A smartly designed and well-built fish pond will add an exotic accent to your yard, but there are numerous vital considerations you need to make beyond the shape, size and depth of your creation. Itís essential for the health of your fish that you create an environment they can thrive in, and youíve have to plan carefully to build the right balance between the fish and the plant life in the pond.
Because theyíre hardy and can withstand significant fluctuations in water temperature, koi and goldfish are the only two types of fish recommended for outdoor ponds. Most other domesticated fish species are extremely sensitive to changes in water temperature, and shifts of even a couple of degrees Fahrenheit can spell the end of them. Both koi and goldfish can grow quite large, so youíve got to make sure you give them enough space.
Koi fish ponds should have a minimum volume of 1,000 gallons. The bigger it is, the better. Youíll also need to include at least one area with a deep recess of at least 4 to 5 feet. During the winter, koi burrow to the bottom of the pond, and giving them an area with significant depth helps them survive the cold weather.
If youíre going to build an outdoor water garden for goldfish, your plans will be affected by the climate in which you live. Ponds in regions where water doesnít freeze in the wintertime can be shallower; itís recommended that you allow at least 2 feet of depth, to house the plants that will grow in the pond. If you live in a region where water freezes in winter, you need to provide your fish with an additional 12 to 16 inches of depth, at least, more is better. During the winter, your goldfish go into a hibernation-like state underneath the ice. They need enough clean water for an entire seasonís worth of respiration.
You should also keep in mind that koi eat plants. Donít choose plants that you want to see grow and thrive in your koi pond, because it probably wonít happen. However, itís essential that you provide your koi with plants that will grow continually despite being constantly nibbled on, because they deliver supplemental nutrition and reduce infighting among the fish for the fish food you provide. Pond kits will help you create a balanced aquatic environment for your koi fish.
Itís much easier for aquatic plants to thrive in a goldfish pond. In fact, a varied selection of plants creates a more natural environment for them, and replicating their habitat as closely as possible is the best way to ensure their ongoing health.
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