Goldfish Mating Behavior

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Goldfish Mating Behavior

Marty S
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Marty S
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 21:16

04 Jan 2012, 21:34 #1

I have a 600-gal. inground pond with three goldfish. I was told by an "expert goldfish person" that they were all females. I've had them for years now and they are 6-8" long. I never had any babies which is why I think the "expert" thought they were females. Your site correctly sexed them a year or so ago because of behavior I described. Well, my concern is that I have two males and one female. She is getting beat up every mating season. I dread spring!!! :( She is mostly blind and of course I am not sure but think they blinded her by chasing and pounding her. I have built her a little sanctuary area but the males can get in there too sometimes. Any information about protecting her better would be appreciated. I feed her by hand because she cannot see and was wasting away. She is much larger now and doing ok, I just know that spring is coming..... it is very painful to watch.

Before I realized the sex of the fish I came home from work one day almost twoyears ago in the spring and found a female veil tail (whom the fish "expert" told me was a Shubunkin) exhausted and partially "beached" on some rocks at the side of the pond. She had spent much of the winter upside down so I just figured she was suffering and humanely euthanized her. Later I realized she likely was being harrassed by these same bulloes that brutalize the remaining female. Good grief. Any ideas to make her and my life a little easier?
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Robyn
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Robyn
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003, 21:10

05 Jan 2012, 00:47 #2

Welcome to the forum!

I'm sorry that she is getting beat up. At 6 to 8", regularly-finned goldfish (commons, comets, and shunbunkins) are not going to be old unless stunted. They can grow to over a foot long; I've had some at 14". A 600 gallon pond should be able to handle more than three goldfish. I would suggest adding more goldfish. Any individual female will be less harassed by the males when there are more options. The guys are going to want to chase the healthy girls and not ones that are half dead. To truly protect her though, you would need to bring her indoors and set her up in an aquarium by herself. Why do you think she is blind? Are her eyes gone? I would doubt that as she wouldn't live long without sight in a pond.

If you've had males and females, there were probably babies. Does the pond have a lot of plants? I would suspect no. If there's not a lot of cover, the babies will all be eaten. Adding more plants is another way to lessen chasing and harassment with the fish as there are not only more places to hide but softer places (if you used submerged plants like anacharis and hornwort) on which to spawn.

Good luck!
Robyn, Analytical Chemist, Zone 6/7, Maryland
Servant to 4 cats, 1 rabbit, 3 guinea pigs, 2 dwarf hamsters, 1 redbellied turtle, 3 freshwater aquariums (65, 50, & 20 gallons), 2 saltwater aquariums (6 and 12 gallon nano cube reefs), 7 outdoor ponds (1800, 153, 50, 30, 20, 20, & 12 gallons), 1 indoor pond (20 or 50 gallons, winter only), crickets, mealworms, and hundreds of fish (of about 18+ species), amphibians, snails, shrimp, corals, crabs, worms, and so on in those aquariums and ponds. A mostly full list of my current animals is at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/animals/animallist.htm

Fishiedude ribaward
http://www.fishpondinfo.com
http://www.pondshowcase.com
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Marty S
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Marty S
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05 Jan 2012, 22:26 #3

Thank you for response and the welcome. I think she is blind because while the two males have black eyes hers are cloudy gray. I know she can see a little because she seems to respond to me when I come to the side to feed her (but not always; sometimes I have to swish the water). She does not see the plant trimming wand like the males do when I am cutting lily leaves. Unlike the two males she is a long-finned beauty while the males are stocky guys with short tails. They are much larger/longer. A couple of times I have seen flashes of color and thought it was a baby goldfish. Actually when I had a lot of anachris is when I saw the babies. They still never survived. In the spring I have a lot of anachris and lillies but they still go after her like crazy. I will try adding some more plants. I'm not sure I want to add more fish. With my luck I'll end up with another male :) :(

Many thanks. Marty
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Robyn
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Robyn
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003, 21:10

06 Jan 2012, 00:51 #4

Hazy eyes may be caused by a bacterial infection, cataracts, fungus, or even parasites. The haze may reduce her vision. Depending on the cause, it might be reversible.

