now supposed to be on their floating summer staple
diet. But visiting birds are eating it all before they get to it.
<Perhaps sinking pellets instead>
Either that or the fish just are not eating it. They are used to their
sinking fall and spring diet. In an attempt to get the fish to eat
something, I have temporarily been feeding them sinking API Goldfish
food for aquariums until I get in proper pond food. My big white
goldfish, Ping-Pong has been eating it , but the others really have not.
The API food is low in protein. About 32%.
Will the aquarium grade food hurt anything in the pond? The other 3 fish
I have are hiding and will not come out when I feed them.
I have ordered Omega One Goldfish Small Sinking Pellets of the 3mm size,
because they are only 3 inches long and not yet large enough to properly
handle large grade food. The company recommends their large pellets for
ponds. Should I get the large size, or will the smaller size do for now?
<... likely "smaller">
They just had their pond cleaned last week. Could that have stressed
them out to the point of not wanting to eat?
Any other suggestions on what to do for them to get them to eat?
<The usual: Reading. Bob Fenner>
They do not seem to like flakes, floating pellets, or peas. Any
suggestions or advice would be most appreciated. Thank you.
Re: Trouble Getting Pond Fish to Eat 4/28/14
Thank you so much!
Low Protein Food Recommendations for Goldfish
What brand of low protein sinking food would you recommend for my 4 pond
What brand of low protein sinking food would you recommend for the fancy
redcap Oranda goldfish in my aquarium?
<Just search on the Net re. Am a huge fan of the Hikari line. BobF>
Cheerios As A Food for Fish?
I have stopped feeding my pond goldfish for the winter already. But upon
doing a little research, I read Koi enjoy eating honey nut and plain
Cheerios, a breakfast cereal. I was wondering, can you also feed
Cheerios to goldfish once in a while?
<Not a good idea>
Feeding Pond Goldfish kale? 12/20/13
Can you feed pond goldfish parboiled kale?
Thank you! 12/20/13
How Long to Go Without Feeding; ponds, winter
I stopped feeding my goldfish a while ago. My 500 gallon pond contains 4
goldfish and no plants. The fish are doing ok so far. But I have one
burning question that I can't get a straight answer to. When you stop
feeding goldfish for the winter, how long will they survive without food
of any kind? A few days? A few weeks? Three months? A year?
<Being ectothermic animals, fish have a metabolic rate (and therefore
food requirement) proportional to temperature. Essentially, below 10
degrees C (about 50 F) their metabolism is so slow that their food
requirement is almost nil, and they can easily get by on their fat
reserves and perhaps nibbling on whatever algae and organic detritus
they find in the pond. While they aren't hibernating in the way some
mammals do, the basic result is similar. In fact, should you feed
Goldfish at temperatures below 10 C, any food they eat might actually
rot before it gets digested, and this could cause all sorts of health
problems. So the standard advice for overwintering pond fish is not to
feed them at all once the water temperature (not air temperature) gets
below 10 C, and again in spring not to start feeding until water
temperature (not air temperature) is above 10 C. During late autumn and
early spring, it's further recommended you use low protein foods if
possible, typically wheat germ-based foods, as these seem to work best
for reasons we needn't go into here. In any case, the upshot is that in
places like the UK where ponds can freeze over for several months,
Goldfish have no trouble at all surviving without feeding.
Of course that doesn't mean indoor Goldfish can go without food for so
long -- indoor tanks will be much warmer, and consequently indoor
Goldfish will have a higher metabolic rate, even in winter, than their
One last thing: while Goldfish can go without food for some months
during cold winters, they can't go without oxygen. In small ponds
especially, consider how oxygen is going to get below the ice. The old
school method was to use a floating ball to keep a patch of pond open
(look this up online or in books) but more recently electric pond
heaters are favoured.
These do not keep the pond warm (that would use huge amounts of
electricity!) but they do keep a very small patch ice-free, enough for
oxygen to get in. Don't leave the filter or fountain running though --
these prevent ice forming, and during cold winters, that's bad! Once it
forms, the thin ice on top of still water helps to trap warmth, and the
wintering fish depend upon it. Likewise, don't be tempted to smash ice
with a hammer. Hmm... have just realised, Bob will likely have covered
Re: How Long to Go Without Feeding
What Should I Do About Cold Weather and Feeding?
