fish in a barrel

gerinaJuly 25, 2008

I hope that somebody can answer a couple of questions for me. I have an old wine barrel which was cut in half. It holds approximately 30 gallons of water, some water hyacinth (some stowaway snails), 6 baby koi that were being sold at the local pet store as feeder fish (six for $1) and one anonymous feeder fish. The two largest koi are about 2.5" long and the rest are about 1" - 1.5" in length. I have a solar pump that runs during the day unless we have fog. I am guessing that the water is oxygenated well enough because we have had consecutive days of fog and the fish seem to be fine and getting bigger.

The water is still clear, but I can see some velvety green growth on the sides of the barrel, as well as some little bits of uneaten food on the bottom. Do I need to clean this? If so, is it safe to change out all of the water at once? I feel like I should scrub and rinse out the barrel. Also, I have a second barrel and I imagine at some point there will be too many fish for one. At what point do I thin the herd?

Any other pointers are welcome because I don't know what I am doing. I only got the fish because I have a large potted plant on top of a block in the water and I didn't want mosquitoes. I have gotten very attached to these fish and I don't want to harm them.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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You found koi being sold as feeder fish,,wow,, I am not an expert but have 4 ponds of my own, the largest being about 2500 gallons, and I only have 3 koi in it, and some goldies, I am thinking you are gonna get alot of people on here telling you 6 koi in a barrel are way too many and not healthy at all, these fish need filtration at all times and lots of it,,all fish are "dirty", and release alot of toxins into the water, that are dangerous to them, a solar pump is only circulating the water, not doing anything to clean it, if you want something to control mosquitos in a small environment, I might suggest mosquito dunks or some "rosey reds" which are sold pretty cheap at the pet store, I hope you dont think I am being harsh, I am only trying to help, best of luck

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Thanks for you input - not harsh at all. After posting this and realizing that this board wasn't getting a lot of hits, I began reading many of the threads. I totally understand what you are saying and I have a client w/a 2500 gallon pond who will take the little guys. I did change out most of their water and they seem to be fine, so I guess that's at least good. Thanks again.

AND...they really are koi. The guy at the pet store said that it was killing him to sell them as feeders.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 7:50PM
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Thanks for the input. My little fish family appears to be doing well. I haven't seen any floaters nor anyone on the bottom. I'm sure you're right, I will know when its the right time to move them. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 11:15PM
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