No matter how large or small your garden is, a small pond water feature can be a beautiful addition to your landscaping.
A peaceful and tranquil pond with some flowers and vegetation and a little waterfall or fountain can fill your garden with the relaxing sound of running water. Your pond can also be home to some beautiful fish which you can enjoy watching as they swim back and forth.
If you are setting up your first garden pond you might be wondering which species of fish you should place in the water. Are there certain types of fish that thrive well in garden ponds and are there any species that you should avoid using? Here are some tips for choosing the right fish for your pond:
How Big Is Your Pond?
The first thing to consider is how much room you actually have in your garden pond for the fish to swim around. A big fish in a small pond will suffer because it will not have enough space to move around, so make sure that when you buy a small fish it will not grow much bigger.
Measure the depth and area of your pond before you go looking for fish. For example, popular pond fish species such as Koi and Carp need at least 100cm of depth or more to survive so make sure that your pond is deep enough to house whichever species you choose.
Also, do some research on the fish species that you are considering to find out whether it will thrive in your climate and what its eating habits will be.
Common Pond Fish Varieties
Here are some of the most frequently used fish that tend to thrive in garden ponds:
Koi and Carp
These are one of the largest species of pond fish and they can grow up to 75 cm in length. They should only be used in large ponds which are very well filtered. They have a habit of pulling up vegetation, so your pond should have little ornamental plantings. Koi are usually much more expensive than carp, as they have brighter colors and are more attractive.
This is a classic choice for a garden pond and there are so many different types of goldfish to choose from. Perhaps you could have a “Comet” with a long tail or a multicolor “Shubunkin”? These varieties will grow up to 15 cm or more but sometimes can be double that size.
Rudd and Orfe
These are two other species which are commonly used in ponds. The Orfe is quite an active creature that spends most of its time very close to the surface, which makes them fun to watch. However, this makes them easily snatched by cats or birds so make sure that your pond is protected! They are very social fish and they live in shoals, so you will want a group of at least 6 of them and lots of room because they grow up to 30cm or more.
If you have less space, the Rudd is a similar species which is only about half the size of the Orfe.
Last but not least, the Tench is known as a “pond cleaner” because it will hang out at the bottom of your pond and eat the food that the other fish leave to rot. They are not that easy to see down there, but they are doing an important job keeping your pond clean.
Taking the time to choose the right fish for your garden pond ensures that your fish will live happily and comfortably in your pond environment. This will save you from having to explain to the children how and why they’re beloved pet ‘swam off’…
Once you have your pond liner set up and your pond installed, you will want to fill it with pretty fish. Here are some tips for choosing the right species for your pond.