The easiest way to avoid problems with a pond is to take into
consideration the number and types of fish and plants. This
cannot be overemphasized. Follow this advice and you can
save yourself from costly and time consuming cleanup, prevent
fish disease, and make pond keeping an overall fun and enjoyable
The most common mistake
is to overestimate the volume of a pond and overload it with
The best way to estimate the volume of a pond is to multiply
the average length by the average width by the average depth.
For example, if your pond is two and a half feet deep, chances
are that the average depth is about a foot or so. A good rule
of thumb for goldfish is one inch or less of fish for each
ten gallons of water. If your pond is less than two feet deep
or less that eight hundred (800) gallons, do not add koi. They
will not thrive and be healthy. Even in larger ponds, you need
to be prudent about adding koi. It is strongly recommended
that you research koi if you are interested in this type of
Plants are the natural cleaning system of a pond. It is
very difficult to overstock a pond with plants. Try to maintain
a cover of
(60% - 70%) plant
material on the surface of the pond. If you find that many plants distracting,
substitute with large amounts of submerged or oxygenating plants, such as
anacharis and hornwort. The recommended stocking level for these is one per
square foot of surface area.
Snails are nice to have in a pond because they keep the walls cleaner and eat
the finer debris in the bottom. They are not the miracle cure for green water.
They produce waste as well as consume it. The rule of thumb for stocking
snails is one per square foot of surface area.
Introduce at your discretion, remembering the old adage, 'everything in moderation'.
Crayfish eat fish, turtles eat fish, dogs wreck things,
seashells alter water quality and native fish like bluegills,
catfish and sunfish
Buy your fish and plants from a
reputable local source. Always
check the fish over thoroughly before buying them. If
quarantine all new fish in an
aquarium of some kind for a few weeks. Imported fish, even from a good supplier,
often have parasites that you can't see. A healthy fish has bright, clear
eyes, upright, damage-free fins, good weight, a clean body with no missing
scales, redness or things hanging off, a quick and straight swimming habit
and a smooth spine with no curves.