Will this tub be big enough for goldies?

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Fishkeeping Answers -

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.

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