Orange County Pond Service

7 Best Types of Pond Fish for Garden Ponds

7 Best Types of Pond Fish for Garden Ponds 7 Best Types of Pond Fish for Garden Ponds

7 Best Types of Pond Fish for Garden Ponds

7 Best Types of Pond Fish for Garden Ponds

Building a garden pond is always a fun and exciting process. From digging a pond hole and adding a filtration system to decorating it with aquatic plants and rocks, there’s never a dull moment.

If you already have your pond set up, you probably can’t wait to start filling it up with fish. Before you head to the store, though, you should first learn about the different species that could survive and thrive in backyard ponds.

Here, we break down the best fish to get for your backyard pond!

1. Koi

Koi have evolved to thrive in the great outdoors, making them an excellent choice for your garden pond. They are extremely resilient and can handle hot and cold temperatures. The only downside is that they can grow to over two feet! You can keep them in smaller ponds when they’re younger and just around five to seven inches, but you may have to transfer them to a large pond after some time.

2. Catfish

Some pond owners would actually argue that it’s a bad idea to have catfish as pets in an outdoor pond. That’s because they tend to bite and kill fish that are sometimes even bigger than they are. Most of the time, they’re laid back, but you never know when they might flip the lid. Our advice is to be cautious and don’t place them in a pond with defenseless fish like koi or goldfish.

3. Sterlets

The sterlet is a wonderful fish to keep in your pond due to its adaptability and ability to thrive in colder climates. Their average age is between 22 and 25, they can be distinguished by their black skin, white stripes, and fimbriated barbels.

Keep in mind that some of the proteins in commercial pellets may be too difficult for them to digest. In addition, sterlets can become entangled in aquatic plants, so don’t put too much water plants.

4. Common Goldfish

Common goldfish are generally peaceful creatures, and they can get along with almost anything in the pond. However, you should be careful as smaller types of goldfish can fall prey to fish like golden orfes. Temperatures between 68 and 72° F (20 and 22 degrees° C) and pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6 are ideal for goldfish.

5. Weather Loaches

Weather loaches can tolerate water temperatures between 40 and 77 °F (4.5 and 25 °C), allowing them to survive winters in outdoor ponds. As they are quite sociable and prefer to congregate in small groups with others of their kind, you will want to acquire many of them.

Plus, they may reach a height of a foot and are not discriminating eaters. They’ll happily chow down on almost anything including algae, insects, veggies, and food pellets.

Types of Fish That Pond Owners Should Avoid

Since there are ideal fish to add to small ponds, there are of course going to be bad ones. Before you build a pond, try not to get the types of fish below.

Fancy Goldfish

Fancy goldfish are known to be slow and clumsy, so it would be a bad idea to place them in a pond. When it’s feeding time, they’ll easily be left behind and may even starve to death. They’re also incredibly vulnerable to illness and infection.


Plecostomus should never be kept in a pond unless you are in a tropical climate. P lecos are often introduced to ponds in an effort to control algae growth. Unfortunately,  these fish are used to warmer climates and won’t survive the cold.  Their carcass could then cause serious water pollution that can kill off other species.

Hire Professional Garden Pond Services Today

Need help installing your garden pond? You’ve come to the right place. The OC Pond and Fountain Care design team is equipped with materials and in-depth knowledge for all your water feature needs.

We can help you decorate, clean, and maintain your pond by adding essentials like pond liner, decorative rocks, and more.

To begin, contact us at 949-653-2305 and get a free quote today!