Longfin female goldfish in with regular-tailed goldfish will be beat up even more as they simply can't get away as quickly.
Robyn, Analytical Chemist, Zone 6/7, Maryland
Servant to 4 cats, 1 rabbit, 3 guinea pigs, 2 dwarf hamsters, 1 redbellied turtle, 3 freshwater aquariums (65, 50, & 20 gallons), 2 saltwater aquariums (6 and 12 gallon nano cube reefs), 7 outdoor ponds (1800, 153, 50, 30, 20, 20, & 12 gallons), 1 indoor pond (20 or 50 gallons, winter only), crickets, mealworms, and hundreds of fish (of about 18+ species), amphibians, snails, shrimp, corals, crabs, worms, and so on in those aquariums and ponds. A mostly full list of my current animals is at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/animals/animallist.htm

Fishiedude ribaward
http://www.fishpondinfo.com
http://www.pondshowcase.com
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Rosiemeadow
Fishy Connoisseur
Rosiemeadow
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004, 20:23

06 Jan 2012, 02:15 #5

Welcome Marty!
Your pond is about the same size as mine & do you want to guess how many fish are in my pond? Easily about 30 yup, that's right, because my fish had babies this past year & there are more of them in my 90 gal pond. I agree with Robyn that you should add a few more fish in there, chances are there will be a female among them. My babies are beauties they are combination goldfish, shubunkin & comets. I did get quite a few that have bent spines but surprisingly only two have died, they are happy little fishies! Fishiedude I have two good size Koi in there also & they never bother the little ones, I also have 10 frogs out there too, they all co-exist rather well. Gee, I sure hope I didn't just jinx myself. ^_^
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Marty S
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Marty S
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06 Jan 2012, 23:18 #6

Thank you for responses Robyn and Rosie:

Ok, I will seriously consdier adding more fish. I should mention there are also mosquito fish (100s) and some shrimp, and I have seen a frog or two over the years. Re the cloudy eyes, I did give her saline baths when first noticed, but they didn't seem to help. Maybe she'll get some more anyway. Based on what you said Robyn is it logical to keep her in the pond with her being a long-finned? even with adding other fish?I really dont have anywhere else to keep her. The two females I know I had/have turn out to be a veil tail and a long finned both slower and most susceptible.

Can goldfish change sexes? (Just a thought from left field as I have discussed this problem with a friend who knows as little as I do about mating behavior.)

Thanks guys. Marty
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Broxandval
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Broxandval
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Joined: 01 Nov 2008, 22:08

06 Jan 2012, 23:37 #7

Hi Marty welcome to the forum from the UK our area of expertise is really in koi but all fish are prone to eye problems aren't they .
Robyn is perfectly correct in what she says but there are many other reasons for damage to resultt in blindness to your fish.

Here is an article by a good friend Pieter Odendaal on eyes and how they become damaged and the fish ultimately blind :-


http://www.koi4u.co.za/index.php?option ... &Itemid=65.

You may be able to tell the type of damage it is from looking at the diagrams.
The goldfish if removed indoors will live a long and happy life without the need for eyes as she has many other senses .

rgrds
broxandval Fishiedude
Weve been Keeping Koi now for 26 year's we have 20 Koi, 1 orfe. We have a russian blue type cat with while leg markings white chin etc called Pepsi and the cutest young boy cat, Jet black in colour (who has two tails) called Jack.
A growing collection of fishy art and Badger/Otter/Dolphin/koi fine art prints.
Collection of Figurines/Plates/Cups/Slates/Clocks all of them are Badger/Otter/Cat/Dolphin
Collect Benaya koi tiles.
Large Library of Koi/Koi/Fish Health Books plus another Library of Tropical Fish/Fish Health Books.
Member of the Koi Magazines Koi Hall Of Fame.
Our deceased cat family:-
RIP Suki 2005-2013
RIP Dusty 1990- 2008 RIP Dillon 1997- 2010
RIP Sammy 1989-2007 RIP Baby 1991-2006
RIP SpookyII 1995-97 RIP Spooky 1990-95
Time Zone GMT

Note:-
Vals birthday 19/3/59

http://xat.com/FishPondInfo
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Marty S
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Marty S
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 21:16

08 Jan 2012, 01:26 #8

Thank you responder from the UK. I will check out your link and learn more about this pretty girl's eyes.

