Too many goldfish

garyfla_gw(10 Florida)September 7, 2010


Last winter due to a freeze I lost all my swordtails in my ponds . Fearing mosquitoes i bought some feeder goldfish.

Was planning on feeding to my marine fish but they quickly grew too large and spawned . Producing at least 50 off spring . lol. They have also grown too large to feed already. even if I could figure out how to catch them.

I was planning on going back to albino and lutino swortails but now there's no room

Thought of using some predatory fish but fear they'll become an even bigger problem??? Any suggestions?? Thanks gary

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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Gary, the only way I have found to keep them under some sort of control, without draining the pond, is using the spawning mops to harvest the roe and netting out the ones that make it through from roe to fry and larger.

As soon as I spot a school of tiny young fry I net them out.
It is a daily task to catch a few at a time and dump them and I don't enjoy doing it that way, but you cannot let them take over the pond and create bigger problems from being overstocked with fish.

I tried using a minnow trap to catch them, over a period of a few weeks and ended up trapping two or three of the fingerling size in it, that was all.

Maybe some one else has a better method of control or catching, I would be interested to hear about it for sure.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 6:51AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Was afraifd of that lol. Seems odd that when I started into ponding many years ago was unable to keep goldfish or koi at all due yo water birds . More expensive the faster they disappeared. lol
Am amazed at the diversity of offspring as they were "feeder fish" Everything from black to white evn a deep bronze and chocolate brown color.
Think I'll start feeding them inside a minnow seine and see how that works . They are getting very tame .
Where are the hungry Herons when you need them ?? lol gary

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 4:15AM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Gary, David (DRH) has a bunch of Blue Herons waiting on the tarmac up in Vermont ready to fly south. I guess they are eying up his pond for a snack or two, before their departure time.
Just send him your home address and he can set up a visit to your pond by a few of them!LOL
Have a good one,

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 8:12AM
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prairie_bogger(6a (KS))

Hi Gary,
It's been such a crazy summer for me that I've only been able to lurk occasionally and haven't posted much. Below is a thread from a few weeks ago on the same topic that includes more detailed instructions from Horton along with a few other suggestions. If I had read that thread earlier, I would have added my support to Jenny's post about "Gil", her bluegill. Since we put our bluegill in about 3 years ago, the number of goldfish fry that make it to adulthood has decreased dramatically. We have a relatively large pond (30'x15')with lilies and other plants that provide great hiding places for babies, and this is what has worked for us. The only places that will take goldfish in our area is bait shops, and that wasn't an option I even wanted to consider!

"Marty" the bluegill is now about 8" long and doesn't bother the larger goldfish or koi, unless they get too close to his "nest" that he makes each summer. He follows me around the pond hoping a grasshopper will either jump in or that I'll have a nice big grub worm for him. :-)

If I'd known at the time, I would have quarantined the bluegill before I added him to our pond. None of our fish became sick or died, so we lucked out, but I now know that it's better not to take that chance. Another really good piece of advice I DID follow from this forum is to only get ONE bluegill or you will end up with more bluegill than goldfish and defeat the whole purpose. :-)

Good luck with whatever method of control you decide to use.


Here is a link that might be useful: Keeping fish population down

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 8:18AM
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I was looking at old posts in the gallery last night and came across Marty's pictures and the fun we had comparing him to the blob fish. hahaha Glad to know he's still finnily protecting his nest. He's a "cutie".


    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 5:52PM
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Am new to this forum, but would the addition of a BullFrog to the pond help with keeping the number of fry down? What issues would you have if that was done? Would the bullfrog eat the bigger fish as well?


    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 7:22PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Would be interested in what others have to say about that!!lol I have at least 5 kinds of toads frogs in and around my pools but no bull frogs though. Was always hoping the fish would eat the tadpoles but doesn't seem to work that way either lol gary

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 5:57AM
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rsingley(z6a NJ)

Fish will eat the tadpoles, but frogs/toads lay eggs in such large numbers that a few make it to adulthood.

Bullfrogs will eat the other frogs and toads... and anything else it can get into it's mouth, although there is some debate whether they will eat fish or not. I believe they will eat fish if they can. I don't believe they would be a good source of goldfish control.

To rid your pond of goldfish you will need to net them out and leave no more than one.

Good luck

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 5:31AM
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Pond is 12 years old with 40 + goldfish .. small, medium and large. When I see them doing the mating dance (as I call it) I stop feeding them and wait at least 5 days to feed. This way the eggs laid will develop into fry within a few days and the fish will eat eggs and fry as they hatch. I still get about 5 new goldfish each mating season ... Hoping to net some this weekend (Dec. winter weather, water below 50 degrees) since it's cold and they are a bit sluggish. Wish me luck. I also have bird netting over the pond (about 30 x 15) to keep out hungry birds - eagles, hawks, herons. If this catch with a net doesn't work .... I'll take off the netting and invite the birds in for lunch. Only problem with that is, I have some 10 year old goldfish I've become attached to!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2014 at 5:21PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Found the perfect cure for this problem. Accidently left the tap water running. Wiped out all the GF . BTW Wouldn't reccomend this method as a control works too well

    Bookmark   December 5, 2014 at 6:08AM
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