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Gold fish in a water tub??

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  • Gold fish in a water tub??

    So I just got back from a weekend trip down home. I went to see my old trainer and while we where walking around looking at a few new additions to her farm. We went down to bring in some horses and she showed me her water trough, it had gold fish in it. She said They help keep it clean. This is the first time I have ever herd of this though It makes total sense.
    Has anyone ever done this? dose it work well in places where it stays really cold during the winter? I know gold fish can survive being frozen, but for how long?
    Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway

    Boots, chaps and cowboy hats... nothin' else matters.

  • #2
    The bigger question is;

    Will your horse/s eat them?
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%


    • #3
      Originally posted by 2bee View Post
      The bigger question is;

      Will your horse/s eat them?
      That was my thought. Mine would
      The big guy: Lincoln

      Southern Maryland Equestrian


      • Original Poster

        she said the horses have so far not bothered them and they have been in the tubs for months.
        Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway

        Boots, chaps and cowboy hats... nothin' else matters.


        • #5
          That's common around here and they do help. So far no horse has eaten one I know my mom brings her fish inside and in tanks in the winter. I'm not sure about our boarding barns, if they are brought in or not.

          I *have* seen my horse go "nose to nose" with the goldfish more than once. I think they are in love.
          If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
          ~ Maya Angelou


          • #6
            My parents have had fish in their trough for years. It's an old brick and concrete one - in England.

            Fish never bothered the horses and vice versa, although the trough is probably 8ft x 3ft 6'', so plenty of room.

            The cats and herons are the biggest issue.

            Upon taking in someone's prize Koi, to look after for a year or two. They put mesh over the trough and provided another source of water for the horses.


            • #7
              I've never really understood this - goldfish are primarily vegetarians, so may eat algae, etc, in the tanks. But they also grow fast and emit copious amounts of waste (both solid, and as ammonia, neither of which you really want your horse ingesting). May keep the tank from looking so "green" but will still take some management and cleaning, at least vacuuming out the bottom when refilling the tank.
              "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

              My CANTER blog.


              • #8
                Here we go again
                Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                • #9
                  Wasn't there a thread on here where someone was flipping out about goldfish in stock tanks? I seem to recall seeing a rather long, somewhat heated thread over it, but darned if I know why anyone would freak about it (unless their horses ate the fish)


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by caffeinated View Post
                    I've never really understood this - goldfish are primarily vegetarians,
                    I thought feeder goldfish were actually carp. So they eat bugs and mosquito larvae quite well. At least they do in my trough. Not so good at preventing green stuff, great for keeping mosquito's down.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                      Here we go again
                      I know, right? Kittens of the Sea, here we come!!!
                      "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                      • #12
                        Rather than goldfish, what about those algae-eater fish? They're certainly not as colorful or friendly as the large goldfish, but they might be more effective at keeping the algae down.

                        However. . .I can still visualize my gelding running around the pasture with a flapping, shiny fish tail in his mouth. A fish would be a nice alternative to pulling off his pasture-mate's halter and tearing around with it before dropping it in the mud. . .so I don't think I'll be adding fish to the tank any time soon. . .
                        Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JollyBadger View Post
                          Rather than goldfish, what about those algae-eater fish? .
                          Most Algae eaters are tropical fish and they require the water to be in a certain temperature range. Goldfish are not near so fussy about water a little too cold or a little too hot.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            I thought feeder goldfish were actually carp. So they eat bugs and mosquito larvae quite well. At least they do in my trough. Not so good at preventing green stuff, great for keeping mosquito's down.
                            could be
                            "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                            My CANTER blog.


                            • #15
                              I have, over the decades, known of and used (well, my horses have) a number of tanks containing goldfish. My horses also routinely drink out of natural bodies of water containing fish and, therefore, fish poop and pee, as well. Not to mention cow poop and pee. So far they have neither keeled over nor been savagely attacked by a fish. Nor have they made a grab for any sushi.

                              Really. It is not a concern. As noted, until they get grabbed by something up the food chain, they do help keep tanks free of gunk and insect larvae.

                              Edited to ad- because carp are a problem for me these days, relative to endangered fish- they are omnivores, eat water plants and insects, crustaceans, etc, and unfortunately, the larvae of the particular endangered fish I'm supposed to help get back up to viable populations. Anybody wants carp for their tanks, I'll be happy to give you directions to Utah Lake, please take a lot of them!

                              But hey, that last thread WAS fun, so carry on...


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                IMy horses also routinely drink out of natural bodies of water containing fish and, therefore, fish poop and pee, as well. Not to mention cow poop and pee. So far they have neither keeled over nor been savagely attacked by a fish. Nor have they made a grab for any sushi.
                                Just as a note, the only reason I worry about waste is because a tank is a much more closed system. Natural processes that convert those substances to harmless ones require water motion and such to work right. A pond or stream is a whole ecosystem, while a tank is a closed one

                                Either way a lot of people do it, but I probably wouldn't, though that may have more to do with my weird OCD-ness about certain things.

                                As for sushi, I saw video once of icelandic horses breaking ice to catch and eat fish. Truly wild! (though I used to have a horse that liked bologna... heh)
                                "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                My CANTER blog.


                                • #17
                                  I think the horses at my barn like the taste of algae-filtered water better than hose water, FWIW. However, the water cisterns are spring-fed and the water circulates, unlike a regular water trough.


                                  • #18
                                    Until reading this thread, I had forgotten the goldfish.
                                    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                                    A helmet saved my life.


                                    • #19
                                      I've actually been thinking about putting some goldfish in my horses tank...

                                      Does anyone know if there's any issue with the fish and a drain-hole plug tank heater? I wouldn't want them to get fried if they brushed against the heater, then again, I don't think it gets that hot... but its not like I sit there all day and wait for it to turn on to see how hot it gets...?


                                      • #20
                                        I've seen this in practice at several barns. As a marine enthusiast I do know that goldfish are notoriously dirty fish, meaning they poop A LOT and create a lot of ammonia. However it should be ok as long as you keep a good ratio of fish to water as with any fish tank. I'm thinking 5 would be ok for a 100 gallon stock tank. They are opportunistic eaters and will eat mosquito larvae as well as algae. Goldfish are a member of the carp family.

                                        On a funny note when I got my new young horse I noticed him several times just standing over the water trough looking at it. It was summer so the fish were at the top and I guess he had never seen them before. heehee. He's a comedian so it would not surprise me at all if he caught one, especially after he learned about bobbing for apples.