Goldfish – Working to feed your garden

October 11, 2008

The picture to the right here is of my goldfish, puku, multitasking. He’s a great pet actually, low-maintenance, cheap to feed, and has this really useful by-product. Poo.

As you can see in the snap, his water is due for a change. Goldfish are one of the dirtiest of the aquatic pets. They generate a lot of poo, which is in turn eaten by algae, and their bowls fill with this great nitrogen water. To be exact it’s a type of ammonia, which is bad for the fish, but in small doses it’s great for your garden.

The gist is that puku here is basically manufacturing fertiliser for me, while also providing a calming influence.

If you’re going to use this on your plants then make sure you water it down. The 20lt this bowl holds is too much for a few pot-plants, but fine for a reasonable-sized garden. Pity the little blighter will never grow big-enough to eat with chips…



  1. My bokashi composting bucket produces liquid fertiliser that also needs watering down before using on the garden. It produced far too much for me to use really so sometimes I use it undiluted to kill weeds on the paths etc. Maybe fish water would work for this?

    OH and goldfish are considered a snack food in some places (when deep fried)

  2. Or you could not be frugal and be kind to the fish and yourself, and do like my wife does, get the child’s fish tank in balance with plenty of plants. She says she hasn’t changed the water in 3 months.

  3. i’ve tried putting *heap* of plants in there.

    i can never seem to get the nitrogen balance right. which probably means i overfeed the fish.

    but he’s just *so damn cute*

  4. Stephen – what you need is a worm farm. If you don’t already have one. Great for reusing kitchen waste, and you can toss in stuff you can’t generally compost. If you’d like, we can set you up with a starter set of worms!

  5. Hey that was Che, not me!

    I have a festering compost heap just like my dad and my grandad before me. In my experience everything composts eventually, it’s just a question of keeping the rats away.

    Sadly the only good piece of ground for veges at our place is all concrete, but the compost ends up mulching the container plants I’m growing there.

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