A while back I asked you how long my pond goldfish could go without
food. I was told in the Arizona environment I live in, they could go for
2 months without food.
This month would be their second with no food.
But the warmer weather will not be here until March. What should I do
from the 27th of January until March? If I feed them, what do I feed,
how much do I feed, and how often should I feed?
<Search, read on WWM re pond feeding and temperature, winter
Pond Goldfish Feeding in Cold Weather
I appreciate the information on your site on feeding pond goldfish. It
is very useful information. Especially if you live in areas where the
ponds freeze over frequently in winter.
But I could not locate some of the specifics of my questions. Winters in
my area, the Arizona desert, can get temperatures into the 30s (F wise
But usually they are in the 50s, sometimes 40s. Water rarely freezes
I was told by another source that in my area, the Arizona desert, my
goldfish could go 2 months without food. Can they go longer than that in
the Arizona desert?
If so, about how many months do you think they can go with no food in
the Arizona desert?
<Many... as long as the temp. is below what (clue: mid fifties F.)...>
Also, if I must feed my fish in the winter, in the Arizona desert,
how much and how often should I feed them?
My goldfish's 2 months are about half over now. Any advice on what I
should do when their time is up would be helpful. Thank you.
<Don't feed. Is this clear? B>
Re: Pond Goldfish Feeding in Cold Weather 1/4/14
Yes. Thank you. This is my 1st time dealing with goldfish in ponds
during the winter. I am very nervous about not feeding them. Thank you
for guiding me in the right direction!
and the linked files above>
Pond Goldfish Feeding 12/4/13
I live in Arizona. I own a 500 gallon pond. I have 4 small comet
goldfish in the pond. This is my first winter keeping goldfish in a
The pond temperature has reached below 50 degrees F now consistently.
The instructions from other sources I have read say to stop feeding pond
goldfish when the temperature gets consistently below 50 F. The
instructions on their food bag say I can feed them their brand of food
until the temperature reaches 39 F.
The fish are so small. And Arizona's temperatures tend to fluctuate. The
temperatures rarely reach 40-39 F outside.
Should I still be feeding the fish now, or will they be alright now
until the spring?
<I would stop; see WWM re. B>
Re: Pond Goldfish Feeding 12/4/13
Thank you so much!
Multiple Bloated Goldfish
Hi there Bob/Sabrina/WWM Crew in general!
I am helping a neighbor of mine with an issue of multiple goldfish who
They are in an outdoor pond, approximately 300 gallons.
I am unsure as to how large the pump is, but I am sure that it could
have a better filtration system. It is a submersed box filter with
sponges that is run to a fountain. There are 5 Veiltails, 2 Comets, and
1 Koi. The Koi is unaffected so far, as he was a gift from a friend who
had to move. The veils and comets are the only fish who seem to be
affected. I have read through your site extensively and it seems to be
constipation, but from what I can find on your site this issue is in
the case of one fish. I am dealing with
multiple fish with the same issue. The reason I believe it is
constipation is the HIGH (47%) protein food
he has been using for who knows how long. But would this affect all of
his fish? Or is it some other type of infection?
<It's almost assuredly the food>
I am considering an Epsom salt/water change treatment regimen along
with a change to a diet that is lower in protein and higher in fiber.
(I keep aquariums, and I have generally found that less is more.) How
often should I change a portion of the water, and how much should I
change each time?
<I'd change a good quarter a week>
I was thinking every 3 to 4 days, about 50 percent changed each
<Mmm, IF you can trust the source water, this should be fine>
I was going to do this for 3 to 4 weeks to see if there was any
improvement. If this does not work, I have also read that Kanamycin in
their food might be the next best route,
<I'd leave off with antibiotics here>
which, from what I have read and what my local fish store recommended,
seems to be the best follow-up in the case the salt treatment is
ineffective. Please let me know if you need any more information to
get these guys back into shape, or whatever else you think the
problem(s) might be.
