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Best types of garden pond fish

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The Best Types Of Fish For Your Garden Pond
Anne Clarke

There are many reasons as to why you might want to have fish in your garden pond – they add beauty, color, and interest to your garden and act as a sort of outdoor “pet.” But there are other good reasons for putting fish in your pond, as well. For one, fish will eat pesky mosquitoes as well as pond algae. Overall, pond fish are also fairly easy to care for, too.

Now that I have convinced you to get some fish for your garden pond, let us go over a few types of popular outdoor pond fish – most outdoor pond fish are freshwater-coldwater types.

Comet goldfish

This type of goldfish is going to be able to handle varied conditions in your pond – this includes varied conditions due to weather, as well as conditions due to your inexperience with pond fish. Comet fish can endure variations in both temperature and water quality. Comet goldfish are distinguishable by their long single tails – like a comet. They come in a variety of colors, including red and white. Also, comet goldfish tend to be fairly inexpensive. Chances are, your comet gold fish will live for 14 years and grow up to 10 inches long.

Shubunkin goldfish (aka calico goldfish)

This is a very interesting goldfish – like a common goldfish, shubunkin goldfish have long bodies and a single tail, but they are brightly colored in a mix of fantastic colors… red, brown, blue, yellow, and violet. They are also distinguished by black spots on their bodies and tails. This is a very tough goldfish type. Make sure that your pond has plenty of plants and open areas for swimming. If you have shubunkin goldfish, do not put telescope goldfish or bubble eye goldfish (and other slow swimming fish) in with them – they might end up starving because shubunkin goldfish will get to the food first… and they do not share. Rather, you should get your shubunkins a koi or two as buddies.


Koi range from very inexpensive to very expensive – there is quite a variety as to the type and quality of koi. By quality, I am referring to the color and patterns displayed on the koi’s scales. As abovementioned, koi can cohabitate with other goldfish like comets and shubunkins very well. Koi can grow to be several feet long, and they can live from 25-50 years! Some people think that koi are gold fish, but they are only distant cousins to the goldfish – they are actually much more closely related to the common carp. While koi can handle a wide range of temperatures, as sudden change in temperature can affect them adversely. Koi will get along with other tropical fish, as well.

Whichever type of fish that you decide to get for your pond, be sure that you get ones that will cohabitate well and ones that are durable (like the abovementioned types of fish). Also make sure that you do not try to stick too many fish in too small of a pond. Consider having only one inch of fish per gallon of pond water. A 10 foot by 10 foot pond can typically support about 20 five inch fish… This math equation might be a bit too much – a general rule of thumb is to start with just a few, and go from there. Remember that your fish will grow!

Just a note: If you are new to having fish in your pond, you may want to avoid fantail varieties – these are not quite as durable as other types of goldfish.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on fish and ponds, please visit Pond Filters.

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