Freshwater Fish in a Garden Pond

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Freshwater fish bring domestic nature to a pond

Domestic freshwater fish bring much pleasure to a natural garden pond as long as the combination of all species were chosen carefully. They provide the possibility to watch indigenous aquatic life from a very close distance. It is important to five your house fish lots of free space in their artificial water garden, similar to circumstances these animals would find in streams, lakes, and other spots in their natural water world.

Besides plenty of space to swim, good water quality and continuous water circulation are vital features for freshwater pond fish. The pleasure with your fish will be a short one, if freshwater fish are kept in a small backyard pond or in a mini pond on your terrace. Soon this will turn into cruelty to animals, for this is not an animal friendly environment for freshwater pond fish.

Natural fishpond with indigenous pond life

In many states it is not allowed to catch indigenous fish in the open nature to sell or release them for private garden ponds. All house fish should only originate from fish breeding in fresh water fishponds.

Originally freshwater fish were living in clear, floating, cold waters. Their healthy animal kingdom relays on non-polluted, clear, bubbling pond water. Many species prefer water with few nutrients. House fish need large living space so they can move around in wide territories. We advice to add a pond stream or a waterfall to a natural looking water garden with domestic house fish.

The control of fish disease are a vital precaution to provide optimal maintenance to freshwater pond fish. Avoid parasitic as well as non-parasitic fish diseases by using high quality food for fish feeding in a pond.

When you start planning to build your own pond consider the individual needs of specific indigenous species in the water garden. Besides a natural design you should provide places where your fish can hide, sleep or breed. For example the Bitterling needs to store its spawn in shells. Others prefer to lay their spawn on coral or between underwater plants. For pond fish, that are looking for natural hidings in caves, you need to create a multisided underwater landscape by piling up rocks. Other fresh water fish just prefer wide territories to swim around.

Never put fish in a backyard pond after pond construction is just finished. New aquatic gardens with a recently planted pond flora need at least several weeks before all pond plants start growing and can take over the function of cleaning the pond water. After some weeks your pond plants will help to increase water quality by transforming the fish' excrements and they will be part of a natural biological balance in the pond. If you release pond fish right after finishing your pond construction, the animals will increase the amount of nutrient what would be followed by excessive algae growth.

After you have finished your garden pond contraction in autumn, we suggest to release fish in your fresh water pond you better wait until next spring. This will easily avoid to take the risk of hibernation of your pond fish in unstable eco-system.

Domestic freshwater fish for a garden pond

In the following section we will present a few indigenous freshwater fish that you can release in your artificial lake. Of course, the amount of fish as well as the combination of all pond fish depends on your pond volume. We advise for most of these peaceful house fish not to release single fish. Better bring these animals in small swarms of the same species in your water garden to support their social behaviour.

Indigenous freshwater fish in a water garden

A popular domestic fish is the Bitterling. This freshwater fish is getting only about 9cm long, looks grey green, silver and is a peaceful, undemanding group fish.
He can become up to 5 years old and prefers sandy pond zones and depths free of mud. This house fish enjoys to swim between an underwater landscape of pond plants.

Bitterling eat plant substances in the water and plankton. Also industrial fish food is possible to feed. These freshwater fish seek themselves and stay in little swarms.

Between April and August Bitterling chose shells at the ground to store their spawn. Without having these shells Bitterling breeding will be impossible in your artificial pond.

check indigenous freshwater fish periodically for
Check domestic freshwater fish periodically for fish diseases
fish diseases in a garden pond

To have Gudgeon in your aquatic garden you have to provide a big pond with clear and circulating water and less nutrients. An attached pond stream might be a good solution to guarantee continuous water circulation. Gudgeon are peaceful fish with a spindle round, silver-blue body, dark brown spots and big scales. This fish can get up to 15cm long and up to 8 years old.
Gundeon is a typical ground fish, that is found at the bottom and in shallows of the pond These fish are looking for small pond life like worms, crabs or larva of insects in the sand and the pebble of the ground, but they also eat dry fish food. Gudgeon show great adaptability and are very social inhabitants among all pond fauna.

An other indigenous swarm fish for garden ponds is the White Aspe. A natural fish pond with stable water conditions all over the year are a perfect territory for White Aspes. They get only up to 8cm long and have a short life (max. 3 years). They enjoy swimming up and down in a major swarm. You will see these animal in deep pond zones as well as in sandy shallows that are free of mud. White Apse are quite resistant against lack of oxygen in the pond water and show good results when breeding in artificial water gardens. They eat plankton, but also fish food.

Colorful shining Minnows are an other indigenous house fish. A Minnow can become about 8 cm long and not more than 5 years old. These swarm fish prefer floating, clear water that should be very rich of oxygen, because they come originally from streams and rivers. Your will see Minnows in small groups up to 8-10 fish, swimming close below the water surface near the sandy banks of your pond. They also enjoy swimming and hiding between underwater plants and rocks. Minnows eat little water insects and worms, but also fish food is no problem to feed.

Not all species of indigenous freshwater fish live in harmony in an artificial pond

Information zu heimischen Friedfischen Peaceful domestic freshwater fish

  • Bitterling
  • Bleak
  • Bream
  • Grass Carp
  • Gudgeon
  • Minnow
  • Roach
  • Vimba Bream
  • White Apse

Information zu heimischen Raubfischen Indigenous fish of prey

  • Eel
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Zander
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