Thank you for your time and help! We really appreciate it!
<The better, more appropriate food (perhaps some Anacharis/Egeria
added to the system for a few reasons), and water changes, time going
by will "do it" here. Bob Fenner>
Feeding pond goldfish 6/24/09
We have a back yard pond (eighty feet in diameter and 3 feet deep).
Several years ago I stocked it with thirty goldfish and they have
reproduced rapidly. I now estimate there are between five hundred and
one thousand fish. I use a 1/3 HP pump running twelve hours a day to
blow the pond water in the air for purification and to oxygenate
A large air pump runs at night. I have been feeding them a commercial
pellet fish food up until now.
Quite frankly I'm looking for less expensive food for them. I was
debating feeding them a fifty-fifty mix of commercial pellets and
cracked corn. I'm looking for some input as to whether this is a
viable idea and if not I'm open to any suggestions.
<I would not use cracked corn... And for what the electrical cost
you're encumbering here, neither an unsuitably "cheap"
fish food... Better for you to trade in some of your excess goldfish
stock, maybe grow a few simple pond plants to sell as well... to your
local fish/pond store in exchange for food. Bob Fenner>
Goldfish Not Eating, pond
8/13/07 Hello, <Hi there> I hope you can help. We recently
purchased a new home in the Seattle area that has a lovely large koi
pond with 7 koi and one gold fish. I've named her Lips because she
has a red line along her upper lip. We've been in the house three
weeks and up until about 5 days ago, she seemed fine. But she has
stopped eating and mostly just sits at the bottom of the pond. She does
swim about some, but she stays at the bottom. When I feed the fish, she
comes up a little but makes no real move to eat. Up until this behavior
began, she ate with the other fish. We've tested the water in the
pond for nitrates (0), nitrites (0), ammonia (0), ph is 7.1. I'm
not sure how old she is but she is about 8-10 inches long if that
helps. Thank you Eilean <Mmm, well... sometimes a lone pondfish will
seem to get in a funk... but maybe this one "swallowed a bug"
that was not to its liking here... And hopefully will rally in time. If
the rest of your fish livestock seem fine, I would just be patient
here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Shrimp/eating pattern, for goldfish,
repro... - 6/25/07 Neale... thanks again for your reply. I
witnessed spawning for the first time this morning at 5:30am. At first
I thought it was a shark feeding frenzy, then a murder taking place
when finally realizing my pond critters were just following Mother
Nature's rules. At least I know that Sparky is a girl. Don't
know about the rest of them. Pond is now in a bad state of disarray.
All I know is that if I were a girl fish... I would definitely keep my
leg's crossed! hehehe All I see is murky water, water lily leaves
shredded, floating Anacharis and other rooted pond plants floating,
bent reeds. Don't really care, just hope all are okay. Even little
Shrimp was taking part... the little devil... not too terribly bent for
bada bing... obviously. After 4 hours they were all swimming around as
if there had been no party... just looking at me thinking "what
are you looking at... we didn't do anything!". <Hello
Barbi! Goldfish spawning is indeed very vigorous. If the supposedly
unwell fish is taking part in the "nuptials", then it's
pretty reasonable to assume he's in OK health. Fish only tend to
breed when they are healthy and happy. This is especially true with egg
laying species.> Shrimp is swimming okay, but isn't quite able
to grasp a mouthful of food as everyone else is. It's as if his
tail can't quite propel him up enough and he ends up with only a
single pellet... sometimes even missing that! I found a website... and
you have to enter the entire thing to have it come up. I can't send
you a pix of Shrimp 'cause I don't own a digital camera... and
if I did I don't know how to use my scanner... really
techno-challenged here. But on this site you can see how his tail goes
to the side. He is white, pink and orange, however, the only
difference. On page 9 of this document is the picture:
- whew! <For some reason, this link doesn't work for me. I get
the old "The page cannot be found" page.> What do you
think about his eating ability. They really aren't too fond of
lettuce, or apples. Grapes... sometimes, but not always. <In a pond,
you have some latitude, because of algae and pondweed. So provided you
have lots of these in the pond, don't worry too much about [a] the
green side of their diet or [b] whether all the fish get enough to eat.
