February 2005


The September/October and November/December issues of the Report are completed and at least in the email for electronic subscribers; we hope you will see these soon. The January/February issue is near completion and the editors have started gathering material for the March/April issue. Unfortunately, we have gotten a bit of a backup in the production and mailing process ... to allow us to do the Report in color, this is done entirely manually using a large format inkjet printer and the volunteers have gotten a bit overwhelmed. Take a look here for info from the editor on upcoming issues of the Goldfish Report and the publication schedule.

If you have let your membership lapse or have been thinking about joining the GFSA, now is a great time - here is a form you can print. To submit material for the Goldfish Report to editor Matt Lyon, please see the updated society contact info. Articles and photos in electronic form are particularly appreciated.

The current line-up of people filling the GFSA offices is on the society officers page. 

Interested in joining the GFSA but still not sure? We have two sample Goldfish Reports available to download, to demonstrate that every issue is packed with thought provoking information and pictures available nowhere else. We are also promoting an electronic membership option that significantly lowers the cost of membership.

Seasonal Advice

Ice follies: well, you had forgotten how cold winter gets and now there are 3 inches of ice on you pond, and you are asking yourself "do I have a problem?". If it is a big pond, fairly clean with low stocking density (20-30 gallons per fish-inch), probably not. But a small pond, or one with a lot of fish, or with a lot of decomposing organic matter probably is better off with a patch of open water to support the exchange of gases between water and air.

There are various heaters sold for ponds and cattle troughs that float and are designed to keep an area open. Most operate thermostatically, turning on when the water is below some temperature. For use in a fish pond you want one that does not have exposed heating elements that could burn a fish that accidentally touched them.

The first trick is to get an open patch to put the heater in. The classic trick is to take a pot or kettle full of boiling water and then place it on the ice surface and let it melt through. This is to be preferred to chopping through the ice, which is very hard on the dormant fish. One tip (which the Web master discovered the hard way): tie a string to the pot handle. When the pot goes through the ice it will sink. Trying to retrieve the family tea kettle, through an 8" hole in the ice, before your wife finds out what you have done with it, is extremely unpleasant work.