oh, i am kind of late on all of the replies, i am terribly sorry, i have been in a moving mess, so i have had no chance to get on here to answer things.
so here we go.
The best way to make fish grow really big really fast is to feed them good food. The best food for your money is called Pro-gold. It has had many great reviews. but you can only order it off of the web… www.goldfishconnection.com
As to how much you feed them, actually you should feed them less if you want them to grow big faster, not a lot less but less than you probably think. You don’t really need plants in there at all, they will probably eat them.
a filter would be a good thing to have, but there are two sides to goldfish keeping. Some people think that you should use a filter, because it protects your fish, and other people think you shouldn’t because it is more natural. This is a decision you should make by yourself. but if you do decide to use a filter, there are plans on the net for homemade filters that are very simple and cheap.
As to are you going to get baby fish? maybe. it depends on how cool your pond is. To be able to produce fry (baby fish) the water must be at around 65 degrees F for about a week for your fish to “get it on” fish style. as to what your fish will look like, there are going to be a lot of differences, and you can’t exactly tell what a fish is going to look like down the road when it is a baby.
Don’t worry about your fish being shy, once they figure out who is feeding them, they won’t be shy anymore.
**Abbie Carmichael **,
It is sometimes hard to tell whether you have a boy or a girl. On male fish when they become old enough to spawn, they will grow little white nodules on their gills and on the base of their fins, this is the easiest way. another way to tell, which i use the most is “the chasing”. usually the males will chase the females around constantly bothering them all day. Yet another way is to look at their fish assholes. The female has a very tiny dangly thing down there that the male does not have. i hope this helps.
Sorry to hear about your fish.
my first guess was that he got stuck to the intake to the pump, but if that happened he would have only had his scales ripped off on one side. hmmm strange. The only other thing i can think of is that he scraped off his scales himself, and that maybe he had some sort of infection which made him itchy and he was rubbing against the side of or the bottom of your pond, and in the end the infection took his life, and since you didn’t see any signs of illness it could have been an internal infection. research this because there is too much info, that it would take very long to type it here. If it is a parasite or something else, you need to treat your other fish for this, because it is infectious.