Leave the goldfish in the garden pond for the winter

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Is there a goldfish swimming in your garden? Now the question arises how he gets through the winter. Whether you can leave it outdoors depends on the nature of your pond, as there are a few things to consider.

Goldfish in the garden pond
Goldfish in the garden pond © Falko_Seidel / Pixelio

What you need:

  • possibly an ice preventer from the trade

Goldfish can cope with temperature fluctuations between 4 and 30 degrees Celsius. This means that you can generally feel comfortable in a garden pond. However, the prerequisite is that you offer them not only the right temperature but also other suitable conditions.

Fish in the garden pond - general basic rules

  • Yourself one pond Setting up in the garden is not difficult. You can obtain the necessary materials from a hardware store. Nevertheless, sometimes the disappointment is great when the water becomes cloudy and in the worst case the fish torment themselves gasping for air on the surface of the water. Then the biological balance is wrong.
  • In order for your goldfish to feel comfortable in the garden pond, you need enough oxygen in the water. This is produced by aquatic plants. They take the nutrients for this from the water and soil. These are formed by bacteria that decompose dead plant material, but also the excrement of the fish and leftover food. When everything is in equilibrium, plants develop abundantly, the fish are healthy and active, and the water is clear. To do this, you have to follow a few basic rules.
  • So that there are not too many Seaweed a garden pond does not belong in full sun. If no other location is possible, make sure you provide shade, at least for a few hours a day. When laying out, plan a corresponding planting on the edge. Tall reeds, bamboo and bushes are suitable.
  • Be careful not to get too much organic material into the water. This happens quickly if there are too many fish. Remember that small fish grow and reproduce too. Too much fish food also damages the water quality. Only feed what your fish eat. Lastly, falling leaves can also be harmful in autumn. Stretch a close-meshed net over the pond. So keep the leaves off. In general, the smaller a pond, the faster it gets out of balance.
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  • Technical aids such as filters and pumps that keep the water moving help you to keep life in the garden pond healthy. Inquire at specialist dealers or other pond owners about their experiences.

Hibernate the goldfish in the pond

  • If your goldfish are healthy and live in a sufficiently large and, above all, deep pond, they can stay outside for the winter. But the fish also need oxygen in winter. The pond should never completely freeze over. Small ponds freeze to the bottom. Then the fish should overwinter in an extra container (big enough!) In the cellar or somewhere else. If the pond is about 80 centimeters deep at the deepest point (better still deeper), there is always some water under the ice layer at the bottom. The fish withdraw into this and the mud on the bottom and survive with a minimal metabolism.
  • In very cold winters, a completely frozen layer of ice that prevents gas exchange between the pond floor and the surface can be dangerous. Bacteria break down organic material even in winter. Digestion gases are formed which have to go to the surface. And your goldfish need oxygen even at four degrees Celsius. Stems of aquatic plants that protrude from the water (rushes, cattails, purple loosestrife or others) are therefore left in the pond. You can also get ice preventers made of Styrofoam in stores. Bundles of straw placed in the pond are controversial. Some use this method, others reject it because the straw underwater also decomposes organic material.
  • If your goldfish are to overwinter in the garden pond, then pond cleaning is part of the preparation process in autumn. Dead plant parts are removed and sprawling underwater plants are thinned out. Leaves have no place in the water either. Take out everything that could form digester gases in winter. However, they are not replanted until spring.
  • If your garden pond is covered with a thick layer of ice, you shouldn't walk around on it, let alone knock or chop on it. The vibrations cause the fish that live on the back burner to restlessly, so that they need more oxygen. In very warm winter phases, when the water is open and the goldfish swim freely, you can feed them in small quantities.

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