Can someone explain this "fish in water trough" thing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Can someone explain this "fish in water trough" thing?

I am toying with the idea of putting a goldfish in my horses' water trough this summer. I hear the fish will eat the algae, but I have a lot of questions.

1. Is it safe for my horses to drink? What with all the fish poop?

2. Can I just buy any old goldfish, like the $.99 feeder ones, or do I need something more specific.

3. Does the water have to be treated for the goldfish? I swear I had to have treated water for my goldfish when I was kid, which ties into my "is it safe" question.

4. Does the fish have to be a certain size before I put it in, or can I toss in the 1" fish?

5. Do I have to feed the fish? This also ties in to my first question.

6. How often will the trough have to be cleaned, and how often will I have to add water for the fish?

7. What do I do in the winter? I would like to have a tank heater, but not sure how that ties in with the fish, and I don't know how healthy it is for a fish to be in suspension all winter, assuming it can even last that long.

If you can answer any question, please do! And feel free to share your fish-in-trough experience. Thank you!

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post #2 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 06:47 PM
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I've never done it, but I thought they ate things like mosquito larvae, not so much the algae. I'm subscribing, because it's interesting.

I have another question to add. What about when you refill the trough with fresh water. Won't that kill the fish? I always heard that tap water would kill them if it didn't sit a while first.

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post #3 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 06:51 PM
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Ha, Ha! It's funny you asked this because I just got 5 small feeder goldfish and put them in our trough! We recently moved to Central California and it snows here. A friend I met says they have goldfish in their trough and they last even when the water freezes the water over. They don't feed them but as the other poster said they eat larvae and algea. It snowed here last night so I will have to go out and see if they are still alive. I would think that it would be like a pond the horses drink out of with fish in it so I don't think it would hurt them.
I'm interested in other replies you receive.
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post #4 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 06:52 PM
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We threw three $0.26 Goldfish in the 100gal water tank in the arena. 2 fish promptly croaked but that was because my child just dumped them in instead of putting the plastic bag in to float so they could acclimate (I was chasing my stupid horse who had escaped, yet again.) The biggest fishie survived and was getting HUGE, we did absolutely nothing, no treating of the water, no feeding, no nothing.

Winter came, added a tank heater as it's the only water source for the horses in turnout, so it HAS to stay unfrozen. A week later fishie committed suicide on the tank heater. Arggh.... went to get a net to remove him when it was discovered and in the 2 minutes I was gone, one of the horses ATE HIM! All 3 horses looked guilty, so I have no clue which one enjoyed the sushi.

No more fishies for us until summer!
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post #5 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 07:03 PM
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I have a silly question about fish too..... when a horse is taking really great big gulps, can't the horse suck up the fish? Would this do any harm to swallow whole, if this is possible?
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post #6 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 07:07 PM
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The fish when it was alive, stayed at the bottom of the tank when horses were drinking and as we keep the tank filled, the horses never came close to sucking him in.

I don't know if someone swallowed his dead self whole (he was floating) or chewed him or what. He was in the tank floating, came back and he was gone and zero signs of him. None of the horse were ill after and it's been several months.
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post #7 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 07:16 PM
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subscribing just because it's interesting as others have said ;)
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post #8 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 07:24 PM
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Awesome idea, but we have two little 40 gallons outside I dump and clean out daily, so I don't think the fishies would like that .

Haha Delfina, I almost peed myself laughing....sushi....hehe
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post #9 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 07:30 PM
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Omg Delfina... haha, you just made my day!

Quote:
2 fish promptly croaked but that was because my child just dumped them in instead of putting the plastic bag in to float so they could acclimate (I was chasing my stupid horse who had escaped, yet again.) The biggest fishie survived and was getting HUGE, we did absolutely nothing, no treating of the water, no feeding, no nothing.

Winter came, added a tank heater as it's the only water source for the horses in turnout, so it HAS to stay unfrozen. A week later fishie committed suicide on the tank heater. Arggh.... went to get a net to remove him when it was discovered and in the 2 minutes I was gone, one of the horses ATE HIM! All 3 horses looked guilty, so I have no clue which one enjoyed the sushi.
I never thought a horse would EAT a fish... go figure.
I loved how you said the fishy committed suicide and then all horses looked guilty.

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post #10 of 63 Old 01-30-2011, 07:31 PM
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Huh. I've never heard of this.. I kind of wish I had Abby at home (I live in an apartment haha) because it would be much cheaper to just dump my comets in a trough rather than buy a new aquarium for them because they've outgrown a 20 gallon tank.

The only thing I could add to this is part of what Delfina said: Those $.25 comets ("feeder goldfish") get HUGE after a while. The 4 I've had for a year and a half are between 3-6"..without their tails added to that.
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