Thank you all for taking the time to send me input. Much appreciated to all.

Marty
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Robyn
Fishy Brainiac
Robyn
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003, 21:10

08 Jan 2012, 01:43 #9

I would bet the mosquito fish are why you have never seen any baby goldfish survive. Mosquito fish are voracious eaters of fry.

Ideally, you wouldn't have a fancy goldfish outdoors. But, if you don't have a place for her indoors, that's the best you can do. When I started my pond, I had fancy goldfish too but none lasted long. I think a fantail made it about four years. Ponds are better as far as room and natural goes compared to aquariums. Also, in an aquarium, a female can really be beat up by the males even moreso than in a pond. Fancy goldfish don't fare as well in ponds because they can't get away from males or predators as well as non-fancy goldfish.

Goldfish cannot change sex.
Robyn, Analytical Chemist, Zone 6/7, Maryland
Servant to 4 cats, 1 rabbit, 3 guinea pigs, 2 dwarf hamsters, 1 redbellied turtle, 3 freshwater aquariums (65, 50, & 20 gallons), 2 saltwater aquariums (6 and 12 gallon nano cube reefs), 7 outdoor ponds (1800, 153, 50, 30, 20, 20, & 12 gallons), 1 indoor pond (20 or 50 gallons, winter only), crickets, mealworms, and hundreds of fish (of about 18+ species), amphibians, snails, shrimp, corals, crabs, worms, and so on in those aquariums and ponds. A mostly full list of my current animals is at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/animals/animallist.htm

Fishiedude ribaward
http://www.fishpondinfo.com
http://www.pondshowcase.com
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Broxandval
Fishy Connoisseur
Broxandval
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Joined: 01 Nov 2008, 22:08

08 Jan 2012, 10:47 #10

Marty S @ Jan 8 2012, 01:26 AM wrote: Thank you responder from the UK. I will check out your link and learn more about this pretty girl's eyes.

Thank you all for taking the time to send me input. Much appreciated to all.

Marty
Marty thanx my friend however knowledge learned over 25 years is something we give freely so that others may advance in the hobby and books are that way fowards.
Having helped friends out about their goldfishes problems on more than one occaision, I decided to buy a book on Goldish to be sure on what I was saying and asking due to the differences between koi and Goldfish and Goldfish to Fancy Goldfish and their problems (mostly due to the changes brought about by breeding and bred into them over many a decade).
Having read through it I would recomend it to all Goldfish owners both Fancy and Normal to give you a greater understanding of your hobby .
Its Title is :- Fancy Goldfish ( A complete Guide to Care and Collecting), ISBN 1859749577 the koi keepers amongst us will recognize the Author. Dr Erik L Johnson DVM and Richard E Hess with Photographs by Fred Rosenzwieg it is curretly avialable on Amazon Books for less than the £45.00 asking price however I'm Sorrys I dont have the echange rate, so please forgive me.
"My reveiw of this book".
"175 pages of interesting reading and is a must buy.
A book covering all aspects of Fancy Goldfish Dr Johnson has surpassed himself, With stunning Photographs throughout
This is ten chapters of interesting reading Part one has six chapters of everything you'll need to know about goldfish health , symptoms, treatments,parasites, Preditors etc
Part two Covers everything you'll need to know about Collecting and keeping goldfish, Appreciation, Chinese and Japenese goldfish and finishing of with one whole chapter on the breeding of Ranchus and the every aspect of them.
You cannot go wrong with this wonderful book".
I strongly recomend you to buy this Marty you can learn one hell of a lot from it putting you in a position for your good self to pass on the knowledge you have learned

