How to Buy Water Garden Fish?

| April 30, 2013 | 4 Comments

Question by Aleasha C: How to Buy Water Garden Fish?
I’m almost done with my backyard pond. It is about 25,000 gallons and about ready for fish. What do I need to do to prepare for the fish? Where can I buy the fish? How do I know if they are healthy? Any advice on purchase and care of pond fish will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Best answer:

Answer by tamsin
I got my fish from a friend with a pond. She started with just a few goldfish, and they bred like crazy. She added to her collection to ensure genetic diversity, and now has hundreds of gorgeous, healthy fish. Maybe you can ask on craigslist in your area. I would caution you strongly to avoid petstore goldfish. they are often full of parasites that could be difficult or impossible to eradicate from your pond, and they usually have disappointing survival rates. Real pond fish behave very differently than petstore fish, and have the necessary survival skills to avoid predators. Good luck. your pond sounds gorgeous! 25,000 gallons! you are so lucky!

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  1. AnimalLover says:

    Well, like all fish, they need a filter for clean water. You can buy a pond filter at the petstore or at Walmart or somewhere like that, but just ask what size and power to buy first. You can buy all sizes and colours of pond fish, the nicest and biggest of them being koi, but they can be expensive. DO NOT BUY TROPICAL FISH, as they will not survive the frozen pond in the winter. Buy goldfish, as they naturally are adapted to living in cold waters. Buy floating pond food, but ask your store owner what types to buy. A healthy fish will be swimming quickly near the middle or top of the tank with all fins erect. Do not buy any fish that have white spots, torn fins, are swimming erraticly, and are not eating. Hope this helps!

  2. richbabii says:

    well you need to add lots of live plants to make it a good habitat. If you want goldfish and black moors you may go to petsmart and buy them. this is how to know if they are healthy:
    *Eating vigorously and swimming actively in the middle of the aquarium
    *Clear eyes, smooth, clean skin and fins free from any lesions or inconsistent colorations
    *Calm, steady gill movements

  3. fishbarn says:

    Hi I would start by adding pond plants first. Then about two weeks later I would add just a few fish to start.
    The best way to make sure you are getting healthy plants and fish is to get them from a local breeder or a friend that has a pond.
    I would feed them a high quality food. No more than what they will eat in about 3 minutes and I would do this about two to three times a day.
    I would also make sure you have a high quality water pump and filter as well.

  4. LoreleiSkye says:

    The two best fish for keeping outdoors are goldfish and koi. With that much space to play with, I strongly recommend koi. They are lovely, hardy, and well suited and bred for being outdoors. You could get a couple dozen young koi and still have room to spare for when they start breeding.

    Test the water. Make sure the levels (nitrates, nitrites…) are sound for goldfish and koi.

    Talk to your local Koi and Water-garden society. They should be able to help you out and recommend good places to get koi- as well as good tips for care and pond upkeep.

    To purchase fish- Check the local pond stores or breeders in your area. They’ll have MUCH better stock for mid-summer stocking then places like PetCo or Wal-Mart. After the initial koi you get, you will definitely want to quarantine in the future to check for disease. It’s a lot harder to net fish from, or treat, a pond that size if you have an outbreak of hole-in-the-side, or ich.

    Do not get listless fish, fish with dull colors, fish that seem to have a hard time either floating or sinking, flip on thier backs or sides, or have any open sores or scrapes.

    When adding fish- take your time. Put them in a bucket or container with their original water. Slowly- add pond water to the container, while taking their water away. About 2-4 cups in to 5 cups out every 20 min for around 2 hours. This will adjust them to the new water chemistry, environment, and temperature and reduce stress. After 2 hours- put the fish in the pond.

    Do not add koi to a pond at sunset. They are more likely to jump back out. Not sure why- just know from my reading (and experience) this is true.

    Other thoughts on care for pond fish:
    Its still July- but starting in late August/September (depending on how far north you are) – you’re going to want to change their diet over to a ‘fall’ diet. This will help them bulk up for the winter.

    Get a couple of nets over the pond when the leaves start falling. This cuts down on the debris that will clog your skimmers, sink to the bottom and decay, or get caught in any drains you have. Dead plant matter like this can cause oxygen problems when the pond freezes over, as well as bad bacteria issues over the winter and will contribute to “spring pond syndrome” next year.

    Once the water temp falls below 55d (F), stop feeding the fish. Below 40, you’ll probably need to remove most of your filters and other pond equipment (read the instructions, most pumps (internal or external) are not rated to run in cold & wet conditions). Keep some kind of aeration breaking the surface tension of the water at all times for the gas exchange.

    If you do live in a place that has winter- you will also want to purchase something like this: http://pondusa.com/misc4.htm To help keep some air holes in the ice for the gas exchange.

    Don’t feed the fish in the wintertime no matter how hungry they act; the food risks fermenting inside them. Also, the helpful bacteria slows down and starts to go dormant below 60 d(F).

    Reverse the process next spring. Get the pumps and filters back on after the water is above 40d, and you can start lightly feeding the fish (Spring diet!) once the water is above 55d.

    Good luck and happy ponding!

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