Pond ~ Fish Tips

Fish are a wonderful addition to any pond, here are some helpful tips on keeping them happy.

When introducing new fish into your pond; first float the bag in the water for about 15 minutes before letting them free. If at any point they appear listless or lose balance, release them immediately. DO NOT empty the water bag into the pond or remove the fish from the bag.

Fish take a while to adjust to new surroundings. Don’t be surprised if they hide away when you approach for the first few weeks.

If you introduce too many fish into your pond at once, you may cause undue stress on the ecosystem AND the fish! Ammonia spikes are a common result. Introduce your fish one to two weeks apart.

Don’t overstock your pond. Without adding excess filtration and maintenance headaches, the arguable rule of thumb is 5 gallons per inch of fish for a maximum load. This equates to approximately 150 gallons for Koi and 40-60 gallons for smaller fish like Comets and Shubunkin. Donate or sell your unwanted babies. Save spending money on dozens and dozens of smaller fish and use it on some nice large ones instead.

Fish are social creatures, always buy and introduce them into your ponds in quantities of two to three of the same type.

A common misnomer: Fish are limited by the size of their environment. While it may stunt them a bit or slow their growth, a fish that gets larger in a little pond will eventually outgrow it. Plan accordingly.

Koi are living art. Consider your choices in breeds and colors to compliment your surrounding landscape and home. Think of them as a moving painting or sculpture.

Can’t accommodate the mature growth of Koi in your little pond? Consider more exotic breeds of goldfish for the more interesting fish in a pond. Oranda, Ranchu and Ryukin are a few good eye-catchers to go with your run-of-the-mill Comets and Shubunkin.

Gambusias, better known as mosquito fish are a great and cheap way to control mosquitos in your water garden.

Be patient if you want to teach your fish to hand feed. Find a food that they go crazy for and stick to a routine. Progress form standing to kneeling and then to sitting; finally start dipping your hand into the water as the weeks go by. They will warm up to you and start coming closer and closer to finally taking food from you.

Are your fish acting funny? Fish do not ‘jump for joy’.  If your fish are jumping, scraping themselves against the sides or bottom of the pond, gasping for air or anything else out of the ordinary, something is wrong. Test your ammonia, PH and nitrate levels. Check your fish as thoroughly possible for signs of parasites, wounds, distress, etc.