neglect breeds baby fish?

aspen0(z5 MI)August 23, 2010

My pond is only about 150 gallons. Small. I made it in 07. Bought 5 small comet goldfish from the pet store, put them in, one died, the rest thrived.

07 was good, half of 08, then I really started having problems with my filter/pump. I got the ~$100 pump-in-a-filter-box thing from lowes or home depot. One died after a year, I got another one, and it kept chugging along but eventually couldn't move the water or filter worth a....

I would clean it, and it'd work for a week, then get bogged down. I tried replacing 80% of the water, didn't help. Algaecides, sludge removers, etc. No help.

My pond is in full sun.

So eventually the pond got completely gunked with algae, I couldn't see an inch into it, the water was pea soup. That was mid 08 probably. I stopped feeding the fish (but they live, so they musta been eating algae/bugs). And with a new kid of my own I didn't put much effort into the pond.

I don't know if I fed the fish once all of 09. Maybe just in the spring before the algae could bloom. But they were alive, and bigger than the previous year.

I finally a couple weeks ago got a nice laguna pond pump and pressurized filter with UV clarifier. 600 GPH, for my 150 gallon pond, kinda overkill maybe, but it works, and it was the smallest filter of that kind they made.

This amazing device, $240 all in, cleared my water in 24 hours and it has stayed clear. Crystal clear. I cannot rave about it enough. I bought two crappy $100 filter/pump combos that didn't work, but this one definitely did.

I'll be able to use it's oomph to add a waterfall next spring too.

Anyways, so the water is clear for the last two weeks, and today I notice small dark fish. I think "Is someone pranking me?" They look like the goldfish in body, but smaller, and very dark in color. I counted 5. One about 2 inches long, the others an inch or just under. Might be more, they're hard to see down there.

So obviously these are baby comets, and I've since learned that they are born dark. But they start to get their color at about 1.5 inches (which begs the question what is the deal with the big one that is already like 2 inches?).

So, what did I do right? Was the water cloudy enough to allow the fry to survive and grow? There were no plants in my pond the last two years, there were some rocks and whatnot, but not many. My original comets are now 5-6 inches.

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sheepco(MN z4)

Congrats on your clear water! Now watch out for that toddler by the pond!

Just my own experience, but I have had goldfish and comets that stay dark for a year or more and then change color dramatically within a month, and a few that never change. There are others more experienced on this, but I've read that nutrition can play a part in color. That said, I have one 3" goldie/comet that is still gray (I only feed my fish sparingly).

Goldfish and comets can and do grow even with neglect providing they have food (bugs and algae) and shelter (in the lack of plants, algae filled water). While not optimal, they do survive and reproduce.

Now, start finding homes for the extras! Though with that pump/filter you'll be ok for a while with 10....but what about 20? :o)

Good Luck, S

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 8:10PM
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