I've tried most of the suggestions here, including live bloodworms and live brine shrimp. We watched for a long time after feeding these but they didn't bring the fish out. No sign of the food the next day but base of the tub was covered in weed which I suspect everything hides.
Now I have cleaned out the gravel I should be able to tell if food that sinks is still there the next day. I tried modged up blanched peas last night but they were still there this morning.
They must be eating *something* so I will have to stop worrying about them so much!
As an aside the water test (before the gravel cleanup) this weekend went well, with 0 amonia, 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite. Its the first time I haven't recorded any levels of anything (there is normally a trace of at least nitrate in there). the PH was 7-8, the hardness and the other test (can't remember what it was for, alkaline?) were pretty much spot on the suggested levels on the box.
There was still no signs of them or of them eating what I feed them, at least anything that floats is still there the next day for me to remove and try something new.
But.... I have good news
I hadn't seen either fish for days, even with the hiding places removed so I figured I could either keep feeding a (maybe) empty pond or find out exactly what is going on....
There wasn't much on the floor of the pond so I have covered it in coloured gravel to maybe help me better see the fish and any food left on the floor. In doing this I had to remove all the plants, pump, stones etc and I found......
Three of the fry were in there
One is really coming along with its golden colouring but looks about the same size as before (1.5 inches long). The other two are still brown but with silver underneath and are just a little smaller than the goldie. There is still one missing, but I am even more hopeful now that it is still in there somewhere.
All in all I am very happy now because they are obviously feeding on something even if it isn't what i feed them.
The plants and stones are all back in the tub now and guess what? There is no sign of the fish at all!
fredrick_more wrote: Its a possibilty that they died and were eaten by the other two. Unfortuntly it does happen.
I think you may be right but I would love someone to tell me otherwise!
I've now got some brine shrimp eggs to hatch, lets see if that works.
This site is great, I have read lots of articles and advice here over the last month or two but there is still more for me to read... I have just read this article which talks about feeding shy fish. I'm certainly learning
I am off to the lfs tonight to see about getting the feed you both mention. I will try all the suggestions one by one to see how it goes.
How long would the fish survive if they were ignoring the food I am giving them and just eating whatever is naturally in the pond? Should I be worried that they aren't eating what I am feeding them?
I have removed the hiding stones for now and added more surface cover (a water lilly with ~8 big pads) and can see the two fish hiding but still no sign of the other two. There is no other way out of the netted tub so I have no idea where they went.
Thanks for the advice. I've since got some ground goldfish pellets and baby brine shrimp but it still doesn't look like they are eating any of it.
They certainly don't eat anything with us quietly watching for five minutes after adding the food. Its hard to tell if they eat the ground pellets when I am not there as it gets moved around by the water currents.
After feeding them the brine shrimp (in a jelly, is that right?) it doesn't look like anything has been eaten although I wouldnt be able to tell if they only ate a tiny bit of it.
We have also tried very hard to find all four fish and it sadly looks like there are only two left. Seeing as the pond is netted I don't have any idea of where the other two went (if they died I would have found the bodies?). The two now missing fish were about an inch long.
The bath tub has been used to keep some of the fish by their original owner for many many years, so I hadn't given a thought to it not being suitable. Hopefully the tub isn't too bad, as this is only a temporary solution until we get a proper outdoor pond sorted out.
Firstly: Long time lurker (well, a few months anyway), first time poster. Hi everyone
I had been looking after someones goldfish in a ~75 gallon bathtub for a few months and they have now reclaimed their fish.
They left the bathtub to pick up later but we found 4 fry left in there (about 1.5 inches long and brown) so I have kept the tub and the fry to start keeping fish myself (we got used to having them around).
My questions are all about the fry, who are super secretive and we never ever see them. They don't feed on anything we give them, e.g. the broken up feed "sticks" are still there the next morning. There is a bit of vegetation in there ( a water lilly and hornwort) and "long green grass" (whatever that is) so I can only guess the fish are feeding on that.
We got worried at not seeing them for so long so at the weekend we removed some of the hiding stones and saw two of the fry (bigger and even turning golden and white, exciting!). No sign of the other two but from experience they are easily missed.
The pond is netted against cats etc and is filtered by an Oase Filtoclear filter and pump. Don't test the water often but its never been a problem (last test was during the heatwave at the start of June).
Is there anything special I should be doing with the fish? I've read a lot of stuff on this web site about ponds and fish and pretty much feel happy with the environment, but it would be great to actually get to see the fish! Anything I can do to "tame" the fish a little so they come out of hiding, or is it something that we will have to put up with until the fish feel braver.
The parent fish were from common goldfish and some larger (~8inch) white and gold goldfish. I think all of them were won from fairs through the years by the owners kids/grandkids.
We are planning a big pond, but the bathtub will have to do for now.