Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cold Goldfish Drama

It is really cold out. We had a freeze last night and will again tonight. The goldfish are not happy. They are not allowed inside as they are not house pets. In fact, my argument for getting them in the first place was that fish are not pets. They aren't, you can't pet them. As some of you may know, Manly Man has me on animal restriction. I cannot have anymore pets until we move to a larger place. Still, fish are not pets. Seriously.

Last summer I set up the little pond in an attempt to raise tadpoles. After spending $100, I had a first rate tadpole habitat. Then the tadpoles ate each other. I bought some sort of mosquito eating fish and three goldfish to take the place of the cannibalistic tadpoles. The Monkeys named the new goldfish. We have Yang, Ozzy Osborne, and Ketchup. Yep, those are the names my babies picked out for goldfish - goody,goody.

Of note, only one monkey has fallen into the the little pond. Well, only one that I know of.

Some of the pond plants were allowed inside, much like the cats. The three goldfish will stay outside in their half whiskey barrel pond in very cold water. All three of them are hovering near the bottom. Ozzy Osborne looks a little sideways (imagine that). A quick Internet search tells me that they will survive just fine outside over winter. These are not hot house goldfish. They are hardy goldfish.

Not convinced they will be safe, I put in an emergency call to Sister #3 regarding winter care of goldfish. As you can see, this is a high emergency. She has yet to call me back. I can see her over there in neighboring tiny town while snickering at my ignorance and refusing to share her water gardening/fish herding knowledge.

I am only panicking a little. Anybody know if I am doing this right? Anybody? ARRRRGGHH.


  1. Hi Debbi, no sorry I do not know anything about outdoor goldfishes. You really made me laugh Yang, Ozzy and Ketchup! haha I thought that must come from yours 'dirty dozen'! and the youngest one said the first thing that he/she just loved....ketchup.:-)just lovely/ Tyra

  2. Debbi, I have had my pond for 10 years now and my goldfish have done fine. (until a heron got them this past year!) The fish stay on the bottom of the pond all winter. Don't try and feed them--just leave them alone. If your pond starts to freeze, I heard you can float a small ball to keep it from freezing over, but I have never had to do that. Good luck, and try not to worry. :)

  3. Hi Debbi,
    I don't know how cold it gets where you are in the winter, but I am sure the fish will be fine, they sort of hibernate when it is cold and lay around the bottom of the pond. It is best not to feed them when they are sleeping like this, then in the spring start feeding them again. The only thing you have to watch out for is ice. so make sure the surface does not freeze over completely as they need an air hole. If is does freeze over don't bang the ice to make a hole - but pour hot water onto it
    Hope this helps

  4. I chickened out and bought an aquarium so I could bring mine in, but only because we get -30 temps in the winter. (And my water tubs are on legs off the ground.)

  5. Yep, Meadowview Thymes and Karen are right---as long as the water garden doesn't freeze completely, the fish will hibernate (so to speak) 'til spring. Don't feed them. One way to keep the top from freezing solid is by getting a de-icer like they sell for birdbaths and plugging it in when freezing cold is threatened. Good luck Yang, Ozzie and Ketchup!

  6. You can put something that floats on top of the pond like a tennis ball to help stop it freezing and to create an airhole.

    Thanks for your lovely compliment on my Undecided post yesterday :)

  7. I have two goldfish out in my pond. I've only lived in this region for nearly four years. But it's never been this cold, it doesn't seem like. I know in years past I've fed my fish probably through the year, as they came to the top. But now I guess I'll leave them down at the bottom to "hibernate." I suppose if it gets warm I'm not supposed to feed them until spring anyway? Not sure about this.

  8. I don't have a goldfish pond, but I'd say they should be fine too. (At least in your case:) ). As long as the water doesn't completely freeze. I wouldn't have the option of not bringing goldfish in up here. If I left them outside up here they'd become a solid block of ice.

  9. When I had an outside water feature, I was told not to feed them when it's freezing, so that they will stay on the bottom; also to keep the top from freezing (so they can get oxygen, I think). I kept the pump running because my plumber said running water doesn't freeze as easily as still water; it worked for me. My goldfish did okay. Good luck, but if that doesn't work, I have a really good batter recipe for fried fish!

  10. Tyra, Ketchup is solid orange. It fits.

    Linda, thanks for the info.

    Karen, I doubt we will ever get cold enough for it to freeze solid. Thanks for the tips. I have a bubbler that should keep a air hole open, but I will keep an eye on it.

    VP, I took the glass balls out of it. Maybe i should snatch Abby's tennis ball and use it that way. BTW You are welcome and I ment every word.

    Cinj, Fishsickles hahaha.

    Nola, battered and fried, hahaha.

    Brenda, I stopped feeding them when they quit coming up to the top begging.

    Lisa, I almost did the same thing.

  11. OFB, I almost left you out. So sorry. Thanks for the fish schooling, hahaha.

  12. Debbie .. we had a gold fish pond in Holland .. they had one of their coldest winters when we moved over there for 4 years .. go figure, it must have been our "Great White North" following us.
    What I'm about to tell you is the god's honest truth .. of of goldfish that had no problem with the top layer of water freezing .. one got STUCK to the ice .. lost his fin during this episode YET survived nicely even though he never swam the right way ever again .. rather like your Ozzie (and the real one) he was always on a tilt.
    So don't worry .. they slow down in cold water .. almost hibernation mode ! they will be fine girl !

  13. Our Winters are nowhere near as ferocious as you upper hemisphere folk. What I want to know is how do the monkeys know who is who? Our five comets (well only four now) look exactly the same.

  14. Joy, poor fish. It warmed up today and they returned to the top.

    Foxy, They are fan tail goldfish and all look different.

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