Learn About Pond Fish Varieties

comet pond fish

Fish are often thought to create a maintenance problem in garden ponds. Actually, they can enhance any ecosystem and reduce pond maintenance because they actually graze on string algae and feed off of the bottom of the pond.


Goldfish are considered cold water fish. There are several types of goldfish that can live quite nicely in your backyard pond.


Comets (pictured above) are the most common and hardiest. They are a long-bodied carp-like goldfish and come in gold, white, marble and black. They cause little damage to plants and can be mixed with Shubunkins and Koi as they are of somewhat similar characteristics. Comets are the least expensive of the pond fish family.


Fantails are the most delicate and least aggressive They are fat-bodied goldfish with spectacular long flowing tails. Colors are varied and mixed. Fantails should not "winter over" in your pond. They are usually inexpensive when small but can be expensive when large.


Koi are considered the cadillac of pond fish. They are long-bodied and multi colored - often with striking butterfly patterns on their backs. They can become quite large, reaching 24 inches in length. Koi are somewhat more disease-prone than Comets and Shubukins, and they also cause damage to plants.

They graze on any plant material, eating the root first and then the leafy parts. They also love to dig in pots and generally make a muddy mess. To protect plants from Koi, wrap the plants in large wire fence barriers.

Koi are often quite expensive. Show quality Butterfly Koi have been sold for up to $10,000.00

Optimizing Your Pond: How Many Fish?

How many fish in your pond? A good rule of thumb is to stock your pond with no more than one to three inch of fish per square foot of surface area (the depth makes little difference here) That 24" koi needs a pond surface area of at least 24 sq ft all by himself.