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A Fishy Solution for Soil Fertility

By Skiekitty
November 7, 2013

If you have poor soil, go to your local big-box pet store and ask the employee in the fish department for a bag of their dead feeder goldfish. Bury the goldfish below your favorite plant and watch the plant explode with growth! This tip also works with fish "leftovers" provided by those who like to fish.

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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Nov 7, 2013 7:35 AM CST
Do you have problems with your pets or other animals trying to eat this. I guess I am also trying to imagine why a store would keep a bag of dead fish. What am I not understanding?
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Skiekitty
Nov 7, 2013 9:50 AM CST
Anna - If you bury the fish deep enough (under the plant, so we're talking at least 6"), it shouldn't smell. And cats/dogs will dig up your yard if you put down almost any kind of fertilizer, I've found.. or maybe it's the type I use (I use all kinds, but I prefer fish types of fertilizers). That's another reason why I use so much mulch.

Big box pet stores (Petco / Petsmart) have to have a record of their dead fish because they get fish in such HUGE numbers. When they get their feeder gold fish, they get them in the 1000s. Literally thousands. Trust me, I know! I worked both! And when you stick 2500+ fish in a 90gal aquarium, you're gonna have a LOT of dead fish every day, just from the sheer amount of ammonia they produce. So they have to pull the dead, count them, then put them in the freezer because you don't want to just throw a bag of dead fish in the dumpster.. that'll attract all kinds of vermin (stray cats / birds / rats). So they store dead fish in the freezer for a week or so, then put them in a thick garbage bag the night before the dumpster's emptied & then it goes away the next day.

At least at the Petcos & Petsmarts here that's how it's done. And that's what the rules were...
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Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Nov 7, 2013 3:33 PM CST

Plants Admin

Where I live, this would most certainly attract coyotes and black bear.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Nov 7, 2013 8:19 PM CST
Oh, that's depressing...poor fish! Once my grown daughter talked me into disposing of a living goldfish. I let it go in a creek. I guess that's better than being flushed down the toilet, which is what they would have done if I hadn't taken it.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
[Last edited by LindaTX8 - Nov 7, 2013 8:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Nov 8, 2013 8:14 AM CST
Thanks for clarifying. I'm all ears!
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Nov 8, 2013 8:39 AM CST
My larger houseplants are my fishy cemetery, but I only get a dead one once in awhile from my aquarium. I also water the plants with the used aquarium water when I do my partial water changes.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Nov 8, 2013 10:01 AM CST
LindaTX8 said:Oh, that's depressing...poor fish! Once my grown daughter talked me into disposing of a living goldfish. I let it go in a creek. I guess that's better than being flushed down the toilet, which is what they would have done if I hadn't taken it.


https://nas.er.usgs.gov/taxgroup/fish/docs/dont_rel.asp

If you need to dispose of a fish, please don't release it into the wild. Put it in a baggie & put it in the freezer. It will be dead within 5-10 seconds and it's painless. Basically fish goes into hypothermia and passes on almost instantaneously.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
Nov 8, 2013 6:02 PM CST
Well, I don't really believe people should keep fish as a pet, but I did what I was asked to do at the time. I think the big-box pet stores are irresponsible to condemn an unbelievable amount of fish to death from their own waste (couldn't be a pleasant way to go), so what they do is worse.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
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Swayback
Nov 9, 2013 10:47 PM CST
I'm not try to get down on anyone here, but the the effects of introducing alien species to a new range can be catastrophic!
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