Koi, like wild carp, will eat algae and pondweed when nothing
"meaty" is on offer. It's good for them. So just make
sure they have access to greens of some sort, but don't worry too
much about precisely what they are.> I'd appreciate anymore
insight you may have about this, Neale... I feel as if I've been
run over by a steam roller... just feel frustrated. Good thing I am a
very persevering woman!!! Regards, Barbi <Ah yes, the joy of keeping
animals. You're obviously really concerned about Shrimp, and
that's a good thing. But I can't really add anything useful to
my analysis without actually seeing the patient. Maybe you can borrow
someone's digital camera? In the meantime, see if you can hand feed
him, or maybe divide up the food into two or more portions around the
pond, so the fish split up. Shrimp will forage on the bottom, so
scattering sinking food around the pond might help, by putting food
where he can easily get some. The main thing is keep an eye on his
condition, check he isn't losing weight, and just get a sense of
whether he's basically happy or not. It sounds as if he's happy
enough, giving he's spawning. Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Shrimp/eating pattern - 6/25/07 Neale...
thanks again for your thoughts and time spent. I tried to sleep in this
morning after a restless and fretfilled night but I couldn't. Just
learned last night of a problem with my daughter's ankle (she is
career USAF stationed at Travis in CA). We were in Tahoe skiing in
March and she fractured her ankle. She was told yesterday that the bone
isn't healing properly. She doesn't ask lots of questions (like
her mom) so I will be on the computer trying to get answers. The
military is fraught with inept medical people, and this is her second
encounter with them. Good thing I am off for a few days, pending
doctor's release... when I tripped at the pond. I can concentrate
on that dilemma. <Hello Barbi. Too bad about your daughter. Hope she
gets well soon. One of my uncles was a USAF colonel, a chaplain to be
precise. Ever been to the Academy out in Colorado Springs? Quite the
place. Really amazing church/chapel/synagogue hybrid building. Nice
scenery too.> I will attempt to hand feed Shrimp... when the others
are off in some other direction... but my heart remains heavy for the
little guy. Again, Neale, thank you so very much for the information
you've given. It's been wonderful chatting. Barbi
<Persevere, and hope for the best. Keep observing. So long as he is
feeding and maintains good condition, don't worry too much. Fancy
goldfish are mutant "deformed" goldfish and people seem to
like them that way... so maybe you've created a new breed! Cheers,
Re: Shrimp/eating pattern -- 06/27/07
Neale... again -- can't thank you enough. <Not a problem.> As
to the "USAF Academy"... no, never had the privilege;
however, the commander of her base when she was in Florida wanted to
recommend her for a commission and she refused. She refused the offer
because she would have to redo boot camp and cut her hair while at the
academy. The USAF is the only branch of the military where women
don't have to cut their hair as long as they wear it up... off
their neck/collar. As hers was then almost to her waist and naturally
curly... a real "show stopper"... along with her emerald
green eyes, she didn't want to do either of those. <She sounds a
babe as well as serving her country. You must be very proud.>
Anyway, back to Mr. Shrimp. No one was interested in watermelon this
afternoon, but perhaps it was too hot. They were all (including Shrimp)
rooting around on the bottom in and out of the Anacharis (presumably
for those eggs that Ms. Sparkle dropped yesterday a.m.) so I will try
again tonight. It isn't that he doesn't want to eat his
pellets... he just can't seem to stay surfaced long enough to get a
real mouthful. I'm not more concerned about propulsion for eating
purposes than I am about his swimming abilities. That seems to be fine,
despite the curve in his tail. His behavior is otherwise right on the
money!! <Well, there's only so much that can be diagnosed
without a picture or without seeing the fish "in the flesh".
