What sort of fish should I put in a garden pond?

If you’ve built a nice pond, it makes sense to add fish if you can. Not only do they look wonderful, and contribute to the relaxing atmosphere of  a garden pond, but they help keep mosquitoes at bay (which will inevitably find their way to your pond if you don’t have fish).

While goldfish and Koi are the two most popular types of fish kept in Australian ponds, its really nice to use native fish if you can. (Some breeds of exotic fish have already started becoming established in our natural waterways, such as White Cloud Minnows and Gambusia).  If you’re enthusiastic about using native fish, you can even try and source ones that are indigenous to your specific region – ie, Western Carp Gudgeons or Murray River Rainbows are exclusively from the Murray River system north of the dividing range – so are perfect for this area, but are not found ‘naturally’ in Melbourne.  A good indigenous option for Melbourne is the Southern Pygmy Perch – they’re frog friendly, and wont eat their spawn if you want them to share their pond with frogs!

Australian Smelt are good for much of South Eastern Australia – they are also frog friendly, and love to eat mosquitoes. A good all-rounder for much of Australia is the Crimson Spotted Rainbow fish. However, native fish can be hard to get hold of, and ultimately, most people will buy fish for their ponds from their local pet shop or aquarium, so chances are, unless you’re really keen, you’ll end up with goldfish or Koi.

Regardless of which fish you select,  they will need some protection from the sun, so some sort of shade is a must.  This can be from a tree, or plants inside the pond itself. The water also needs to be deep enough (at least 60cm) to allow the water to stay at a fairly constant temperature – fish will always do much better in a deep pond. Make sure you contact your local council with regard to fencing requirements.

Are you really happy with a particular fish you have in your pond?  Let us know where you are, and what fish you have!


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