Dumb Pond Question - Stocking
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:54 PM   #1
AndrewRogue
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Dumb Pond Question - Stocking


Heya. So we're in the process of beautifying our apartment and, since we have a nice little patio space and me and my GF both enjoy fish, we're considering a pond.

Considering that we're at an apartment (so something that could be moved and doesn't disrupt the property is necessary) and have a relatively small space available, we're considering a container pond. Since our toolset is limited, we're likely looking at something prefab (like an Aquascape kit or a Smartpond kit).

The problem is, when it comes to what can actually be done with a pond that size, I'm getting incredibly mixed information. So I was hoping you all could help me out.

What sort of fish can be stocked in a small-ish pond (let's say 50-ish gallons, something like 30x30x14))? My understanding is this is 100%, definitely too small for koi. But I keep getting mixed reports on goldfish/fancies. I've heard everything from requiring a 100 gallon minimum for a single fish to being a couple being okay in 50 gallons. This isn't particularly helped by the variety of stockings for similar ponds I've seen.

So does anyone have any thoughts or resources they can provide to help me?

EDIT: Right, probably worth mentioning. I live in South Bay in CA, which means that freezing water is very unlikely, but it can get fairly warm (still sub-100). I know this makes a difference with water depth.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:13 PM   #2
AGUILAR3
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Definately too small for koi but ok for a few feeder comets. I have an 18g container pond and have had the same 5 feeder commets for over 6 months. When they get too big, I will transfer them over to a larger local pond. If you have access to another pond or are willing to return them to the local fish store and replace them for smalled feeders, a few colorful goldfish should be fine.

Another alternative are rosy red minnows. I have temporarily housed 3 with my goldfish and they are doing great.


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Old 05-12-2014, 07:35 PM   #3
Little Soprano
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At 50ish gallon you could get Shubunkin Goldfish. They are really quite beautiful fish!





It's suggested you have 30-40 gallons for an adult, so you could probably get away with 2 or 3 of them. They are often referred to as the "Poor Man's Koi" but they are just as beautiful as Koi, and come in a plethora of colors. I have seem some INCREDIBLE looking ones. They are also just as hardy as any other pool comet or koi too. Or you could stock with more and sell them when they get larger.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:54 AM   #4
Kehy
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Smaller options:
Betta Sorority
Paradise fish
Gouramis
Fancy (or feeder, if you prefer more natural colors) guppies
Platies
Swordtails
Dojo Loach
Florida Flagfish
Danios
Also strongly consider native fish like minnows (usually more colorful than Danios), or maybe even a small sunfish, if you have a small enough species. Pumpkinseed and Bluegill may work, but I've never kept them. Natives tend to already be adapted to the weather conditions and living outside, so that's less stress for them, rather than taking an indoor fish and dumping it outside.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:06 AM   #5
THE V
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With a fifty gallon pond you want to stay away from goldfish. Unless you plan on rehoming them every 6 months. I kept goldfish for years and they really are happiest in larger groups.
You get a lot of different answers on ponds due to them coming filtered and unfiltered. Unfiltered ponds need 100 gallons per fish. Filtered ponds can do the same as aquariums 10 -30 gallons per fish depending on the size of the filter. With only 2-3 goldfish in the pond they will eventually try to breed and end hurting or killing the female or smaller male.

I'd stick with smaller coldwater fish. Most of the above fish from kehy will work. If you can put a heater in it during the cool months you can also keep guppies or other warm water fish. You'll want to keep fish that can survive down to 60F if needed.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:02 AM   #6
Little Soprano
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Well another option if you don't want to deal with rehoming goldfish, are a personal favorite of mine, Mosquito Fish. They are meant for ponds, and can survive some pretty brutal temperature fluxes. Recommended tank size for them is 20 gallons, though I think you could probably have around 6-7 of them in a 50 gallon pond. They are, like Koi and Goldfish, hardy fish. They primarily feed on algae, insects and insect/mosquito larvae, so are fairly hands off but they do like to have plants.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:03 PM   #7
Grah the great
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Paradise fish all the way! good looking, and in a 50 gallon pond you could likely keep two males and four females, depending on the dimensions of the pond (if the pond is less than four feet long, stick to only one male). In groups, PF's are much more likely to get along with other fish large enough not to be swallowed, though keeping them with fancy goldfish would still be a bad idea.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:22 AM   #8
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I hope the pond is in the shade. It will get way too hot in the summer sun for almost any fish.
Endlers Livebearers are fine Spring through Fall, but they won't make it through the winter.

Dojo Loaches get a bit too large, and you would never see them. They are mostly bottom fish.

Think of it this way:
Almost all fish are camouflaged so they cannot be seen from the surface by predators.
Fish bred to be seen include Koi, Golds and some Platies.

I would go with Platies. Cool is OK, warmer is OK, hot is not good. Bring them in in the fall.

Make your selection by looking down on the fish from above.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I hope the pond is in the shade. It will get way too hot in the summer sun for almost any fish.
Not labyrinth fish like gouramis, paradise fish, and bettas. They evolved labyrinth organs specifically because of low oxygen in warm water. One of my friends who is a former breeder used to keep all hers at ~84-86 degrees, as she found this was the optimum temp for her to keep down illness and maximize growth.

That being said, I've heard reports of blue/variations of blue gouramis being able to handle temps down to 55 degrees. Of the labyrinth fish, the only one I know would be able to easily handle that low temp and maybe even lower are paradise fish.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kehy View Post
Not labyrinth fish like gouramis, paradise fish, and bettas. They evolved labyrinth organs specifically because of low oxygen in warm water. One of my friends who is a former breeder used to keep all hers at ~84-86 degrees, as she found this was the optimum temp for her to keep down illness and maximize growth.

That being said, I've heard reports of blue/variations of blue gouramis being able to handle temps down to 55 degrees. Of the labyrinth fish, the only one I know would be able to easily handle that low temp and maybe even lower are paradise fish.
Burmese chocolate gourami and frail gourami (parasphaerichthys and ctenops species, respectively) live in subtropical zones and may also be capable of dealing with temps in the 50's. However, neither of these are especially flamboyant.
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