Plants & Fish FAQs

Do I need to put fish in my pond?

No, you do not have to add fish to your pond but they are beneficial by eating mosquitoes and pond algae. They also add color beauty and personality to your pond.


How many fish can I place in my pond?

It’s always a good idea to start small and add fish gradually. Here is a rule of thumb to use as a guideline to avoid overstocking and ensure the overall health of your fish:

  • For small fish like goldfish and comets, 1 in. of fish for every 3 gallons of water.
  • For Koi fish, 1 in. of fish for every 5 gallons of water. Koi fish have a faster growth rate, so you may have to remove a few of them at a certain point.


What should I feed my fish and how often should I feed them?

Basically, a good start and rule of thumb until you understand your fish’s eating habits would use this basic guideline: Provide enough food to be eaten within the first 1 to 3 minutes of feeding. Also, you should not feed the fish when the water temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit because the fish’s slower metabolism will not be able to process the food. Depending on what variety of fish you choose to stock in your pond, you should refer to manuals and consult with a fish specialist to arrange a specific seasonal diet feeding and schedule.


How soon can I put fish in a newly established pond?

It is probably best to wait 5 days after the pond has been established with the pump and filter in operation.


How can I avoid purchasing unhealthy fish?

Here are some things to look for to see if the fish you want to purchase are unhealthy: raised scales, a swollen abdomen, bulging eyeballs, an enlarged head, ulcers, lack of movement, loss of balance, damaged fins and scales, fungus growths, or the fish is continuously scratching itself against rocks or other objects. A few things to look for in healthy fish are: a lively disposition, erect fins, bright colors, good balance when swimming and a good appetite.


Does my plan to have fish affect how I build my pond?

Yes, but only slightly. It is recommended that ponds containing fish should be at least 1.5 ft. deep. In areas with colder winters, 2-2.5 ft. deep would be more ideal. During summer, fish require cooler water toward the deepest part of the pond. During winter, the water is warmer at the deepest part of the pond.


What kind of plants do I need to put in my pond?

There are 3 basic types of plants that are commonly used in the pond. They include:

  • Floating Plants – This type of plant include Hyacinth, Lilies, etc. They are useful in the respect that they add beauty, block out sunlight keeping water temperature cool and help prevent algae growth. Floating plants come in all sizes from very small (duckweed) to over a foot in diameter (water hyacinth). Most have roots that hang in the water from the floating green portions.
  • Emergent Plants – Also known as emersed, this type of plant includes Cattails, Grasses, etc. These plants are rooted plants often along the shoreline that stand above the surface of the water. The stems of emergent plants are somewhat stiff or firm. They add a tall background to the pond landscape.
  • Submerged Plants – This type of plant includes Anachris, Hornwort, etc. These plants are rooted plants with most of their vegetative mass below the water surface.  One discerning characteristic of submerged plants is their soft stems, which is why they do not usually rise above the water’s surface.They contribute oxygen and biological filtration to the pond as well.


How many plants should I put in my pond?

Floating plants should cover anywhere from 50% – 70% of the pond surface at the peak of the summer. So it would be a good idea to start with 20% – 30% coverage and let them reach optimum level in the season. Bog plant varieties will also propagate as the season goes by. Submerged plants should be treated the same as the Floating Plants.

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