rgrds


broxandval Fishiedude
Weve been Keeping Koi now for 26 year's we have 20 Koi, 1 orfe. We have a russian blue type cat with while leg markings white chin etc called Pepsi and the cutest young boy cat, Jet black in colour (who has two tails) called Jack.
A growing collection of fishy art and Badger/Otter/Dolphin/koi fine art prints.
Collection of Figurines/Plates/Cups/Slates/Clocks all of them are Badger/Otter/Cat/Dolphin
Collect Benaya koi tiles.
Large Library of Koi/Koi/Fish Health Books plus another Library of Tropical Fish/Fish Health Books.
Member of the Koi Magazines Koi Hall Of Fame.
Our deceased cat family:-
RIP Suki 2005-2013
RIP Dusty 1990- 2008 RIP Dillon 1997- 2010
RIP Sammy 1989-2007 RIP Baby 1991-2006
RIP SpookyII 1995-97 RIP Spooky 1990-95
Time Zone GMT

Note:-
Vals birthday 19/3/59

http://xat.com/FishPondInfo
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Marty S
New Member
Marty S
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 21:16

08 Jan 2012, 21:50 #11

Thanks again to all who responded. The three goldfish I have were all feeder fish puchased from pet store in one of thsoe cramped aquariams. I started out with many more of course in my early ponding days. Then I was given the veil tail and told it was a shubinkin which is hardier than a veil tail. Anyway, I dislike learining at the expense of the fish.

This morning I saw a little frog on a fake lily pad. I believe it is a pickrel frog (sorry about spelling??) Don't know it will fare very well. Aren't they supposed to be hibernating? The daytiime temps have been up to 70s this past week so likely this brought the frog out. The winters here are moderate but do drop to and below freezing. Last year the pond actually iced over but not completely. I run a pump year round.

I hate to admit but I have agonized over this pond more than I saw coming. I appreciate all the input.

Marty
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Robyn
Fishy Brainiac
Robyn
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003, 21:10

08 Jan 2012, 22:46 #12

It's been abnormally warm here. I have a daffodil in bloom! I haven't seen too much of my frogs but it's common for them to come up on warm winter days. Pickerel frogs are pretty hardy.
Robyn, Analytical Chemist, Zone 6/7, Maryland
Servant to 4 cats, 1 rabbit, 3 guinea pigs, 2 dwarf hamsters, 1 redbellied turtle, 3 freshwater aquariums (65, 50, & 20 gallons), 2 saltwater aquariums (6 and 12 gallon nano cube reefs), 7 outdoor ponds (1800, 153, 50, 30, 20, 20, & 12 gallons), 1 indoor pond (20 or 50 gallons, winter only), crickets, mealworms, and hundreds of fish (of about 18+ species), amphibians, snails, shrimp, corals, crabs, worms, and so on in those aquariums and ponds. A mostly full list of my current animals is at http://www.fishpondinfo.com/animals/animallist.htm

Fishiedude ribaward
http://www.fishpondinfo.com
http://www.pondshowcase.com
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Marty S
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Marty S
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 21:16

09 Jan 2012, 01:15 #13

Thanks Robyn. I'm glad to hear they are hardy. This little guy is pretty cute.
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wvairman
Fishy Lover
wvairman
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Joined: 04 Dec 2010, 04:05

17 Feb 2012, 18:24 #14

As Robyn said goldfish can't change sexes , reef fish such as anthias are one of the few that do. I live in Georgia where mosquito fish (gambusia) are very common and take special care not to introduce them. They are great little hunters.
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Marty S
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Marty S
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 21:16

18 Feb 2012, 18:45 #15

Thank you wvairman for your post. A "fish expert" told me all my goldfish were females and then years later, the brutal mating behavior indicating they are not! Always wondered if they changed sexes but no, guess they were always just what they are. Perfect in nature but hard for me to watch this little blind girl get beat up. Ugh. Spring is coming I know it will start again. As for the mosquito fish, the same "expert" dumped them in my pond without telling me anything about them. My fault as unexperienced as I was when I took this on.

Thanks again for your input.
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