The MGS Forum

Gardening in mediterranean climates => Water => Topic started by: Pauline on August 30, 2015, 11:14:13 PM

Title: A fishy tale - and a question
Post by: Pauline on August 30, 2015, 11:14:13 PM
I have finally worked out why my goldfish are neither turning gold (not even a smidge) and not growing much either. They're not goldfish; they're mosquito fish. A different kettle of them altogether. This also explains the continued appearance of really tiny baby ones.

Anyway it's no big deal as the main object of having fish was to control the mosquito population, but my question is: can I safely add goldfish at this stage?

I know that goldfish are very territorial and will attack newcomers. Does anyone know whether I could add some goldfish without causing carnage?

Title: Re: A fishy tale - and a question
Post by: Alisdair on August 31, 2015, 09:36:38 AM
We haven't kept mosquito fish, only goldfish and koi, but our many goldfish have never seemed that territorial. I'm sure they wouldn't fight the mosquito fish, and even if the new goldfish ate some of the fry mosquito fish seem to be so incredibly prolific that it wouldn't make much difference. I'd expect some sort of balance eventually, with the size of your pond eventually limiting the total numbers, but the two sorts of fish with their rather different diets living together quite happily.
Title: Re: A fishy tale - and a question
Post by: Caroline on August 31, 2015, 10:11:47 PM
I don't have any personal experience of rearing goldfish, but a comment in Hugo Latymer's book "The Mediterranean Gardener" suggests the goldfish may be more at risk than the mosquito fish!  He says "Goldfish, too, will feed on mosquito larvae, but they breed less exuberantly and therefore correct an infestation more slowly.  Unfortunately, mosquito fish have a taste for the eggs and fry of goldfish."  So i guess your adult goldfish would be OK, but you might not get any babies :(
Title: Re: A fishy tale - and a question
Post by: Pauline on September 02, 2015, 09:50:15 PM
Thank you both! It was in fact the goldfish I was worried about, not the current residents who are feisty little carnivores. There are now not only no mosquito larvae in the pond, but no water boatmen or pond skaters either; only dragonfly larvae seem able to survive.

As for a taste for goldfish eggs and fry - goldfish themselves share that - in my experience breeding success depends of the number of fish in the available space and the amount of cover provided by underwater vegetation.

I think I'll try to acquire a few goldfish to brighten the place up, and we shall see what happens.  :)