Water features in your yard look great. Adding goldfish to those water ponds, fountains, and small streams make them look even better. Outdoor goldfish are very easy to take care of, as long as you pay attention to a few simple facts.
Goldfish are one of the hardiest fish you can keep in an aquarium or outdoors. Outdoor goldfish can tolerate a wide temperature range, and can successfully be kept outside even through the winter months.
To successfully keep goldfish outdoors, you need to start by thinking about the weather extremes in your area. In the winter your pond needs to be deep enough to make sure the goldfish can always seek unfrozen water. This usually requires a depth of up to 4 feet. You may need to consider adding a heater to your pond to keep the water from completely freezing to protect your fish.
The summer months can bring equally challenges for outdoor goldfish. It is not the heat which is of the greatest concern, but the reduction in oxygen in the water. During spring and fall, the water stays rich in oxygen through normal surface absorption. This cycle is decreased during the hot days of summer. You will want to have a good air stone, or another aerating device in the pond during this time. Waterfalls or fountains can take the place of aerating systems.
A further consideration for your water features and ponds is filtration. If the area is large enough and the fish are limited nature will take care of itself. If you want a higher density of fish, then you will want to add a filtration system to reduce the amount of ammonia and dirt in the water.
Keep in mind your outdoor goldfish look like a great snack to many local animals. Raccoons, cats, and even dogs will attempt to feast on your goldfish. Having a fence or other deterrent may be needed to protect the fish.
Adding plants, whether natural or artificial, to your ponds and water features add to the beauty and provide your outdoor goldfish a feeling of safety. They can dart undercover when they feel threatened. Natural plants add the advantage of increasing oxygen in the water and often provide added natural food for your goldfish.
The one other item you will want on hand is a PH kit. You need to periodically check the PH balance of your outdoor water, making sure it stays between 7 to 9. If the water drops below 7 or rises above 9 you fish will be in danger. It takes only a few minutes each week to check the water and to make adjustments if necessary by adding the proper chemicals.
While all of these little facts about taking care of outdoor goldfish may look intimidating, the actual truth is goldfish are highly resilient. With just a little attention on your part, the goldfish will be swimming and display their beautiful colors for years to come.