Best Types of Gold Fish For Small Ponds

Best Fish For Small Pond

50-500 Gallon Small Pond Fish

An outdoor pond is a great way to add beauty, nature, and visual interest to your landscapes. Adding the best fish for small pond sizes is crucial as they will bring it alive with color and movement. This small but important action of choosing the ideal fish for your small pond goes a long way in making your outdoor pond a more appealing focal point to enjoy.

If your fishing pond is between 50 and 500 gallons, you may consider that there is less diversity of fish you can get, especially when considering the natural difficulties that come with the pond fish being outside.

The choice of fish can be confusing for beginners. So, if you are looking for the best kind of fish for the pond, the following fish will make a perfect addition to any small pond.

Best Kinds Of Fish To Buy For a Small Pond

Common Minnows

Fathead minnow are the most common species of minnow kept among aquarists and ponders, which is why they are refer to as “common minnow”.

They are an adaptable species that does well in cold water with ranges of 53 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 20 degrees Celsius), they feed on plant matter that is provided to them or grows in the pond, including adult and larval aquatic insects, mosquitoes, and algae.

These common minnows are native of Central America, they prefer cooler water, enjoy swimming and lounging about. Therefore your pond should have open space and hiding places like hollow rocks, plants, or logs.

They are very sturdy creatures, and can withstand conditions that cause most other fish to become ill or die, such as high turbidity, low oxygen levels, or pH changes outside the range of 7 to 7.5.

You should do everything possible to keep the water moving just slowly, the pH and the temperature within their preferred range, and the oxygen levels at 7 parts per million (ppm) or more. Also, in the wild they stay together in schools of 5 or more, so apply this when you keep them as pets.

They are very peaceful fish that can live in the same pond as other community fish like mollies, tetras, plecos, and many others. Each fathead minnow needs at least 10 gallons of water but more is better.

Best Goldfish For Pond

Best fish for small ponds are goldfish
The beautiful koi fish in pond in the garden. Copyright:

Common Goldfish

Goldfish are easily recognizable even by amateurs; they have eye-catching color that makes them stand out from the crowd. They have smoothly tapered body with a forked caudal fin that come with vibrant metallic orange color. Their head are wide but stocky.

Common goldfish are one of the hardest fish. They are generally very active, will eat most of the things presented, and will thrive in a wide range of conditions. They prefer temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 degrees Celsius), they can survive winter as long as temperatures don’t drop below about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

As soon as the water temperatures reach that mark, the goldfish enters a state of dormancy known as torpor, where they preserve their energy and can therefore spend the winter outdoors as long as the pond does not freeze completely.

The perfect pH for this species is around 7.2 to 7.6, although they can withstand fluctuations in this better than most other domesticated fish. The tank size is 20 gallons of water minimum but more is better. With adequate care and tank space then can live more than 20 years.

Calicos The Fancy Pond Goldfish

This is a breed of gold fish that has very fancy colors, ranging from red to yellow, orange, gray, white and black, all on a blue background. This blue background is very uncommon and makes calico a very expensive fish. They are good fish in the pond because they are very sturdy and easy to keep.

Calicos are among the hardiest, which makes them ideal for novice owners. They are easy to keep and they eat everything that is served to them. They are very active, social fish that do well in communities. They are ideal for a pond because they are easy to keep, as long as they are safe. Goldfish were originally developed in China, but Japan developed the calico goldfish around the 20th century.

Calico has an average lifespan of 10-15 years, but with proper care they can live up to 20 years. Though they are smaller than the common goldfish, the environment they are kept can seriously affect their growth. Keeping Calico in a good pond environment will ensure that it grows to at least 5 inches.

They can eat everything, fresh, flake and frozen foods should make up a large part of their diet. Like a goldfish, some vegetables and fruits should be given from time to time.

Oranda Fancy and Unusual Pond Goldfish

If you are looking for a fancy goldfish with unusual characteristics for your pond, you can consider the Oranda goldfish. This fish has a stunning metallic scaled appearance and comes in a diversity of colors, from yellow to light red, including an interesting chocolate color and pure white with a red cap.

One interesting feature of this goldfish is that they have an irregular growth on their head that develops when they are a few years old. This growth is called Wen and it is an unusual but a bit attractive feature. While this sets Orlando apart from other goldfish, they are similar in many other ways, which include their dorsal fins and pair anal fans.

In terms of size, adults can reach an average length of 10 inches and, like any goldfish, one oranda requires approximately 20 gallons of water to thrive, which is easy to handle.

When it comes to diet, orandas feed largely on the same things as goldfish, and when fed well, females can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time. One important thing to note about these fish is that they prefer warm water temperatures of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit to live comfortably in a pond.

