Backyard Discovery Blog

The Best Fish for Backyard Ponds

You want to liven up your yard. You’re looking for something different. You’ve weighed your options and decided that backyard ponds might just be the answer to what you’ve been seeking. Once you’ve picked a pond, chosen its location, and installed it, now comes the fun stuff. What will you put in your pond?

There are many factors that will go into choosing the right fish for backyard ponds, such as size and local climate. Climates where there is no “real” winter allow for pretty much unlimited fish options, as there is little risk of cold temperature freezing the pond or harming the fish. Colder climates, where winter means morning frost and frozen bodies of water, however, need to be a bit more careful when selecting fish for backyard ponds.

Climates where there is no “real” winter allow for pretty much unlimited fish options..

Here are a few fish that are great for backyard ponds.

GOLDFISH

There’s a reason why the goldfish is so common. They are easy and do not demand too much attention. If a child can handle caring for a goldfish, so can you. A goldfish is a great pick for backyard ponds because they can survive most weather conditions. They should have about 50 gallons of water per fish. There are over 100 varieties of goldfish, ranging from the common goldfish you see in pet stores everywhere to the more exotic Comet goldfish which is known for having a long tail. Anyone from backyard beginners to pond pros should know that goldfish help enhance their backyard ponds.

 

KOI

Koi fish are renowned for the beauty, and that is why many people choose to keep them in their backyard ponds. Koi fish have unique color and stunning patterns. They also grow quite large so they must only be kept in larger ponds. Like goldfish, they too can survive in winter environments. However, due to their large size, koi may not be the right choice for all backyard fish ponds.


MINNOWS

Because of their small size, rosy red minnows are a great fit for backyard ponds of all sizes. Even if you choose a smaller pond, it doesn’t mean you have to forego filling it with beautiful fish. These little aquatic creatures have a bright color and are easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for backyard ponds in all kinds of climates. They also tend to breed easily, so you’re sure to have a plentiful pond.

Even if you choose a smaller pond, it doesn’t mean you have to forego filling it with beautiful fish.


SUNFISH

Sunfish are a breed of fish that vary greatly and not two fishes look alike, and within the Sunfish genus, there are about twelve different species. They are another good fit for backyard ponds because of their colorful accents, ranging from orange and red to blue and green. Sunfish don’t grow overly large and they tend to create breeding areas within backyard ponds, which is why you should only have a small group of sunfish in your pond.


NATIVE FISH

Another thing to consider when stocking backyard ponds with fish is stocking it with species that are local to your region or climate. Fish that live in bodies of water in your figurative backyard are a perfect fit for a pond in your literal backyard. So do your research and we can all make backyards pond sanctuaries for native species. The possibilities are endless.


 

Always make sure that you are buying fish from reputable establishments and that they are cared for before you take them home. Before releasing them into the pond, float them in a plastic bag to allow the water temperature to acclimate.


Another important thing to consider is how many fish should you put in your backyard pond. This depends on the breed, the size of the fish, and ultimately, the size of the pond. Make sure not to overcrowd your pond and that it is deep enough for fish to safely survive the winter. And overall, the key to keeping fish in backyard ponds is making sure you know how to care for them.

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