One down, seven to go.

We bought our house a little over a year ago. When we bought the house, it was the tail-end of winter and the backyard was pretty much frozen over. We didn’t notice the small pond in the backyard because the dead winter vines had pretty much grown over it. Nor was this disclosed to us in any of the house paperwork.

So, imagine our surprise when we moved in and found fish food and chemicals in one of the cabinets in the mud room. Turns out, we were now the proud owners of 8 large goldfish, who had been hibernating in this small pond. Granted, it was very nice of the previous owners to leave us the fish food and chemicals, but it would have been even nicer to KNOW about the fish before we bought the house.

We have no experience with fish ponds. My experience with fish had been limited to two goldfish that I kept during my sophomore year of college in my small tank in my dorm room. So, we did some reading and learned what we needed to do to keep the fish healthy. We jokingly named them after characters on Arrested Development and The Office (Come on, Lucille II, come on, Dwight Shrute, come on, GOB, come get your food!).

Of course, then the pump broke right after we moved in :rolleyes: . It had worked perfectly for about three weeks, and then broke. So we shelled out the cash to attempt to fix it, but it’s never quite worked right since. ElzaHub cleans it religiously, and does everything that they tell us at the fish store, but it still doesn’t quite work the way it did before it broke. We can’t afford to replace it outright right now, so we continue to fix it. It hasn’t seemed to affect the fish in the year it’s been like this, and we do make sure to keep the water clean for them.

In a year and a half, we’ve been very proud of ourselves - after little to no experience with fish, we haven’t lost one. We do have a co-worker of his mom’s who might be interested in taking the fish, as we would like to fill the pond in and reseed the backyard, but until then, we dutifully care for them. We won’t know anything about that until September when his mom returns to school.

Until this morning. ElzaHub made his usual trek to the pond to feed them, and found one floating, playing Dead Man’s Corner. We don’t know which fish it was, but I decided it was Buster to give us closure. We don’t know how old these fish are, so he more than likely just came to the end of his lifespan. I almost feel guilty hoping that the others are also about to hit the end of their lifespans.

So…one down, seven more to go.

Anyone want some pond fish?


How large is the pond and how big are the fish?

No idea - the fish are probably 4-5 inches long? The pond is, I would guess, 2x5, but it’s quite deep - they hide very easily. They’ve survived and thrived quite happily in this pond for over a year with us (and for who knows how long before that?), so I think it was just natural causes.

We just cleaned the whole pond this past weekend, like we always do, so I don’t think we did anything different. They’ve also been quite active lately, but they were like this last summer, too - the warm weather hits and they decide the pond is now Water Country :D.


Are you sure you even need a pump with a pond that size? I mean, it’s nice for the soothing sounds of the water feature aspect of it but do the fish need it to live?

We have a pond about 2’w x 6’l x 2’ deep and only run the pump occasionally. Our goldfish are fine and they’re 3 years old and about 8" long. Our winters are very mild, so I don’t know if that would play a part in it.

Also, does the pond have a muddy bottom with leaves and other stuff? If so, perhaps the pump is getting clogged? We raised our pump up off of the bottom by placing it on a brick and that stopped it from sucking up nasty stuff off of the bottom and clogging it up.

I’m sorry for your loss, but this made me crack up laughing.

Three things that cause environmental problems in their world are Spring, Fall and Pool Cleaning.
If they need oxygen they will probably move about the surface trying to breathe air.
Being crowded, and surface area is all that matters, not depth, makes them less healthy; bacteria, pests, foul water.
I keep very light fish loads. The hawk helps.
Do you have any plants? Check out water lilies, water iris and lotus.
I have a lot of Parrot’s feather, lizard tail and I’ll even send you one of the damn pink lilies for postage. :slight_smile:

poor wee buster. i do hope buster is enjoying a new home in the dirt part of the garden. good plant food.

I don’t know if we actually need the pump, but it’s there… ElzaHub goes in and cleans out the pond every month or so - including the leaves and crap on the bottom (he LOVES that job!). I didn’t think about putting a brick on the bottom - we might have to look into that.

Ehh, I’m just glad it wasn’t Lucille II;). She’s my favorite. (Okay, I have no idea which one she is, I just like the name.).

Yep - we have a couple of plants in the pond, and we even have some water-cleaning fake lily that ElzaHub found at the fish store. Even though we don’t like having fish, we do take very good care of them:).

Errr…Buster happened to die on garbage day. Buster went out with the garbage :o :eek: . I’ll remember the plant food thing for next time, though.


looks at thread title


What the heck is that?
For the sake of arguement, I would imagine you are to far away for me to drive over from Arkansas and adopt your little friends.

Possibly something similar to this?

Actually, let me correct myself

You’ll need a filter/pump/thingy if the pond is a closed system. In a closed system, the ammonia will build up and kill your fish.

Real plants take part in the nitrate/nitrite cycle. Plants with leaves above the water are particularly helpful since they dump stuff outside the system.
The fish may have gotten large enough to have outgrown their pool. Interesting that it happend right after cleaning the pool. Could be an imbalance, or Buster could have been hit by something or run into something. Perhaps like my place, the hawk could see the fish in a clean pool.

If you don’t like the fish, perhaps you could find a home for them at the pet store or a nursery that has water features.

More than likely. I’m in NE Ohio.

No, we’ll take care of them until we find a new home for them or they all die (and we aren’t intentionally attempting to kill the suckers). I have a soft spot in my heart for animals, even if they were kind of a surprise to us.

We’ve asked at the fish store, but they can’t take them, so we’ve got a couple of other leads on people who might want pond fish. Hopefully, they will have a happy new home in September or so.


Cool. :slight_smile:

Eh, you seem to be under the impression that we’re abusing these fish or something…we take very good care of them. We’re not thrilled to have them, but that doesn’t mean we won’t take good care of them. We’ve made more trips to the fish store for advice and information that we can count, and have spent a decent amount of money making sure that they have healthy water.

Just because we’re trying to find them a new home doesn’t mean we don’t take care of them now.


No, not at all.