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Old 09-21-2018, 12:46 AM   #1
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First Time Outdoor Fish Owner - Help!

Hi all,

My parents recently moved into a new house and inherited a claw-foot tub full of goldfish. They have no experience keeping outdoor fish and neither do I, though Iím pretty experienced with indoor freshwater fish so Iím trying to help them...by asking for help

Iíve included the pics my mom sent me, it looks like it already has some kind of filter and some sprinkler in the middle but the water looks really dirty. Iím going to visit this weekend so anyone give me some quick advice on how to make sure the fish donít die?

There are 8-10 goldfish and from what I can tell the tub is about 40 gallons. Iíve never done an outdoor water change so any advice about how to do that would be helpful as well
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Old 09-21-2018, 12:47 AM   #2
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Forgot the pictures...Click image for larger version

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Old 09-22-2018, 12:48 AM   #3
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Your stocking is okay for now but they will grow and not only volume, but water quality will be an issue.
If you have a hose that reaches the tub you can add water directly (slowly) while periodically adding a dechlorinator. Or fill a bucket with treated water a slowly pour into the tub. Prior to adding, you can scoop out some water with a bucket (and water the plants).
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
Your stocking is okay for now but they will grow and not only volume, but water quality will be an issue.
If you have a hose that reaches the tub you can add water directly (slowly) while periodically adding a dechlorinator. Or fill a bucket with treated water a slowly pour into the tub. Prior to adding, you can scoop out some water with a bucket (and water the plants).


Thanks for the reply. I did think they would be over-stocked but it sounds like they have some time. How many full grown fish do you think would fit without causing issues?

Also do you by chance recognize the filter or can you tell if itís enough turnover for 40 gallons?
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:58 PM   #5
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Do you have a liquid test kit to compare the hose water to the tub water for TDS - GH - KH and the other stuff.

Can barely tell about the fish. If they are Comet they'll get 12++ inches. So 2 fish if they were full grown. Three to 5 if they are pretty small still under 8" and not too old yet, meaning fat and bulky (long but still thin). Rehoming a few would keep life easier right now though, maybe down to 6 and then next year rehome a couple more.

Prime has a Pond Water conditioner, (in half liter and liter sizes I believe) you can usually get at big box stores and online, also often the big box stores will offer website price match for that and foods, etc. fyi.

Funky but kinda fun. Does the tub freeze in winter? I would get them some really healthy food so they can store up before freezing temps if your parents have freezing cold/iced over ponds where they are.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:31 AM   #6
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Do you have a liquid test kit to compare the hose water to the tub water for TDS - GH - KH and the other stuff.

Can barely tell about the fish. If they are Comet they'll get 12++ inches. So 2 fish if they were full grown. Three to 5 if they are pretty small still under 8" and not too old yet, meaning fat and bulky (long but still thin). Rehoming a few would keep life easier right now though, maybe down to 6 and then next year rehome a couple more.

Prime has a Pond Water conditioner, (in half liter and liter sizes I believe) you can usually get at big box stores and online, also often the big box stores will offer website price match for that and foods, etc. fyi.

Funky but kinda fun. Does the tub freeze in winter? I would get them some really healthy food so they can store up before freezing temps if your parents have freezing cold/iced over ponds where they are.


Thanks for the reply! After some research I think theyíre shubinkin...does that seem right? Theyíre about 5Ē long and theyíve been in the tub for over a year I think. I tested the water today just for ammonia and nitrites and theyíre both 0 so obviously thereís a bacterial colony which is great. I didnít test for hardness but the water here is well water so I assume it would be hard...not sure if thatís true.

I did buy my parents some regular prime and good fish food

They live in Springfield, Oregon so it probably wonít freeze over in the winter except maybe for a week if it gets really cold. Itís been a high of 60 daily here and theyíve been feeding the fish once per day, I fed them tonight and they didnít seem that hungry.

Last thing...I got better pics of the filter. Going to do some research on it to see if itís good enough
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:24 AM   #7
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Sounds perfect for the water condition. In a large pond Shubunkin can get like the Comet up to 18" - but probably not that large. In a tub they will need to still thin out the population.

OR-
Build a bigger pond if they grow to like those guys a lot.

That is really beautiful country around there. Know people around Foster, Sweet Home, Albany and Roseburg.

Even a larger already made pond/stock tank kind of pond using what is apparently a decent filter to stay balanced in the cycle.

I would still use Prime in the water in case of any odd chemicals or heavy metals which could be present.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:39 PM   #8
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Here is more info on the filter: https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Krystal...80738185&psc=1
This is a cartridge filter in a canister housing. Rated to handle up to 1,000 GPH. It appears that a separate pump is needed to drive this (canít tell). Is there a pump in the tub? The only thing I would keep an eye on is making sure that the filter does not clog. What are the other parts of the filtration system? Intake, screens, etc. I do not see a biological component in your setup.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:38 AM   #9
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Sorry it took me so long to reply. This is apparently a heavy duty filter! I ordered some replacement cartridges for my mom and sheís going to find out when the previous owner last changed it. Iím not sure what the other components of the filter are since itís actually made for a pool, not a pond or fish tank. There is gravel and rocks in the bottom of the tub that has definitely been there a while, I think thatís where most of the bb must be.

There arenít any plants actually in the tub so Iím gonna get my mom some anacharis which I read is good for outdoor ponds...is that right?
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:45 AM   #10
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Actually there is one other part of the filter I saw, the outflow tube connects to a sprinkler/fountain that sticks out in the middle of the tub and sprays water so it provides some aeration. I didnít get a chance to unplug the filter and actually look inside
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