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Fish in the Water Trough

This is a discussion on Fish in the Water Trough within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Gold fish can they live in a concret horse trough
  • Fish in water troughs

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    03-28-2013, 11:19 PM
  #11
Foal
I used to keep gold fish and sucker fish. In fact, I'm glad this is posted. I'm going to restock. The sucker fish help hoover the algae, and the goldfish eat everything else. The suckers are sub-tropical and cannot take a winter. A pet store is happy to take your sucker fish returns, and will restock you the following spring/summer with new ones. Make sure you return them to a pet store by September, or they will die. Goldfish are pretty hardy. They will be pretty miserable without a cinder block. They need a home/shelter like everybody else. Plus, we have Jack Russells, so the blocks can save one from drowning. My fish grew quite large, and multiplied. When I did empty the trough (which is a quite the chore) I turned the goldfish loose in a stock tank.
     
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    03-29-2013, 12:52 AM
  #12
Yearling
Just wondering how this would work out with a trough that freezes? I'm in MN, but I see that being a good idea when I get land. I read something someone posted on another forum when I did my own research on it that said they never took theirs out and the fish were fine... but I think they must have just been lucky! Even a heated trough gets cooooold! I'm not sure, I know goldfish are hardy, but they're also tropical. So. I guess I'd be curious about the temperature range they can live in!
     
    03-29-2013, 01:05 AM
  #13
Foal
They are fine all winter as long as the water does not freeze to the bottom and there is a hole in the ice. Since you have to break ice for the horses its fine. I take mine out and put them in my little garden pond when the water starts to freeze and put them back in in the spring. Mine are pretty large now.
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    03-29-2013, 01:06 AM
  #14
Started
Most species of gold fish, koi, shubunkins etc aren't tropical. They can actually stay active even at temps just above freezing. And and can hybernate (of sorts) in ice. Yes, frozen. Would they rather be warm? Of course. But some of the best koi are raised and bred in snow runoff that rarely gets very warm.
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    03-29-2013, 02:07 AM
  #15
Yearling
We used to do this, but a local great blue heron found that it was EASY pickins and came in and ate them all...LOL... No more fish!
     
    03-29-2013, 02:50 AM
  #16
Foal
We have fish in all of the big troughs (3) and a Pleco in the concrete pond as we call it. Its huge. He started out small and last time we cleaned it out (two weeks ago?) he measured 6.2 inches long. Lived through winter without assistance.

On the big tank I clean it with a fish tank pump/gravel cleaner. Does a good job of getting rid of debris and the waste. The smaller plastic ones however we just scrub em on a 2 week rotation.

*I have not been able to get a Pleco to live in either a plastic or galvanized steel trough. Just the concrete one.
     
    03-29-2013, 07:20 PM
  #17
Weanling
Good to know anout the Plecos... I have gotten the odd tiny sucker fish, but they never lasted. And I've always rehomed them come winter, but now that I know (our trough is heated and insulated, stays thawed year-round) I'll give it a shot!
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    03-29-2013, 11:40 PM
  #18
Yearling
As an avid fish lover I would be concerned about the amount of ammonia the gold fish put out. I'm going to assume ammonia is bad for horses just like anything else? I know for certain most other fish cannot live with goldfish due to ammonia levels. Another issue I would worry about is horses are unable to regurgitate and I can't see how digesting a gold fish could be good and I would worry they would choke on one?
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    03-30-2013, 12:07 AM
  #19
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrylove    
As an avid fish lover I would be concerned about the amount of ammonia the gold fish put out. I'm going to assume ammonia is bad for horses just like anything else? I know for certain most other fish cannot live with goldfish due to ammonia levels. Another issue I would worry about is horses are unable to regurgitate and I can't see how digesting a gold fish could be good and I would worry they would choke on one?
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Ammonia could be an issue, if allowed to reach very high ppm. But when you consider an average tank (100+gallons) being refilled every day or two and containing 3 or 4 3" fish, I really can't see the levels being any more then some tap water. Also, with plant matter and the such floating around as well as natural alges and arobic micro organisms, it's quiet the micro environment. I'll test our horse water tomorrow for ammonia, something I hadn't thought to do. . At what level would you consider a concern?
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    03-30-2013, 01:43 AM
  #20
Yearling
0ppm's is what a healthy tank should be at, you will occasionally have spikes but a zero ammonia level is desired. After a bit of research/refresher course (I have stabilized tanks that have been set up for years) I remembered the cycling process. It takes about 30 days to build the good bacteria that breaks down ammonia. I am horrible at expressing myself but here is a helpful site on gold fish care and ph levels

Goldfish Water Quality and Treatment Information from Desktop Goldfish

Not sure how this relates to horses though... that's why Im curious about this
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