On the one hand, bad genes can cause problems other than deformities,
and often such fish gradually fade away however good the care. Seen it
more than once when breeding fish. On the other hand, provided overall
health stays solid you can be fairly sure he's eating algae and
other foods in the pond, so even if he only gets the scraps at dinner
time, he's otherwise making up his calorie count someplace
else.> Neal... I do apologize for being so wordy and not sticking to
the facts... but you make it easy for me to stop obsessing about
Shrimp. <Heh, heh...> I am getting far behind in my part-time
home based business...'cause I am running out back to watch Shrimp
at least for 15 minutes every waking hour -- one has to do something
interesting and less stressful on their days off, right??? <Tell me
about it. I spent Sunday carrying 25 kilo (~50 lb) bags of rock and
sand from the garden centre to my house to redo an aquarium I just
wasn't pleased with. Boy, talk about backache the next morning!>
As always, please accept my sincere appreciation for all your advice
and help. Barbi <Happy to help. Good luck, and keep us posted.
Re: Shrimp/eating pattern -- 06/29/07 >
G'Day, Neal... Am on duty but just stopped home a bit to pick up
some cookies I had in the freezer. I must confess... they are a legend
at work. > The neighbors still gawk when the truck is outside the
house... you'd think they would have gotten accustomed to my
"other vehicle" being big and red!! <OK.> > Back
bothering you, eh... well... I hope the pain has subsided by now. A
weekend warrior you are? Sooooooo, how would you like to have to wear
turnout gear and other paraphernalia that weighs as much as you do...
and then have to not only walk, but climb, crawl and perform other job
related duties with it on. Not complaining, though... but sometimes when
I'm working it feels as if my legs are embedded in cement but I
still have to keep going. > Nice to be around the corner, though, so
I can cruise past the house and look over everyone at least 3 times a
day!! I may have told you this already... really tired this morning...
lots of interruptions during the night... mostly because the police use
the same radio frequency as we do and for some strange reason they had
about 10 times the calls they usually do... and then sat on the radio
talking about them. I guess they don't realize that we get to sleep
at night unless we are on a call and not drive around eating, talking
and laughing. I guess I will have to kick some butt today. > Yeah...
right... I'm made fun of when I try to be "macho". Those
are the times when I long to be 5'10" and weigh about 180#.
Well... not really............... <Heh, heh.> > Anyway... back
to "our little guy/girl". Shrimp appeared to do much better
when feeding last night. I finally figured out where he likes to
"partake" of his food. He swims under the water lilies and
bumps them with his nose and waits for the food to roll off. I know
he's getting lots more pellets/treats than he was one week ago. No
one wants to eat greens or fruit out of my hand yet... yucks... could
it be my deodorant!!!??? > (smile). As always, Neale, thank you,
thank you. I can feel some of the stress leaving my body each time I
see Shrimp get more than a single pellet. > I just pray he isn't
in pain or suffering in any way. It doesn't appear so. > I will
definitely keep you posted. And again, a most sincere thank you for
EVERYTHING... and watch that back! Have you ever used one of those
"cold/heat packs" that you apply to various body parts that
are aching? > They have them at work and they say they work. Best
Regards, Barbi <I'm glad the fish makes you feel good.
That's the idea of keeping them! Anyway, the question of whether or
not fish feel pain is complex, but the evidence seems to be shifting
towards the idea that they do, though perhaps not in quite the same way
as "advanced" vertebrates. Be that as it may, animals
generally adapt to disabilities remarkably quickly. They don't have
a sense of what's optimal, and merely want to stay alive.
You've probably seen those 3-legged cats on TV. Animals adapt and
simply get on with living rather than worrying about whether they look
different. So what I'm saying is that provided the fish is
otherwise healthy and clearly acting normally, then you're probably
much more bothered by things than he is. I hope this helps! Cheers,
Re: Shrimp/eating pattern 6/30/07
Again, again and again, Neale... thank you so very much. Your words are
very comforting... like a good dish of homemade pasta!!! <Happy to
help.> Sorry about the analogy... but just one of the things that
makes me feel good. Shrimp didn't seem to be really interested in
food last night... or at least didn't make quite the effort to eat
as he did tonight. This appears to be a yo-yo thing for him. Is that
possible... or gets so hungry that he makes the extra propulsion effort
to get grub? <Possible. Or he may simply prefer some of the algae
and stuff he's eating in the pond when you aren't around. So
long as he isn't losing weight, don't worry too much.> One
new thing I noticed... ever since the frenzied spawning I witnessed the
other day is that my pond smells a bit "fishy". Again...
