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Besides koi, what are some other types of fish for my pond? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: Besides koi, what are some other types of fish for my pond?

Q: Besides koi, what are some other types of fish for my pond?

Judy – N Tonawada, NY

A: Koi may be the living jewels of the pond world, but you can choose from a variety of fish that are suitable for your water garden – most of which can be found at your local pet store. Some of our favorites include:

  • Comets/Sarasa: Colorful and active, these varieties of goldfish are distinguished from their aquarium cousins by their long, single and deeply forked tail fin. In optimal conditions, their tails can grow up to 2 feet in length! Comets typically have red and white coloration with red appearing on the tail and dorsal fin. The Sarasa’s color pattern, in fact, often resembles a kohaku’s, making it quite koi-like. These guys have a life span of 7 to 14 years or more.
  • Shubunkin: Another variety of goldfish, shubunkins sport opalescent red, white, grey, black and blue scales in a calico pattern – and the bluer, the better (according to fanciers). They have streamlined bodies with well-developed and even fins. Shubunkins, which hail from Japan, reach a length of 9 to 18 inches and live 7 to 14 years or more. They add a big splash of color to your pond.
  • Plecostomus: Why not put your fish to work for you! The plecos is an omnivorous fish that will actually eat your string algae (as well as leftover fish food and other scraps). In a pond, sucker fish can grow up to 2 feet long. Because he is a tropical fish, he will need to be overwintered inside when water temperatures dip below 60° Fahrenheit because he’ll die in temperatures below 55°F.

As temperatures start to dip in the fall, it’s a great time to add new fish. Just make sure you have the necessity on hand to acclimate them. You’ll need Pond Salt, which will reduce the fishes’ stress, improve their gill function and protect them against common pond toxins while adding essential electrolytes to the water. You’ll also need Stress Reducer PLUS, which forms a protective slime coat on your new fish, and removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals from tap water. For more tips for acclimating your new fish, check out our blog post here.

So many fishes, so little time … With all these fabulous finned friends to choose from, you’ll wish you had a bigger pond!

Pond Talk: How many varieties of fish do you have in your water garden? What’s your favorite?

Daily Summer Diet For All Fish Varieties - View Pond Logic® Ponstix Floating Fish Food

10 Responses

  1. so my question is, will these different varieties of fish survive the winter in the pond… I live in zone 5 Wisconsin.

    • Hi Dena – The only fish we mentioned that will not survive a zone 5 winter would be the Plecostomus. All others will be just fine as long as your pond is at least 18″ deep (but the deeper the better!). For your zone, we would recommend have an aerator and deicer going in your pond to keep a hole open in the ice at all times.

  2. I suggest golden orfe as a great pond fish if the pond is 1000 gallons or more. Plecos will not eat string algae; I’ve had my big one in a tank full of it in the past. They are too hard to catch in the fall and some may suck on the goldfish and koi.

  3. I have a 1000gal.decrotive pond in my yard. Eight years old there a outs .I have had wonderful luck with
    It. Just plain koi & comets. If you want to solve a world of problems, get a good UV sterilizer. That and your water quality is paramount to having a pond to love and be proud of.
    How do I get rid of turtles ? Elusive sob’s?
    Thank for all your info. Good reading. Cheers , Fishymon

    • Hi Buck – Turtles typically come and go. They tend to migrate from pond to pond over the course of a season. Having one stop by indicates your pond is healthy and a nice place to be. For smaller ponds, there’s not an easy way to remove them, just wait a few weeks and they should be moving on.

  4. I would love to have a few Plecostomus in my 450 foot long by 150 foot wide by 30 feet deep pond. I wonder if the water temp at 30 ft would stay above 55 degrees in winter. The temps here in Northern Pa do go to 20 below zero and the pond ice freezes to about 1 foot thick.Winters do not seem to bother the Large Mouth Bass, Channel Cats or Brown Trout that are now about 2 feet long. At thaw out I never have dead fish floating so conditions must be ok. But I do wonder if the Plecostomus would survive.

  5. I have bass and minnows in my half acre springfed pond — are there any fish (like the piecos) I can put in a springfed pond to help get rid of the algae? This is in upstate New York where at least some of the pond freezes over winter

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