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Garden pond minnows?


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#1 Leo1234

Leo1234
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  • san clemente, california

Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:00 AM

I recently set up a pond in my backyard. I wanna say it is between 75-100 gallons, but it is one of those plastic ponds that have the weird shape to them. I'm trying to figure out what fish would work in the pond. It will not have a filter, but it will have a lot of plants in there. It can't be anything that will be an easy target for raccoons or water birds. I would also prefer something that will spawn and have at least some color. I might add bluespotted sunfish, but I'm not 100% sure yet.

Also, are there any other fish you would recommend that can go with the minnows and sunfish?

Thank you!



#2 taldridge0321

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  • Catawba Watershed, Waxhaw, North Carolina

Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:04 AM

I have a garden pond, but it's a little bigger than yours and has a pump/filter. I have the best luck with small Dollar Sunfish and Blue Spots. Dollars have a small mouth so they usually aren't a problem with other smaller fish in my pond. I would avoid Crayfish if you plan on having natural plants, as mine always eat my plants. I also keep Blackbanded Sunfish but they usually only eat frozen bloodworms, which can be a hassle. Dollar Sunfish are a great addition, hope this helps. 



#3 Michael Wolfe

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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

I had success with pumpkinseeds in such a set up when I lived in Ohio.  I like the idea of dollars as they stay smaller, have smaller mouths and are colorful.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 Leo1234

Leo1234
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  • san clemente, california

Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:24 PM

Can I have a breeding pair of dollar sunfish in the pond? Also I just found out that It is about 50 gallons. Here is a picture from the store I bought the pond from. 

Capacity (Gallons) 50

Length (Inches) 57

Width (Inches) 30

Maximum Depth (Inches) 18

039694057182.jpg



#5 don212

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 06:03 PM

fish in a barrel, put a screen around it, coons and herons will stand on the shallow ledge and eat everything.



#6 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:04 PM

I would say yes... but Don makes a good point. Even if you live in a subdivision, there will be some potential to Lois individuals to predators.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#7 Leo1234

Leo1234
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  • san clemente, california

Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:07 PM

Unfortunately there is a trail behind my house, so we get lots of animals that would go after fish... I really should of said what is the least likely to be caught. The pond is above ground so I'm not sure if that limits raccoon access, but I doubt it.

What is an easy minnow to breed in the pond and can they be with the dollar sunfish?



#8 taldridge0321

taldridge0321
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  • Catawba Watershed, Waxhaw, North Carolina

Posted 27 March 2017 - 05:21 AM

Mosquitofish, they are live bearers and will breed. 



#9 WheelsOC

WheelsOC
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Posted 27 March 2017 - 06:08 AM

They may, however, rough up your sunfish!

Kidding... mostly. They are known as guppies with attitude and stories about them ganging up on sunfish to defend themselves are not unheard of, and they have a well-earned reputation as fin-nippers in community aquariums. They're definitely hardy AND aggressive enough to out-compete a lot of native minnows when introduced to a new body of water. One thing to say in their defense is that once you stock mosquito fish, you'll never run out again.

 

Rosy Reds (aka orange fatheads, orange tuffies, "feeder minnows," bait... ) have been suggested as good pond citizens before. Not only are they durable and easy to propagate, their orange color makes them eyecatching to humans and hungry wildlife alike so maybe your sunnies might be spared.



#10 swampfish

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 12:57 PM

Just about any small minnow or killifish will do well. Probably the biggest concern with that small of a pond is temperature fluctuation. I have a 160 gallon pre-formed pond in my yard in central Illinois in full sun, and twice I have lost all of my fish due to high water temperatures on sunny days when air temperatures have been in the 90's degrees F. This is with the bottom six inches of the pond in the ground, and with the remaining 12 inches of depth above ground in a raised bed of soil. I have solved the high water temperature problem in the pond with three foot high fencing covered with autumn clematis vines on the south and west sides to block the afternoon sun. I keep banded topminnows, Fundulus cingulatus, in the pond each summer, where they reproduce.

 

By the way, there is always a family of raccoons in the attic of my corn crib about 200 feet away, and to my knowledge, I have never lost any fish other than goldfish to them. My understanding is that if the fish don't come to the surface when the raccoon dabbles their paw in the water, and the raccoon can't reach the bottom with their paws, that the fish will be safe. The only people that I know who have lost fish to raccoons either had goldfish that will rise to surface when dabbled or have ponds with shallow water at the edges. Fish quickly recognizes who feeds them and usually don't come to the surface for other people, much less other critters. 

 

I have lost fish twice in that pond to critters. Once to a snapping turtle and another time to a green frog that found their way to that pond.

 

I keep many of my fish in above-ground 350 gallon stock tanks during the summer. I have successfully had golden topminnow, bluefin killifish, lined topminnow, red-faced topminnow, banded topminnow, Heterandria formosa, and metallic shiner reproduce in them. I don't use filtration or aeration in any of my outdoor tanks. I rely on surface area, low fish-stocking numbers, and plants to avoid running electrical wiring or air lines. 

 

Phil Nixon



#11 JasonL

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  • Kentucky

Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:53 PM

^^^^^^^^

I would echo the above post. I had a similar setup to the OP in the past, just a bit larger. Key points are heavily planting it and avoiding afternoon sun. Freezing solid should not be an issue in California. I have lost very few if any non ornamental native fish in the past to raccoons in setups like this and I have a raccoon family that lives in the vicinity too.

Topminnows, killifish or gambusia would likely be fine in such a setup and perhaps self sustain. I personally would limit the sunfish load in an outdoor 50 gallon to nothing larger than a single dollar sunfish or maybe a couple orange spots or bantams. Functional space is actually less than 50 gallons in a setup like this too.

This is assuming keeping all of the above fish is legal in California, which I have no idea if it is or isn't.

Good luck.

#12 don212

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 08:34 AM

put some empty pots in bottom for hiding places





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