don't know if I just never noticed it before... or am being
paranoid. I've held up handfuls of water and containers of the pond
water up to my nose and don't smell it... however, upon entering
the backyard seem to smell it. Everything tests good and normal (water
quality)... and am wonder if maybe a partial water change is in order.
<Well, spawning shouldn't change the smell of the water. Any
eggs and milt produced will be diluted to such a massive degree as to
be practically undetectable. Water does smell though when allowed to
"mature" naturally depending on things like algae and
bacteria in the water. Blue-green algae for example has a very
distinctive smell, somewhat musty. Water changes are never a bad idea
though.> I've never done that, but have an automatic fill valve
that turns and adds water when the water gets to a designated level. I
add a little "stress coat", to cut the chlorine... but have
never done, say, a 10% water change. Do you think that is in order?
<I can't recommend adding "raw" water without
dechlorinator. Too many fish get sick from the chlorine and chloramine.
But before fussing too much with the water in the pond, check the
nitrate and nitrite levels to see if they're safe. All things being
equal, the natural cycle in a pond should purify the water to some
degree, with rainwater diluting the rest.> Or... just a thought...
could it have been all those hormones being exuded in the water during
spawning... just reaching here... need your expert input. Geez,
Neale... it just hit me... your my only e-mail person... I tell
everyone not to e-mail me 'cause I don't have the time to sit
here... but I guess when it is important... I can. <I think
you're over-fussing a little here. Check the water quality, and
look for obvious sources of ammonia like dead frogs, rotting
vegetation, etc and clean those out instead. Ponds to benefit from that
sort of maintenance rather more than water changes. There's even a
good argument for stripping down small ponds every few years and giving
them a thorough clean.> When my best friend became a vet, I went out
on farm calls with her... have delivered calves, kittens and helped her
in surgery when my Guinea pig had a ruptured spleen. But.........she
knows nothing about critters in the water. I think this is the
beginning of a long education... with Koi. I researched Irish
Wolfhounds for five years before I got one... perhaps I should have
done the same with Koi. My experience with Aquatics has been solely
with goldfish and Bettas. Now I need to learn about the Jewels of
Japan!!! <Pond fish are generally very low maintenance, especially
if the pond is well maintained. I've kept Corydoras in ponds over
the summer, in a tiny pond with no filter and just plants. The results
were amazing, the fish grew so fast, and within 24 hours of being
brought indoors when autumn set in they spawned! Water quality in even
a mediocre pond is simply so much better than an aquarium because of
the sheer size of the thing, and the diversity of foods on offer far
more healthy. It's really the ideal way to keep many fish.>
Appreciate hearing your thoughts about my sense of
"fishiness". Apparently no one else's nose smells it. Am
I daft??? By the way... what does it mean when someone calls you a
"cracker"? Whether it is good or bad, please tell me. Thanks.
Barbi <A "cracker" is someone or something that is
exceptionally good. So if I said about some girl I'd met at a party
that "she's a cracker" that would typically mean I
thought she was very pretty or had a fun personality. You could also
say that something was "cracking", as in, "that was a
cracking party last night". HOWEVER, "crackers" means
something else, that someone or something is crazy, as in,
"she's absolutely crackers", meaning "she's
nuts". Finally, "cream crackered" is rhyming slang for
"knackered", i.e., tired and worn out. A cream cracker, by
the way, is a type of savory biscuit had with cheese. Hope this helps!