Black moor Gorgeous Gold Fish For Ponds

If you are looking for the most beautiful gold fish to keep in your pond, then you can go for the Black Moor gold fish without hesitation. As the name implies, Black Moor goldfish are black in color.

But it is not just black color, it is a velvety black. Sometimes they can be light gray when the fish are small and young. And as they grow, the color will turn dark black. Another thing about black moor is their protruding eyes. That is why they are sometimes refereed to as a dragon eye fish.

Caring for them is similar to that of any other goldfish species; therefore you need to be careful not to overfeed them.  Make sure you clean out their ponds frequently because any kind of goldfish can be a little messy.

They can be kept with other kinds of goldfish and will swim with them in a school. They like to dig and can uproot many kinds of plants and other decorations. They are generally very messy, and therefore require at least 20 gallons of water per fish.

This will help spread the mess to create a more comfortable environment while you run a powerful filtration to evacuate the murky waters. As for food, black Moors eat a lot of flake and pellet foods, but they must be fed with live insects from time to time to balance the diet. They also eat aquatic plants, algae, and insect larvae inside the pond.

Best Fish Food for Goldfish:

Plecos: Good For Warmer Small Ponds

These are black-spotted fish that are native to shallow ponds and streams in South America. Plecos can live on lowly oxygenated ponds and therefore they are easy to take care of. This is because you won’t need fountains, air pumps, or waterfalls in your ponds.

But, for each pleco you will need at least 55 gallons of water as it can grow up to 24 inches in length. The water should be kept at a temperature of about 72-86 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the room temperature in most tropical regions.

About their food, they are omnivorous and feed on algae, plants, insects, and little crustaceans in the wild. So, in the pond, you can feed them with algae wafers or flakes, and frozen foods like bloodworms. Plecos fish are very popular due to their scavenging hunger.

 They also do well in milder temperature areas, provided they are not left outside during the winter season. Most of them are tolerant of water ranging from 65 to 85 ° F (18-30 ° C), even though they prefer temperatures between 75 and 82 ° F (24-28 ° C). However, there are some plecos that are hardier than others, and can survive even cooler waters.

Guppies Great For Small Fish Ponds              

Guppies are very easy to take care of. In terms of nutrition, they are known to eat mosquito larvae, which is very beneficial. Though, the adults can also feed on the young ones, therefore you need to fill the pond with plants so that babies can have a spot to hide.

Some guppies can live up to 3 years and have a maximum length of 2.4 inches for females. And 1.4 inches for males. With its small size and as one of the easy fish to keep, guppies are among the best fish for small ponds. They can also help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home.

They are perfect fish for new pond owners and are considered as easy going and non-aggressive in temperament. More importantly, they are hardy fish and very forgiving to beginners who are first-time pond owners.

They are good-looking and low-maintenance fish; they make great pond fish as they love to eat live bait, which include mosquito larvae. Guppies also eat algae, which will help keep the pond clean and pest free.

Red Shiners

This fish is a native to North America, a beautiful coldwater fish. They have silver-blue bodies with lively red-orange fins and generally live around 3 years with proper care.

In the wild, Red shiners are often found in mountainous areas and as such they can withstand water temperatures as low as -21 ° C, while this is in extreme cases, the water should be kept in the range of 59 and 77 ° F (15 -25 ° C).

They can tolerate pH shifts from 5 to 10; the water pH should be kept between 7 and 8 for red shiners, which are about 2 to 3 inches long and needs 20 to 30 gallons of water per a single shiner.

Just like most types of small fish, red shiners should be kept in groups of five or more to make them feel safe and comfortable. They are an omnivore and will take most of the processed foods. A different diet should include life and frozen foods. The males display more colors compare to the female’s dull-color. They spawn only during the summer months.

Golden Orfe’s

These fish are the most sought after because of their behavior and color, they are active swimmers that often stay close to the surface where they can be easily feed.

In terms of food, you can feed them live insects, pond flakes, and pellets. The small ones make great additions to small ponds because their social nature can encourage other pond fish to the surface to dine on insects and larvae, particularly mosquitoes.

They are fast swimmers, and caution should be exercised in shallow or garden ponds, as they can become stranded if they leap out of the water.

Orfes are considered the best fish for a small pond because they will force you to create a wonderful pond with waterfalls and fountains.

This makes caring for them a bit difficult and expensive and therefore Orfes are not ideal when you are on a budget. In terms of size, they can grow to approximately 18 inches or more and must be kept in groups of 5 or more due to their social nature. Because of this, they require a lot of space, generally at least 500 gallon size ponds.

With the right conditions, these fish can be a useful and valuable addition to a small pond. They should be kept in a pond deep enough to survive the winter and with enough space to accommodate their adult size. They do well in cooler temperatures of about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Best Types of Gold Fish For Small Ponds
Lily, gold fish and marsh grasses in a man made pond. Copyright:

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