So – you have a new, tranquil pond filled with beautiful water plants and lovely landscaping around the edges, but one this is still missing…fish! Fish can be tricky, and it may take a couple tries before you find the perfect fish to populate your pond. Some fish are dirtier than others, making maintenance a constant effort, others won’t survive through harsh weather, and some fish just don’t get along with other species.
Below are some of the most popular and practical fish for outdoor ponds:
Goldfish are the classic fish to occupy outdoor fish ponds. They may seem boring and over-rated, but don’t judge the goldfish too quickly, they come in many different types and colors and can very well complete a pond. Outdoor goldfish will get bigger than the ones in an indoor aquarium, but are fit to survive in small or large outdoor ponds. They are dirty fish, creating a lot of waste, but Goldfish are hardy, and will often survive a long, cold winter.
One of the most popular fish for outdoor ponds is the Koi Fish. Koi Fish are commonly larger than Goldfish – typically attaining lengths of two to three feet and weighing up to thirty-five pounds. Because of their large size, Koi should only be kept in large ponds with at least one thousand gallons of water. Koi need excellent water quality to remain healthy, so sophisticated filtration systems should be used to maintain their water. Well cared for Koi can up to fifty to seventy years – some have been known to live to be over two hundred years!
If you have a pond, you probably have mosquitoes. Mosquito Fish are small, guppy-like fish that grow to only one to three inches in length. This fish has a huge appetite for mosquitoes and mosquito larva. There is nothing worse than trying to relax outdoors, but instead becoming a backyard buffet for mosquitos. This small fish can take care of your mosquito problem before it even begins!
Looking for something that will clean up the mess of a pond for you? Plecostomus are a type of catfish that are most often incorporated into a pond as an algae eater. They grow very rapidly in outdoor ponds. Full grown Plecostomus can reach up to twenty-four inches in length. These fish are tropical and will not survive the winter in an outdoor pond; therefore, they will need to be transported indoors during the winter. Keep in mind the rapid growth when purchasing an aquarium to keep them in during the cold months – if you purchase a small Plecostomus, it will not be small anymore when the time comes to move it. It is not recommended to put Plecostomus in the same pond as Koi fish.
Having fish in your pond will complete the ecosystem that you are creating in your backyard. They also give that “WOW” factor to your pond and act as an excellent conversation piece.