Re: Shrimp/eating pattern 7/4/07 Dear
Neal... well -- number one of importance -- Shrimp's eating
patterns are improving. His "MO" appears to be get to the
variegated reeds first... and quickly gulp two or three mouthfuls
before anyone else does. Then... he stakes out the waterlilies on the
left side of the pond and stays under then and nudges them with his
nose and manages to "siphon" morsels. Then to the right side
of the clump of waterlilies and does the same. Then he goes to the
bottom and forages. So... I really think he is doing better, although I
am still closely observing. <Hello Barbi! What you're describing
sounds very positive. Animals do tend to adapt to disabilities very
quickly, providing they aren't too severe. Clearly he's adapted
to take algae and invertebrates. Excellent foods for goldfish!> In
fact... and an unexpected visit yesterday morning to an Orthopaedic...
again tripped on the piece of driftwood near the pond... trying to see
if Mr. Shrimp was eating and this time, left knee went down on small
riverbed gravel, right knee wasn't so lucky and landed on one of
the large flagstones. Doc said if I had been a foot taller the velocity
with which I hit the rock would have shattered my kneecap. So... just
badly bruised, a bit bloody... and in a "knee stabilizer" for
two weeks. I can still work, but will be sitting at a desk or perhaps
in Dispatch. Rats, rats, but that's what I get for not staying
focused. <Er, perhaps you should remove the driftwood someplace
else?> Thx for the into about a "cracker". Vainly, I must
say that the word was thrown around quite a bit when I was in London...
mostly by Her Majesty's Irish Guards... but no one would tell me
what it meant. Oh, well... such is that! <Indeed! Perhaps you should
sell your story to the London 'Daily Mirror'...> Neale, I
can't thank you enough for all your help and consoling. Your
expertise and kindness will ever be appreciated. I'm going to
research "water quality" which I hope will help me understand
the difference between Ph buffering capacity... and Ph... and how to
achieve proper water balance without doing a partial water change.
<Researching these things shouldn't be too onerous. Goldfish
like hard, alkaline water, which is easy to create. Hard water (if you
have that) will serve this function automatically, but if you have soft
water, then adding stuff to harden the water is easy. Any calcareous
material added to the substrate or filter will do the job.> Quite
frankly, it scares me a bit. <No reason to worry. Fishkeeping is
basically quite easy if you follow the numbers. People usually have
problems because they try to cut corners or skip steps, like keep too
many fish in a tank or add the fish too quickly.> But there are so
many myths floating around in my area... mostly by vendors wanting to
sell pond supplies. Hope to talk to you again, and hope your back is
better. Best Wishes, Barbi <In defense of the vendors, the hobby has
changed a lot over the years, and the variety of species is massively
greater than it was even 20 years ago. The big chain pet stores are
often pretty useless because they don't train their staff, but the
smaller retailers often have problems because the owner may be good at
one aspect, say community tropicals, but inexpert on others, like
cichlids or marines. Over the years some products, like tonic salt and
carbon, served a good purpose at one time but are now largely
redundant, so recommendations can become out of date. So there's a
lot of retailers to keep on top of, but many don't quite manage it.
At the end of the day you won't go far wrong borrowing or buying a
good aquarium book and using that as a guide. Anyway, yes, my back is
better, so thanks! Good to talk, and good luck with the fish,
My pond goldfish... winter maint. 10/31/05 I am
new to this (just built concrete pond this summer). Do they need any
food or plants when temperature is in 40s at night? <Mmm,
generally not> Wait until spring to start feeding them? <Yes...
till the water is consistently above 55 F.> I have been told there
are no plants for the winter for outdoor ponds. True? <In a manner
of speaking, yes. Please take a read over our site re Pond Maintenance
(particularly seasonal) and feeding. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please eat!! 10/5/05 Hi Bob, <Bob>
I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical that all was well and
eventually my "giant fish of concern" would take food when
ready, but I did welcome the relief this provided! Well, low
and behold, in three more days (yesterday), she began to do just that!
<Ahh!> When I noticed that she began to have more interest in the
surface, I tossed her some medicated pellets and she happily (but
slowly) gobbled them down and has been taking pellets and peas ever
since. (We've recently experienced some above average temperatures
over the weekend, which might have helped influence her to end her
hunger strike.) I must say that you certainly "hit that nail right
on the head" and once again thank you for your expert advice and
keen assessment of the situation. <Welcome> Sincerely, Bob F.
