Will this tub be big enough for goldies?
Could I keep a couple of goldfish outdoors in a small 90l/20 gal garden tub if I add a filter? KEV MURPHY, BY EMAIL
Steve SAYS: You might get away with keeping a couple of very young goldfish outside in a tub of this kind for a few months in late spring or early summer. In late autumn and winter, however, due to the small volume of water it contains, the temperature will drop drastically low and this will harm or even kill the fish.
To be honest, 90l isn’t big enough really, given that goldfish can easily grow to 25cm or more. Goldies are messy fish, too, and an undersized canister filter is unlikely to cope for long.
In fact, once you start to assess the longer term needs of these fish, the extra expense of a larger residence – such as a proper pond – presents itself as a much more sensible option.
Bear in mind, too, that in a small tub such as this, a couple of even very young goldfish will struggle to find adequate cover from the unwanted attentions of a passing predator, such as a heron or a cat.
A far better alternative would be to heavily plant the tub with suitable, small pond plants and introduce some Sticklebacks, although you’ll still face the problem of excess cold weather during winter and would need to bring them inside or move them to a larger receptacle.