9 Fish for an Outdoor Pond
If you have a prepared outdoor pond and want to decorate it and liven it up with fish, you should know the best types of fish for it. One of the determining factors for your choice of what and how many fish to get, of course, will be the size of the pond.
Don't forget that we are talking about coldwater fish, since the pond will probably be outside in your garden. Keep reading this AnimalWised to learn about the best 9 fish for an outdoor pond.
Minimum dimensions for an outdoor pond
In order to be efficient, outdoor ponds should have minimum dimensions and cubic capacities. Depth is the most important measure because, with it being outside, it should be able to endure cold winters and midsummer heat without the fish dying as a result.
The ideal depth is at least 80 cm (30 inches). This will allow the fish to withstand frost and extreme heat. The ideal cubic capacity is one 10 cm (4-inch) fish for every 50 litres of water. Therefore, as the fish grow you will need to take some out of the pond or add more water.
It will also be very important for you to incorporate aquatic plants to provide shade and micro-nutrients. The best ones are water lilies and water lettuce.
What are the hardiest fish for ponds?
If you want to successfully carry out an outdoor pond, you'll need to choose its inhabitants well. Two species are guaranteed to be successful, and they can also live for over 25 years. They are from the Cyprinidae family.
- Koi are highly hybridized carps. They come in an extraordinary range of colors. The prices can also vary a lot.
- Crucian carps - from the Carassius genus - are also very hybridized and come in a wide range of shapes and colors. They include the classic goldfish (Carassius auratus).
In the picture you can see different colored Koi fish:
Other hardy fish
There are two more cyprinid species; while not as long-lasting as koi or Carassius, they are also fairly sturdy and a great choice for an outdoor pond.
- The gold or Chinese barb, also known as Barbus semifasciolatus, is a small cyprinid (5-7 cm or 2-3 inches long) that is fairly resistant and can live for around 7 years. They can't withstand low temperatures as well as the koi or Carassius.
- The ide, or orfe, also known as Leuciscus idus, is a large cyprinid fish that can exceed 70 cm (27 inches) in length. This fish comes from Finnish freshwater and the Baltic.
In the image you can see the gold barb:
Other interesting fish for outdoor ponds
There are some species of freshwater fish which, for various reasons, are convenient to have in outdoor ponds.
- Peppered corydoras (Corydoras paleatus), is a very necessary catfish due to the fact that it eats pond debris. This cleaning function is essential in any aquarium or pond.
Small fish to form shoals
Instead of filling an outside pond with fish that are bound to grow considerably, it's advisable to fill it with small fish that form colorful shoals.
- The red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) is a species that comes from the United States. Owing to its small size (9 cm - 3.5 inches), outdoor ponds can be populated with small and colorful shoals.
- Onesided livebearers (Jenynsia) are perfect to form shoals. There are several varieties of these; female onesided livebearers (12 cm - 4.7 inches) are three times the length of the males (4 cm - 1.5 inches). They are also viviparous, hence their name.
- The flagfish (Jordanella floridae) is a beautiful species that comes from Florida. Males can measure 6 cm (2.3 inches) in length.
- Japanese rice fish, also known as Oryzias latipes, are very small fish (3 cm or 1.2 inches long) that easily reproduce in ponds. Fluorescent species have been achieved through genetic engineering.
In the picture you can see the Japanese rice fish:
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