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Choosing Pond Fish EB

Choosing Fish for your Pond

Whether you've just had a new pond installed in your garden, are thinking about it, or are looking to revive an old one, one of the most important things to factor into your plans is what kind of fish will you have living in your water feature? To help you make the most of your garden pond, we've compiled a list of some of the most common types of pond fish and what they'll need to live happy lives in your backyard.

Koi Carp

These are perhaps the most famous and popular breed of pond fish. They're available in gorgeous colourways from orange to white, with black spots or plain colour; this species will give you a unique sense of vibrancy in your garden. Some Koi are extremely valuable, so if you decide that Koi is the best fit, remember to factor in security around your garden or pond to help prevent theft.

Koi are relatively hardy fish and easy to look after, but it's always best to do your research on any fish before purchasing. Koi need quality filtration and aeration systems to keep the water clean and ensure there's a good amount of oxygen in your pond.

Koi have an irritating habit of digging up pond plants and eating them - so you won't get much oxygen from plants to your pond - and they'll destroy your decorative plants too, so it's best to avoid any plants when adding Koi to your garden pond.

Your pond should be at least three feet deep if you're planning on keeping Koi, and you should have 1 Koi per 1000 litres. More water per Koi is advantageous, though, as you can be 100% confident your fish have plenty of space to swim and grow.


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Though we usually think of these fish as tank-dwellers, goldfish are better suited to ponds. They're resilient and robust fish, so they're a brilliant choice for beginners. A downside is that goldfish tend to reproduce quickly, leading to over-population and problems with your pond, such as sludge and blanket weed.

Various goldfish types are suitable for ponds, including Shubunkin, the Common Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, and Wakin. Do your research on each variety, their behaviours, and their environmental needs so you can pick the best species for your pond.

Your pond should be at least three feet deep for goldfish, but deeper is a brilliant idea, so any fish that don't hibernate during winter can swim to deeper, warmer water. We recommend about 5-10 goldfish per 1000 litres.

Golden Tench

This type of fish is excellent for using in ponds with Koi as they eat their waste, which helps reduce nutrients that trigger the production of green water that can lead to pond algae.


Tench are bottom-feeding fish and tend to prefer food that sinks. They're best kept in groups of 5 in a pond at least 2.3 feet deep and can be used with other fish varieties too.

Golden Orfe

These large and slender fish are also known as Ide, and they're ideal for large, well-oxygenated ponds and lakes. They're surface-dwelling fish that can jump for an impressive show. Unfortunately, they suffer from low oxygen problems in high summer, and as such, they would do well in a pond with a waterfall or water feature.

Orfes are school-fish which means they should be kept in groups - we suggest about six. However, you should keep them away from smaller fish or fry as they have a habit of eating them.

We hope you've found this guide useful and have some ideas on where to start when it comes to stocking your pond. Remember to do your research before purchasing or ask for advice from a professional, so your fish stay healthy and happy. Most of the above fish can live between 10 and 20 years or more when in a pond with the perfect environment and are well-looked after.

If you're looking for equipment for your pond, browse our Garden Pond Products to make a good start.

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