The Answers To The Majority Of Your Backyard Pond Fish Questions

Finally Get The Answers To Your Pressing Pond Fish Questions For Des Moines Pond Owners

Pond fish are a different breed of animal from most pets, requiring a different sort of care than fish kept in tanks. Here, we’re going to answer the most common questions we get when it comes to fish. For example, when caring for fish during the winter you don’t have to do much besides keeping a hole in the ice. If you want to learn more, the information is right below!

Koi in large open pond

1. Do fish increase workload?


In fact, it’s the opposite. Fish constitute 20% of the naturally balanced, holistic, organic ecosystem making up your water garden. They play a critical role in reducing your workload by doing the following:

  • Helping control insects by eating them and their larvae
  • Keeping plant growth in balance by eating them
  • Helping fertilize plants with their waste
  • Adding color and movement to your pond
  • Making great pets

In other words, taking the fish out of your pond unbalances the ecosystem, which then requires constant work!

Fish questions: workload will decrease, crew cleaning and maintaining pond

2. How do I feed my fish?


Your fish will do fine even if you never feed them. As a matter of fact, feeding the fish is more for your benefit and entertainment than for theirs. The one mistake you can make is overfeeding them or feeding them too often. When temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit your fish “hibernate” and their digestive systems slow down, so avoid feeding them at all.

What can you feed koi fish

3. What do I do with my fish in the winter?


No. As long as your pond is at least two feet deep, the proximity of the earth to the pond’s surface will not allow the pond to freeze any deeper than 8”. That leaves 16” for the fish to lounge around and basically hibernate over the winter. You do need to keep a hole in the ice (using a“floating heater”) to allow for the exchange of gasses (like oxygen). Don’t break the ice as the shockwaves can injure your fish. But other than that your fish will do fine in the pond all year round. Supplemental oxygen should also be supplied by running your waterfalls, adding a bubbler, or using the pump to churn the water near the surface.

Partially frozen pond

4. How is the cost/value of fish determined?


You can get them for as low as $10 or as much as $20,000 (mostly for breeders, these fish are the highest quality). It varies depending on 3 main factors:

  1. Size (they get up to 3 feet and larger)
  2. Shape (torpedo-like)
  3. Color – pattern and intensity (many of each)

In other words, big, brightly colored, well-shaped (torpedo-like) koi can cost a bundle. Normal happy and healthy koi are accessible for most any pond owner.

Koi fish with a beautiful yellow lotus

5. What fish can I put in my pond?


Goldfish, shubunkin, and more! The best part about goldfish is they come in many shapes and sizes! Another pond friends species you can use is Shubunkin. Shubunkins are great looking, colorful fish for your pond.

Calico fantail fish for ponds

6. How many fish can I put in my pond?


The general rule of thumb we suggest is 1 inch of fish per square foot of pond surface area. In other words, a 10’ x 10’ pond, which is 100 square feet, could support 100 inches of fish. This 100 inches could consist of 10 ten-inch fish, 20 five-inch fish, etc. Too many fish means too little food, problems with your fish, and potential for an overgrowth of algae. Too few fish means the pond’s nutrition will not be satisfactorily absorbed and recycled. 

Find out how many fish fit per gallon >>

Fish questions- a lot of fish, too many in this pond

7. How do I protect my fish from predators?


Fish caves and tunnels for your fish to hide in are what we recommend as they come as part of our pond package. You can also use decoys to scare predators off or give them fake fish to eat. Pond netting, floating plants, motion sensor scare tactics, and stringing fishing lines above the pond are other options.


Fish cave protects fish from predators

More Fish Questions?

Fish are a fantastic addition to any water feature. They add color, excitement, and they help keep the water clean and clear. Fish are an important part of an ecosystem pond. If you have any other questions about water features, try typing it into our search bar!