How Do I Choose Between Koi and Goldfish For My Backyard Pond?

img 1343 488x1024 How Do I Choose Between Koi and Goldfish For My Backyard Pond?

There are many varieties of fish that work well in backyard ponds, but the two most popular and easily kept fish are members of the Carp family; Koi and Goldfish. Both brightly colored and friendly, these fish make lively additions to a backyard pond, but their needs and behavior in the pond make them suitable to different environments.

While the immediately obvious difference between Koi and Goldfish is the relative size of each mature species, there are many different aspects of water gardening that should be taken into consideration when choosing the correct pond fish for your garden pond. These are the top five points I ask my clients to consider when they are selecting fish varieties for their garden ponds and fountains, and they will help you identify the best fish for you and your water feature.

Pond Construction:

The average backyard pond holds a few hundred gallons max, and is either a prefabricated form, or a hand dug pit covered by pond liner. For a pond to hold any fish, the middle of the pond should have a depth of at least 3-4 feet, to provide the fish with hibernation room, and places to hide from predators and hot summer weather. Goldfish can thrive in a pond of this approximate size and depth, while Koi breeders recommend a pond to hold a minimum of 2000 gallons for schools of Koi, a dramatically larger size than the average homeowner can fit in their yard. Another rather unusual problem that Koi can have is the issue of sunburn. A deep pond is necessary for housing Koi schools because the fish are prone to sunburn in shallow water, and can die from too much exposure to direct sun rays.

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