How do I stop pond fish getting sunburn?

15 Mar

Question by Nighthawk: How do I stop pond fish getting sunburn?
I have a grass carp (about 20 inches long) in an outside pond. Every summer he/she likes to bask in the sun with the top of his head out of the water. This area of his skin, which is normally black, quickly goes white and pink and looks very unhealthy. I fear he will get skin cancer as each year it is worse, and this year it has started early. So far, it all heals up over winter.

Every time he is disturbed he gets back in the sun after a few seconds. He shares the pond with numerous gold fish and they don’t have the same problem.

I don’t think sun cream or wearing a hat are viable options, and I don’t want to shade the whole pond.

Location SW England about 50 degrees North.
Thanks for suggestions so far. You are quite right about pond weed, lilly pads etc and I have lots of these, but this fish seeks out the gaps! I might just add that this fish has full control of its swim bladder and makes a conscious choice to break the surface.

Best answer:

Answer by knightrunner13
Not realy a problem you can solve it likes the sun and unless you cover all of the pond it will keep sunning it self .

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4 Responses to “How do I stop pond fish getting sunburn?”

  1. cat.tuck2 March 15, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    maybe he likes to be crispy

  2. Flames Fan March 15, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    There is a simple solution to this. Since this is a pond, you should have some pond plants in the water anyways, plants like lilly pads will do wonderfully, and when they bloom, it looks magnificant. Not only do the lilly pads provide protection from the sun, and predators over-head, it also provides a landing spot for some insects, a perfect opportunity for your fish to get some extra food.

  3. sportyconnie March 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Put up some kind of shade cloth above them or one of those bamboo fence panels. Make sure the sun is shaded from the pond. I would put shade cloth over mine and take it off after the sun quit shinning on it directly.
    Hope this helps

  4. JustLookinAround March 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    That’s a tough question! I’ve got one large imported Koi that spends a good deal of time out of the water, but I know there is no way that I could ever stop her.

    Have you tried asking this question at http://www.koivet.com? Just go to the community forum link at the top of the page. There are some true Koi and Carp experts over there and I bet one of them has run across this problem before. There are several good articles on that site about Koi skin cancer, too. Good luck.

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