Should we bring the goldfish and smaller koi in for the winter?

OliveFish05

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Hi. We have some goldfish and small koi (as well as some larger koi and goldfish (6+ inches)) in our outdoor pond. I am not worried about the large comet goldfish or koi, but there are several smaller goldfish (5 orandas and ryukins I think), 2 or 3 baby koi, and a small koi with scoliosis. The pond is 1,500 gallons with a waterfall, about 2 and a half feet deep and we are getting a de icer, but I know it will get very very cold. I have a 55 gallon tank we can keep them in indoors. I am in central Virginia. The temps are about to drop into the 30s at night and I want to get them moved in if I need to before the temps drop.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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If it were me, and I thought it was the right thing to do (And I do agree with you) get that 55 gallon tank set up asap. use some pond water so you don't have to cycle it and get a small filter to keep it reasonably clean and add a few aeriation balls to the sides of the tank to kick up the oxygen level to what they are used to. Probably no heater needed. Plus it's an opportunity to take a look at them up close - harder to do that in a pond. Best of luck!
 
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OliveFish05

OliveFish05

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If it were me, and I thought it was the right thing to do (And I do agree with you) get that 55 gallon tank set up asap. use some pond water so you don't have to cycle it and get a small filter to keep it reasonably clean and add a few aeriation balls to the sides of the tank to kick up the oxygen level to what they are used to. Probably no heater needed. Plus it's an opportunity to take a look at them up close - harder to do that in a pond. Best of luck!
The tank is currently fully setup, running with an aquaclear 50 and fully cycled! It makes me nervous to have the orandas, ryukins, baby koi, and the koi with scoliosis out in those temperatures. Especially with this being the pond's first winter, we don't know how badly it will freeze and all.
 

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The pond water wont have beneficial bacteria. But, if you decide to move the fish, you could take some of the filter media from the pond and put it in the tank to quicken the cycle. Or take some media from your other tanks and put in the filter of the 55 gallon.
 

itiwhetu

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I lived in Central Otago, the frosts were -7 degrees C. sometimes we would have two inches of ice on the pond. I never moved any fish inside. If your pond doesn't freeze solid the fish will be fine outside. Two and a half feet deep is good. Most of the ponds I build are about 600mm deep.
 
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OliveFish05

OliveFish05

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I lived in Central Otago, the frosts were -7 degrees C. sometimes we would have two inches of ice on the pond. I never moved any fish inside. If your pond doesn't freeze solid the fish will be fine outside. Two and a half feet deep is good. Most of the ponds I build are about 600mm deep.
I agree with @itiwhetu. As long as the pond doesn't freeze completely, the fish are fine outdoors all year round.
The surface of the pond freeze completely, or the entire thing like a big ol pond shape block of ice?

I was just thinking of orandas and ryukins being more “fancy” goldfish than comets and wasn’t sure if they were more sensitive. They definitely seem more sensitive than the koi and comets, we lost several when we first introduced them to the pond (which was fully cycled) but never lost a single comet. And then there are 1 inch baby koi that I didnt know about, and our smallest koi, about 3 inches, has scoliosis, which I would assume would have have some affect on his overall health
 

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The pond would need some air exposure at the surface. You would need to remove an area of ice on the the top to allow oxygen exchange.
 
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CaptainBarnicles

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Nah I wouldn't bother, as long as you break any surface ice they'll be fine...just don't feed them as often
 
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OliveFish05

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We are getting a de icer, but the ice on our lake got over 3 inches thick one year. It will be very hard for us to break if it gets to that
 

Byron

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Leave the ice alone. I had goldfish (common ones) in my pond for several years (raccoon brought that to an end eventually and I gave up). First year I netted them and kept them in a 70g tank. Never bothered following years, as I was told provided the pond does not freeze solid, not a problem. The fish become inactive. In the Spring when the ice had melted (the pond froze over a couple inches thick) there were the goldfish spawning away. I did nothing all winter, just left them alone.
 

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I would move the fancies indoors and leave the koi and standard goldies in the pond.
 
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OliveFish05

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Leave the ice alone. I had goldfish (common ones) in my pond for several years (raccoon brought that to an end eventually and I gave up). First year I netted them and kept them in a 70g tank. Never bothered following years, as I was told provided the pond does not freeze solid, not a problem. The fish become inactive. In the Spring when the ice had melted (the pond froze over a couple inches thick) there were the goldfish spawning away. I did nothing all winter, just left them alone.
Ok. The reason I worry is mine aren’t common or standard goldies, they’re the fancy, more indoor tank suited, fat types.
 

Byron

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Ok. The reason I worry is mine aren’t common or standard goldies, they’re the fancy, more indoor tank suited, fat types.

Probably better to bring them in then, but listen to the goldie aquarists. I always follow the advice of those with the knowledge far beyond my own.
 

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