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-FARM-FACT-FRIDAY- Goldfish in the Water Troughs?

Updated: Jan 2, 2022


We have several spring-fed water troughs throughout our pastures and because the cattle are moved to a new section every day, it will be over two weeks before the troughs are used again.


That’s plenty of time for algae to grow and waterborne pests and insect larvae to take over. To help combat this, we use a cheap and effective helper…goldfish!


The goldfish eat the insect larvae, and although it may not look like it, they do a great job at keeping the algae in check.


Since we use the goldfish, we don’t have to use any chemicals or larvicides to treat the water that the cattle drink.


We got these goldfish for $.10 a piece at the pet store when we moved to the farm in 2014. They’ve thrived living in the troughs and have even had babies several times over the years!


Since the water that supplies the troughs comes from an underground spring, the water temperature is pretty much the same year-round, so the troughs rarely freeze over, allowing the fish to live in them all year.


We put a few cinderblocks in the bottom so they have a place to hide out from predators (mainly birds) and because they stay towards the bottom, the cattle don’t slurp them up by accident when getting a drink.


It’s so cool to work WITH nature instead of AGAINST it!



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