goldfish pond in the winter

Belial

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Original poster
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Sep 14, 2008
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ive got a ~300 gallon pond i keep my goldfish (comets and shubunkins) in over the winter and was wondering if i should be doing water changes? i live near chicago and have roughly a 4 month period of not feeding the lads but should i still swap out water when possible?
 

fishhead0103666

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May 14, 2018
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Go_redfish Go_redfish
 

Go_redfish

Giant Snakehead
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Jul 21, 2018
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No. It will be impossible to temp match. In the winter these fish will go into a state of near hibernation. Their metabolic processes slow to nearly nothing so there is much less polluting the water. fluxing temp triggers fluxing hormone respones in the fish.

Do a good pond cleaning before winter, check/fix filtration, and maintain/increase areation. As long as gas exchange is maintained fish will be safe
 

skjl47

Probation Member
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May 16, 2011
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Hello; Never kept an outdoor goldfish pond myself but do have a winter pond story. Back in the late 1950's when I was around 11 a friend an I were exploring the neighborhood during a very cold winter in southeastern KY. A neighbor has a small shallow pond which had frozen. We saw some goldfish frozen in the ice. The man who owned the pond came around to see what we were looking at.
Skipping some of the story I eventually took home a block of ice with a goldfish in it. I put the ice into a bucket of water inside my house. Checked a day or so later and the goldfish was swimming around.
We seldom have those very cold winters here now but I bet you still do.
 

MrsE88

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Mar 9, 2017
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Hello; Never kept an outdoor goldfish pond myself but do have a winter pond story. Back in the late 1950's when I was around 11 a friend an I were exploring the neighborhood during a very cold winter in southeastern KY. A neighbor has a small shallow pond which had frozen. We saw some goldfish frozen in the ice. The man who owned the pond came around to see what we were looking at.
Skipping some of the story I eventually took home a block of ice with a goldfish in it. I put the ice into a bucket of water inside my house. Checked a day or so later and the goldfish was swimming around.
We seldom have those very cold winters here now but I bet you still do.
I don’t find that hard to believe.
As a kid my mom kept a pond with some goldfish. I had a fantail. For whatever reason one late fall we caught the fish to bring inside for our tank. My mom must not have been ready yet because the fish had to stay on the front porch in ice cream buckets for the night.
The temp dropped below freezing overnight and ice formed on top of all the buckets a good 1/4 or more.
My ryukin was the only one that stayed at the top and got frozen in the ice! I was mortified!
Thankfully after being brought in and slowly thawed everyone was alright. Even my ryukin.

Op- I don’t do water changes over the winter. I close my pond down(all equipment comes in, except the pump. I leave it in the pond to keep the seals wet.)
Put in my heater, bubblers, and cover it with a tarp as tight as I can.
Now the awful part...... waiting out the long winter till I can take the tarp off and see my babies again.

I don’t know what the winter in Chicago is like, but is it a challenge to keep a 300g pond from freezing?
I was told here in the north(MN) that ponds have to be a minimum 4ft.
 

davemal

Piranha
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May 15, 2007
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Cover the pond with polystyrene or some sort of insulation board, then tarp it over. This method stops my pond from freezing over every year. It also helps the fish feel secure as they have little cover in the winter when plants die back.
 
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