Let’s talk fish for a bit. If you want a truly lively pond, fish are the way to go. Start with a few and soon you’ll have a school! Well, maybe not that many, but they do multiply. In our pond we had Koi, Comets, and Shubunkins.
Of these, the Koi are the largest and definitely the fastest growing. In fact sometimes you may wonder if they’re going to stop growing. When we bought our first Koi, it was about three inches long, and grew to almost two feet! The Koi’s change color as they mature. When we bought our first one it was as orange as a gold fish, but ended up solid white.
The Comets are bright orange and seem to be the best multipliers. The young are black but gradually change over to orange. None of ours seem to get very large but I have seen bigger ones in other ponds.
The Shubunkins are very colorful, chunky little fish. They are orange, red, blue and black. They grow slowly and never get very large but they sure add a lot of color to the pond.
Our fish population as a group were always very sociable and they never seemed to have any disputes. They all got the same food, which was made by Tetra, and we swear that it helped enhance their color. You don’t start feeding the fish until the water temperature gets up to 50 degrees F in the spring. There are some excellent articles on the Web about the proper feeding of pond fish.
When winter comes and the temperatures start to drop, the fish head for the bottom of the pond and basically go into a state of hibernation. They may appear to be dead, but they’re not, and they will survive the winter very well. This is the main reason to dig the pond deep enough, so they’re protected from not only the weather, but also from predators such as the Blue Heron.
I honestly can’t tell you about fish diseases. Since we dug our first pond, we’ve only lost two Comets, so we feel that disease wasn’t a real problem for us. Again, I’m sure that if this is a subject you want to research, the Web would the place to check.
The one last thing I would recommend is that if you decide to get fish, get them new rather than from a friend’s pond. This lessens the risk of health problems.
Next I’ll give you the extra details I promised about the hardware items we’ve mentioned and where to get them.