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Choose Your Pond Fish Types!

Does your pond seem a little…empty? You might have some beautiful water poppies and blue moneywort, a stream or waterfall, a few underwater lights, but it may not feel complete. If it feels like this, give it action and fun with a few of the different types of pond fish! Fish are one of the most popular reasons people install a backyard pond. Watch as they slowly swim around or dart back and forth, hand feed them, and relax as they help clean the pond. You can give them fun names like Elvis Fishly or James Pond. Check out pond fish in action:

7 Different Types of Pond Fish

Fish add color, life, and help control pond algae by eating it! Out of the thousands of ponds Premier Ponds sees, 95% of them have fish and it’s because of benefits like those. They play an important role in a pond ecosystem, so keep them safe from predators like herons with some caves and tunnels for them to hide in. Let’s take a look at the more popular pond fish types:

No time to read the full article? Download your personal PDF copy of our Guide to keeping Your Pond Fish Safe, Healthy, and Happy.

Koi

Colors and patterns like you’ve never seen! These fish are the most popular for backyard pond owners. People buy them because they’ve heard “koi pond” before and decide it must be a necessity. What they don’t realize is koi actually make great pets. Here’s some of what makes them awesome:

  • They can grow up to 3’, making them easy and fun to watch
  • Very friendly
  • You can hand-feed them
  • They develop personalities and you can tell them apart

Koi thrive in ponds of 1,000 gallons or more. There are several different types of koi too, such as ghost koi, butterfly koi, hikari, and kohaku. If you’ve got a pond, get some koi!

Dragon/Butterfly Koi

Sadly, they don’t breathe fire. Also known as butterfly koi, these fish are different from regular koi because of their long fins and slim body shape. They’re also hardier than the common type of koi. 

Dragon koi or butterfly koi fish
Picture courtesy of Dslcards

Calico (Fantail)

A painting come alive! Red, orange, and black markings set against a pearl white background, these fish can enhance the look of your pond. They’re easily recognizable by their forked caudal fin (at the tail part), which look like butterfly wings.

Calico fantail fish for ponds

Golden Orf

Group swim! Long, slender, and bright orange, these fish like to swim in groups, which encourages others to join them at the surface. These fish grow as fast as they swim- quickly. They bring character and excitement to backyard ponds!

Goldfish

Developed in China over 1,000 years ago, goldfish are great starter fish because they are fairly small. Hardy and easy to take care of, goldfish are perfect for small ponds of 500 gallons or less. Comets are plain orange and white while Shubunkins have black, orange, and blue colorings.

goldfish swimming in a pond ecosystem

Oranda

Hooded fish. Pond owners characterize orandas by a bubble-like “hood” on their head. It makes them look cool, but they’re slow and can be an easy meal for predators. Keep your fish safe with aquatic plants or add some tunnels and caves for them to hide in.

Oranda as a type of pond fish
Picture courtesy of User:Rodsan18

Black Moor

The coolest, but the worst. Blackish coloring and large, telescoping eyes make these fish look awesome! On the other hand, they are super slow and have poor eyesight, making them easy prey. They do better in aquariums, but can still be added to a pond, just make sure to feed them!

Pond fish types- black moor looks like a black goldfish with big eyes

Honorable Mentions

Bluegill, bass, and catfish. Out of the different types of pond fish, these are the most uncommon. They usually end up in backyard ponds when a pond owner catches and adds it to the ecosystem. At first, it’s exciting to add a fish you caught to your pond! But it can wear off quickly, especially with catfish because they can grow very large and even start eating other fish!

Bluegill fish smaller than your hand

What Are The Best Pond Fish Types For You?

You can choose your favorite from the many different types of pond fish and watch as they add beauty and life to your pond. These fish are outdoor pets and need someone to care for them. You can do this by maintaining the balance in the pond ecosystem. Don’t overdo the amount of fish, make sure the filters are working, and remember to aerate your pond!

Find out what to feed your koi fish >>