What species of fish can I keep for mozzy con­trol?

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Advice -

I would like to keep fish in an out­door foun­tain in Lon­don next sum­mer to help deal with mos­qui­toes. The foun­tain is a 70 l/ 16 gal Corten steel foun­tain with wa­ter lilies, and I can add what­ever else would make the fish happy. It is in a south-fac­ing, sunny, wind-pro­tected part of the gar­den.

I un­der­stand that fish such as gup­pies will only sur­vive in warmer tem­per­a­tures, and that they would need to be brought in­side be­fore frost and cold weather.

What sort of fish would you rec­om­mend, and what sort of aquar­ium do you sug­gest for hous­ing th­ese fish in­doors once the weather turns colder? CHRISTINA CURRY, EMAIL

Jeremy replies: You could keep White Cloud Moun­tain min­nows, Par­adise fish or both out­doors from late spring un­til the au­tumn, as long as wa­ter tem­per­a­tures are above 15°C. As well as those, I’ve kept Varia­tus platies out­side, and Ze­bra dan­ios should be okay as long as tem­per­a­tures ex­ceed 17°C. Rosy barbs would also be fine at this tem­per­a­ture, and Hill­stream loaches would pos­i­tively en­joy large, al­gae-cov­ered sur­faces with wa­ter move­ment from the foun­tain.

Be aware of any pump in­lets on the foun­tain as ob­vi­ously th­ese things aren’t re­ally in­tended to keep fish. Cover any holes or ex­posed pump in­lets by forc­ing sponge into them, and you’ll need some sort of fil­ter medium (which again could be a sponge in­side a foun­tain pump cage), and ma­ture it, and test wa­ter in the nor­mal way.

As 70 l isn’t a huge vol­ume of wa­ter I would opt for maybe five White Clouds, five Ze­bra dan­ios and a pair of Par­adise fish, and if you want them to be vis­i­ble, opt for their gold or al­bino morphs.

You must bring the fish in­side once the tem­per­a­tures be­gin to fall. The above species are all classed as tem­per­ate but will not last even a ‘mild’ UK win­ter out­side, es­pe­cially when the foun­tain will heat and cool very quickly with its shape, build ma­te­rial and wa­ter jets. De­vices are avail­able to mon­i­tor ponds and aquar­i­ums, and they can warn you about tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions.

For au­tumn and win­ter care, an in­door aquar­ium of the same vol­ume would be fine. If you can, you could even move a ma­ture fil­ter sponge from the foun­tain to the aquar­ium to avoid any wa­ter qual­ity blips.

Wcmm in­habit cold streams at al­ti­tude.

par­adise fish are hugely adapt­able.

Varia­tus platies are tol­er­ant.

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