I appreciate the concept of Holistic Horse — it is what everyone should be practicing. However, regarding your [Natural Tank Cleaner] article by Shari Frederick: I would like to know just how holistic it is to have goldfish in a water trough? Holistic for whom? Certainly not for the fish.
It is an inhumane practice. As the article says, expect half the fish to die within 4 days...how long do the other fish survive? Animal cruelty is just that — whether it is cruelty toward a horse, a dog, a bird, or a fish. All creatures great and small should be treated with kindness and respect.
I have had the same fish in my trough for over a year. The reason some die in 1-4 days is because they were going to die anyway. Many distributors will tell you if a fish is weak or diseased and not going to make it; they will die in the first few days. The fish in the trough have increased in size more than 6 times their original size and are quite happy (my perception).
This year we had days of 4-inch thick ice on the troughs. I feared for the fish, but every single one lived. I am not certain if ice continued week after week that would be good, but it was ice for almost 4 days straight and many below 30 days in a row.
I have never fed the fish -- there is plenty in the trough to keep them fat and healthy and happy.
Another reader says:
Humane or not?
I'd like to respond to Laurra Maddock and Shari Frederick regarding fish in water troughs. Fish are naturally in water be it a man made pond, natural tank, creek, river, etc. I've had manmade ponds for years and fish thrive. And yes, occasionally they die. Fish are an important part of nature’s balance where water freshness is concerned. The way I look at it, it's a win-win; the fish have a great food source (with no competition of predators) while providing clean water for horses.
Inhumane to fish ... certainly NOT!