That's what we got to put in the stock tank pond. Apparently, these have been introduced to natural waterways and are making quite a pest of themselves elsewheres, but for my little bit of desert water? Perfect solution.
We went down to the Phoenix Tropical Fish store. It's tucked away in a low-income part of town, so when you see the place, you don't expect much. It surprises you. Lots of cichlids, tropicals, and traditional pond fish - goldfish and koi. Last time I was in they even had killifish, which made me very excited. Killifish are cool!
I couldn't decide what kind of fish I wanted to use. I wanted something inexpensive; I was willing to pay up to a couple of bucks a fish, but not any more than that. I was looking at the giant danios, or maybe just feeder guppies... I went outside to check out the pond plants and large pond fish they had out there.
Out in the side yard they have several deep concrete ponds, rectangles about 42" deep, and maybe 5' x 8' across. The last one in the row was mostly drained. There was maybe 10 inches or so of water in it, and it was sitting in the afternoon sun. A handful of fish swam around in the water, looking perfectly unstressed about the sun and heat in what must have been fairly warm water.
I asked the guy what they were and he gave me a name. Turns out they were almost out of the stock inside. The kid I talked to said he thought the tank was empty. It was on the bottom shelf and in the dark. I peered into the murky water, saw flashes of movement, and told him I would take whatever he had in there. Turns out these fish are dimorphic, and the small ones are male. He started netting fish, and they all looked small to me. I resigned myself to coming back in a few months to get more fish. Then the last fish was a big female. I'm calling her Big Mama. The other guy came in at this point and took a look at the bagged fish - he thinks that a few of the smaller fish may be young females, and that Big Mama is pregnant. Cool.
They usually price out the males at a higher price - maybe like killifish, the fish don't produce a lot of males - but they gave me my ten for the price of females. 99 cents a head. Not bad. So now I see if I have enough green hiding places for the little ones to hide in. I was looking at the tank after I put the fish in, giving it a critical eye. I think I'll have a pretty good survival rate. Maybe in time I'll be selling fish back to them!
At any rate, I am confident that they will do their job and I won't be seeing any more pesky bloodsuckers around the patio.