Tiverton, RI <Bob F. Northkingston, RI, right now in Kailua,
How do I fatten my koi up for winter? 9/3/05
Hello, I'm lacking some knowledge about how to prepare my pond and
koi for the winter. I know that i would have to fatten my koi up for
the winter, just like squirrels do before the snow comes. How do i do
this and what else do i have to
you! <Mmm, there are a few things to do in anticipation of cool/er
weather. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdmaintwint.htm and
the linked files above... and for koi nutrition: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfishfeeding.htm
An ongoing process... Bob Fenner> Feeding my koi
8/26/05 Mr. Fenner: I've heard about
feeding garlic to koi. Some people even say they just throw in raw
garlic! Is it true that I'm allowed, and raw garlic is spicy, how
do the fish stand the
Jarvis <Mmm, I am of the opinion that feeding fishes garlic is
overrated... but, the fresher the better if used... and most fishes
have very limited "taste" sense in their mouths... though
some have exquisitely sensitive gustatory sense over parts of their
bodies... Not Nishikigoi though. Bob Fenner>
Article on pond fish foods The article on Pond
fish foods, Feeding, Nutrition, ends at; v) Minerals, Trace Elements,
Ash/Fiber: Where is the rest of the article ?? Can one obtain the full
article somewhere?? Thanks Riana <Well, I've just about worn out
my backspace and delete fingers (Ha!), as neither Jason.C nor I could
find a working WordStar conversion program for the original file... but
did place the remainder of the requested outline: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfishfeeding.htm
Koi consumption of phytoplankton Hello Bob, John
here. Im not getting much of an algae bloom this year so far, so i was
wondering if large koi will consume large amounts of phytoplankton.
Thanks again for your time.-John <They don't eat any as far as
I'm aware... very small/fry ones do consume some. Bob
Re: Goldfish non-feeding Again, thanks Ronni. What
a quick response. I truly appreciate it. I will read all you mentioned
and get a good test kit. <Very good> Should I test ph too?
<Yes, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on it too.>
Sorry to do this but I have a goldfish question also. <No
worries> I have two comet goldfish in a 44 gal outdoor
pond. They've been outdoors about two months now, having
wintered in indoor aquarium (not for any reason other than my
ignorance). They will be a year old soon. Since back in pond I
don't see them eating flake food or frozen bloodworms!!!! which
amazes me. Anyway, could they be eating only the Anacharis? I realize
they could be eating when I am not watching but it is not like before
when they were first in the pond and came up for flake food. Sorry for
long story. <They are most likely eating when you aren't
looking. Probably a near constant grazing on the Anacharis and also
eating bugs and such that land on the waters surface. Shouldn't be
anything to worry about unless you notice them losing weight. Ronni>
Appreciate any info. Marty
Re: Koi.... again I wanted to get your opinion on
a medicated food. It is called Medi-Koi. MEDI KOI contains krill meal,
fishmeal <White meal I hope/trust> , wheat germ, soybean meal,
fish oil etc. 38% protein, 12% fat, stabilized Vitamin C plus many,
many more Vitamins and minerals. MEDI KOI contains four antibiotics
consisting of the 2 in ROMET (sulfadimethoxine & ormetoprim sulfa),
PLUS Oxolinic acid and Kanamycin. ( copy pasted from the site). Another
thing is that Quality Koi in Philadelphia, PA says they can do the
swabs to see what it is. <Ah, great> The only thing is its
about an hour and a half away. <Worth the drive or expedited
mail...> They said don't feed him for a few days and possibly a
battery operated pump, bag him and put him in a cooler. Do you think
this is more harm than good? <Always a possibility... but an
adventure! And learning experience par excellence...> And please
tell me what you think of the Medi koi...thanks <You can/could make
your own... but it does sound like a worthwhile formulation. Very
valuable fish are often injected (if your vet. can get you some, the
old standby: Chloromycetin Succinate...). Bob Fenner>