Tip: Fishy Water?

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Tip: Fishy Water?

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    06-27-2010, 12:40 AM
Tip: Fishy Water?

I have been looking around for some random tips on the sometimes subjective art of horse-ownership. I found this one and immediately thought, "Great idea!" but after some time, I had second thoughts.

Here's what I found:
"West Nile Virus is a concern to equestrians now. We have been asked to dump all standing water, but we must have water for our horses. You can put 10 or 12 goldfish in your stock tanks. They will eat mosquito larva. They cost 14 cents at Meijer's. Add one catfish to eat the green algae. Goldfish will live throughout the winter in your stock tanks as long as the water does not completely freeze. It's a little more work to remove the fish each time you clean your tanks, but it's worth the effort."
I'm just wondering if anyone has ever tried this, or can theorize as to whether this would be just fine for horses, or if it really isn't that good of an idea. I know wild horses drink out of streams and such, which contain fish, but I just can't imagine my horses enjoying fishy water. I have no issue spending extra time catching fish (I can imagine it might almost be fun) when cleaning the tanks, I'm just concerned whether fish will infect the water with bacteria. Post your experiences, or educated guesses. =)
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    06-27-2010, 12:45 AM
Personally, I think it's easier to clean the tank, and move it periodically to keep slugs and worms from 'building' up under the tank, than to try and catch fish, and risk the fish poo and what not making the horses sick.

I do know that alot of people on the forum do have fish in their stock tanks though, so it does probably work, I just don't like the potential risk, especially if a fish dies or I'm gone and someone doesn't clean the tank right away, as well as the extra work.
    06-27-2010, 12:50 AM
Ohhh! Fish dying that's a definite thing I did not think about. Those cheap Meijer goldfish do not live long . . . I purchased some the evening before an elementary education presentation, and about half of them were dead the next morning. It definitely reinforced my thoughts that I am much better at taking care of horses. Thankfully. =)
    06-27-2010, 04:23 AM
My grandpa used to put goldfish in all the water tanks. He said it worked great. And they would survive the winter.

I've been thinking of doing this too. But haven't yet. I was concerned with the fish poo and pee not being able to go anywhere. But I imagine if the tank is large enough and there's only a couple of fish, then it would be a non-issue. Especially if you overfill the tank periodically with fresh water. But a couple fish in two hundred gallons is most likely nothing for me to fret about.

But right now I just keep two tanks side by side. One is empty and upside down and the other is a third or so full of water. I clean em out every now and again, and if the algae gets thick then I swap for the dry tank after I bang out the dry algae and give it a nice rinsing. I have big tanks, probably a couple hundred gallons.
    06-27-2010, 05:05 AM
I just did a search and I found someone suggesting to use rosy-red feeder fish instead of goldfish because they produce much less ammonia.
    06-27-2010, 10:26 AM
That's a good tip!
    06-27-2010, 10:47 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts about the sucker-fish / catfish to eat the algae?
    06-28-2010, 04:05 AM
Originally Posted by Islandrea    
Does anyone have any thoughts about the sucker-fish / catfish to eat the algae?
I keep fish as a hobby, and a lot of the fish you can buy at a pet store that are advertised as 'suckerfish' either do not eat algae enough to make a noticeable difference (plecos) or require filtration and/or heating. Obviously there are types less readily available and sometimes there will be other types in stock. You'd really have to do your research on them.

Onto goldfish:
Goldfish are one of the highest waste-producing fish. If you are going to use them, do not use a lot of them. I personally would NOT get them at meijer etc, those often tend to have parasites or diseases and will die quickly. In our area there is a landscaping company that sells pond comets, and in my experience the fish they stock are much higher quality and healthier than the generic 'feeder fish' you can find at a store. I know many people who have used goldfish in their water tanks, and it seems to work well. I personally would buy a large siphon from a pet shop. It will probably be labelled 'Gravel Vac' or some other such name. If you notice a build up of waste at the bottom of your tank, you can use this to remove the waste without dumping the whole stock tank.
    06-28-2010, 10:59 AM
Very very helpful tips. I'm glad we got a "fish-person's" opinion.

So you would nix the whole "algae-eating" fish thing, since they would need a more conducive environment than a stock tank and since most of them don't eat enough to make a difference. In theory I suppose it was an idea, just may not cut it in real life.


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