Ok, so we’re lame, but we’ve never had a pond with fish in it before. We’ve gone out several times today just to watch them. We picked out twenty little fish at Lebanon Pet & Aquarium Center, about an hour north of us. They didn’t have the best selection, mostly pretty small fish, but they’ll grow, and were only $0.79 each.
We got two common varieties of goldfish, Comets and Shubunkin. From my current bible, The American Horticultural Society’s Complete Guide to Water Gardening by Peter Robinson, it says both of these types will winter over even in our harsh winters, as long as the water doesn’t completely freeze. It’s probably about 3-1/2 feet at it’s deepest, so here’s hoping. We have a mix of colors, though mostly orange, but also a couple of white, and some that are mottled (black, red, purple, blue and brown scales beneath pearly scales). Both breed easily and feed at all levels. (Wonder what we do with the babies? Will they eat them? Will the pond get over-crowded?) We were told to watch for snakes and blue herons, both of which will eat them.
Got three water lilies, two with yellow flowers, one with red. These were pretty expensive, I thought, three for $75. Putting them in the water makes the pond look empty now. Clearly we need more, and Frank’s went off to our swamp in search of irises and other things growing here, because then we’ll know it’s hardy enough to winter over, and it’s much cheaper that way! Besides, it’s our land too, so they are our plants already … According to the book, we need many marginal plants to keep the water full of oxygen and to absorb the fish’s waste material. He’s also hoping to find either tadpoles or eggs, because tadpoles eat algae, which we seem to have lots of.
I didn’t realize that they could see us, but I guess I never thought about it before. But they are clearly freaked out by the new environment, and don’t have enough places to hide yet. They sort of explore all over until we come up close to the pond, then they all group together and cower at the bottom of the pool, being really still. I’ve read that if we feed them at the same time of day, in the same spot, they’ll anticipate it and be there waiting. I put some food pellets in today, which were ignored. But I think I just have to give them some time.