Do I need to bring my goldfish inside the house from the pond for the winter or will they be fine? I really need to know because it's getting really really cold now where I live.
Also, is my pond big enough to house 4 goldfish?
I have 4 2in goldfish in a 40 gallon homemade pond. No filtration but I do water changes once a week and I have also added pond plants and pond snails.
My experience with ponds is limited but here is what I do know.
My mother in law has a large fountain that she kept goldfish in for about two years. She never brought them inside in the winter and while I do live in Dallas, TX it actually does get cold enough and the entire fountain has frozen over.
Every Spring they were perfectly fine. My comet had survived that cycle in that fountain for about two years until I brought him inside when the fountain was mysteriously drained.
With goldfish that you keep outside you need to be careful of your "final" feeding. If you feed them below a certain temp it does bad things. I think it's below 60F water temp.
My Grandfather keeps koi in an outside pond in Minnesota and he's had them for years and I don't believe he brings them inside for Winter.
What types of goldfish are in your pond? One comet (the single tail, non fancy, "feeder" fish) need about 20gallons to themselves with about another 10 or 15 for each additional fish. Fancies need a touch less as they get more round than long and aren't as fast of swimmers.
Your goldfish should be fine in the pond for the winter. My koi have been in my pond for at least 8 years now and never once been removed for the winter. However, in order to prevent the surface from freezing (which is what would kill them) you need some constant water movement like a fountain or a bubbler. Just remember to stop feeding them when the water goes below 60F.
There is also the problem of a 40 gal pond actually being too small for goldfish. They will outgrow a tub of that size and will need a larger pond. Ideally 100+ gallons will be needed for (I'm assuming) 4 single-tail goldfish.
@Thekoimaiden, not a tub actually. I dug a rectangular hole in the backyard and used pond liner.
Thanks for the help guys! I can finally stop thinking about finding goldfishicles when going out to feed them. haha. I will take two of them out then. Or if I have the time I'll make the pond a little bigger, maybe 60 gallons, and keep all four of them in there.
Will 60 gallons be fine for four goldfish? Or will they still need more space?
Really for four adult single-tail goldfish, I'd want a 100 gal or larger pond. Single tail goldfish (and even the fancy varieties) are actually very active fish. Unlike betta which tend to lounge around, koi and goldfish are very active swimmers. If you're going to enlarge it to 60 gallons, why not dig a few more feet and go all the way to 100 gallons? When in doubt with a pond, go larger.
One last thing I forgot to mention is the depth of the pond. If it's shallow (less than a foot) you will probably need to remove the goldfish for the winter. When digging a pond you want it at least a foot below the average freezing depth for your area. In my town this is only 2.5 feet deep, however in a place like upstate New York, it's closer to 4 feet deep. When you are redigging the pond, this is something to think about
Truthfully, the bigger the better. You can never really have too big of an area, especially for goldfish. They can get so large and produce so much waste. 60-80 would be minimal but think long term. Goldfish can live 15-20 years so the bigger you can get the better in the end. That's how I convinced my husband to get the 55 our of the shed :3
I love the look of outside ponds but I don't think I could do it >.< I get so attached to my pets that I wanna see em all the time so I'd be sad in the winter.