Goldfish and Koi can be a beneficial component of a pond’s ecosystem. To have a healthy pond there are five main components that are necessary: biological filters, mechanical filters, aquatic plants, substrate, and fish. Let’s think of our pond’s ecosystem as a big circle or the “Circle of Life”. Your biological filters (bio-falls) keep your water clean by colonizing beneficial bacteria which break down pond waste. The mechanical filters (skimmer) provide an area to catch large chunks of waste and debris. This can help keep that pesky sludge from forming on the bottom of your pond. Adding rocks and gravel to your pond provides another area for beneficial bacteria to grow, also helping to break down sludge. It also provides a place for aquatic plants to root. Aquatic plants help remove excess nutrients from the pond that would otherwise feed algae. Aquatic plants also provide food, shade, and protection for pond animals. The final ingredient, fish, help control algae growth because they eat algae. Fish also add life and color to a pond.
Why do Goldfish and Koi work so well together in a pond? Goldfish and Koi are species originating from the carp family. Both species were developed as a food source for Asia and the Middle East in the late 19th century. Rice farmers kept wild Goldfish and Koi variety as a winter food source. These fish began to mutate and change colors. The desired colors were kept separated from the normal carp to allow them to breed and develop into the Goldfish and Koi we know today. Since Goldfish and Koi are so closely related, they can breed with one another. But Goldfish tend to eat fish eggs and baby (fry) fish. The benefit of this is it keeps the population manageable in a pond.
Goldfish and Koi are more likely to survive in a lined, filtered pond than in an earth bottom pond. A lined pond is highly filtered, keeping the water clear and clean. If you decide to place Goldfish or Koi in an earth bottom pond, it is a good idea to check with your state, as most have made it illegal to dump these types of fish randomly in ponds and waterways.
Beginning this spring, our retail store will be carrying a variety of Goldfish and Koi in various sizes. This will include Comet, Apricot, and Shubunkin Goldfish. We will be carrying Standard Koi and Butterfly Koi as well. Contact us for more info on Goldfish and Koi sales.