When and if you do decide to purchase pond fish there are several things that you should know about keeping fish. Understanding the requirements of fish is the first and most important step in keeping them.
Small garden ponds will not support very many fish and once they begin to grow, you will have a problem keeping them healthy. For this reason, it is vital that you decide what type and how many fish you want before building your pond.
Fish are cold blooded creatures and are affected by water temperatures, most active in the spring, thru the summer and into September.
The young ones will double in size in a typical summer and may even eat from your hand, but make sure that they have a lot of room.
Knowing how to keep your pond clean, because fish will pollute it and will take no time at all to create their own distress, will ease a lot of your worries about keeping pond fish. Installing bio-filters and a pump rated for the gallons your pond holds, will go a long way in keeping your fish healthy. Refer to our pond calculator page for information on this.
Stock the pond a bit at a time over several weeks giving the filter time to mature with the beneficial bacteria needed to keep up with the waste produced. Replacing the pond's water with a one third change every month should help freshen the pond and dilute the pollutants.
Live plants are an absolute must because they help keep algae in check and with plants you are making a "natural statement". Keeping the pond as close to nature as possible without using a lot of harmful chemicals, is the ultimate goal.
Feeding your fish is a science in itself. All of it depends on weather and water temperature. In winter, when it is colder, fish will not eat much so over feeding them will lead to pollution of your pond. To put this simply, fish feed more often when the weather is hot and very little when it is cold. Over time you will learn how much to feed them and when to feed.
With all of this in mind, have fun adding a few fish to your pond knowing that you can enjoy them from year to year.
Japanese Koi fish are much sought after, very colorful but can be very destructive fish.
Hardier than Koi, the Shubunkin does not get any larger than the Comet or Sarasa fish, making a great first addition to a small garden pond.
Comet goldfish are very colorful like Koi, hardier than Koi, but will not destroy your pond plants.