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How to Maintain Your Fish Pond (Guide to Selecting Proper Fish, Aquatic Plants and Pond Accessories)

Updated on July 27, 2013
A beautiful garden pond
A beautiful garden pond

Everybody loves a beautiful pond. A pond adds beauty and a sense of 'life' to the garden. The colorful fish makes it even more lively and attractive. But anybody who owns a pond knows how actually difficult it is to maintain a pond in such a good condition. And most people fail to do this part properly, hence the not maintained and ugly pond diminished the beauty of the garden itself.

The key aspects of maintaining a beautiful fish pond lies with selecting the appropriate kind of fish, selecting proper aquatic plants, feeding the fish properly, managing pond water and proper pond accessories. It's really not big work if you know how to do it. Let me guide you through.

Garden fish pond with clear water
Garden fish pond with clear water

watch some beautiful Carp fish in a pond

Carp fish are ideal for a darker pond
Carp fish are ideal for a darker pond

The Fish...

Besides maintaining the physical pond properly, selecting the right kind of fish is the crucial step for a beautiful garden pond. Let's face it, despite the occasional foot dip, fish would be the ones in the water and that is what everyone coming to your home will see. So having beautiful fish in your pond is critical.

But when you buy fish to your pond you have to consider some facts first.

The first thing is always buy colorful, bright and fish that grow in width. For a fish tank these conditions should not meet, but for a pond on the ground they are quite important. Unless you have some kind of artificial lighting the water of the pond tends to be darker. It's OK, the fish loves it. But what you can do is add some bright colored fish such as Carp, Goldfish and many other types. You can even add Oscars and Catfish that come in pink and white colors. They will be visible to the top of the pond and their activeness will add so much life to your garden.

Among these big fish you can add some small fish to sort of fill the gaps. Guppies are my first choice due to several reasons. They are obviously bright coloured and very energetic and lively. They come in different colors and color combinations. Their tails are specially colorful. Also they breed easily. You don't have to interfere in their breeding at all. Also guppies eat mosquito eggs that are laid on water. So it is both advantageous and encouraged to have some guppies in your pond.

Guppy fish
Guppy fish
Aquatic plants for ponds
Aquatic plants for ponds

Aquatic Plants for you pond...

Having beautiful and well maintained aquatic plants in your pond is important both for the beauty and the survival of the fish.

Aquatic plants are of three types. Take a look at the picture given below.

Types of aquatic plants
Types of aquatic plants

all three types-floating, marginal and submerged-are important for a pond since they serve different purposes, other than beauty.

Submerged plants and some floating plants provide breeding ground for the fish. Submerged plants also carry out the vital role of producing oxygen under water, which is very important for the fish. The floating plants specially serve the purpose of cleaning the pond water-that is their natural engineering. Plants such as water lilies and Bog plants provide beauty and also cover to fish from birds and other creatures.

So nect time when you choose the plants for your pond pay attention to these factors as well.

High nutrient fish food...

Fish food...

Fish food is quite important for the fish to grow healthy and develop and retain their bright colors. If your fish are dull colored, it is probably due to lack of sunlight and proper food with nutrient. Specially if you want your Carp and Goldfish to grown larger and brighter, you need to have a good fish food. I personally recommend the "Kaytee Koi's Choice Premium Fish Food" which I have given here.

Also you must know the appropriate amount of food consumed by your fish daily. If you feed the fish too regularly or simply too much in a given time, it could lead to health problems for the fish. Also when there's excess food the fish won't eat it and the fish food will spoil the water, which is again bad for the fish. Also it will require you to clean the pond more often. I cannot tell you the amount of food that has to be fed to your group of fish. That, you will have to experiment with. Feed the fish as long as they show enthusiasm to eat the food. Once they are fully fed they will swim slowly and just nibble at the food. That's when you know you have to stop. If there's any excess fish food floating around remove them with a fish net.

Clear pond water
Clear pond water

Maintaining pond water...

Maintaining clear pond water is probably one of the most challenging tasks of maintaining a fish pond.

Pond water can get discolored easily due to falling leaves, fish excretions, excessive fish food, sunlight etc.

However the aquatic plants in your pond will serve as a natural filter but sometimes they may not be enough. Sometimes you will have to clean the dirty water.

When cleaning your pond never completely empty the pond. I mean never replace the existing water with new water completely. The new water is strange to the fish and a lot of it could even mean death. Specially if you are using a tap water line to fill up the pond, it is advised that you leave out 1/3 (one third) of the old water in the pond and fill the rest with the new water. That will reduce the toxicity of the chlorine induced new water.

Also when cleaning the pond don't scrub away all the moss on the bottom of the pond and on the walls of the pond. Fish tend to eat these moss and it is pretty good for their health.

Also direct sunlight for long hours can create algae in the water and make the water greenish and discolored. You can grow some floating aquatic plants to prevent the exposure to sunlight and also the floating plants will naturally clean up the water.

Finally you can also add a water filter for the pond that will absorb dirty water from the pond cleanse the water and release it again to the pond.


I will be discussing about the pond accessories in a different hub altogether.

For now these tips should help you maintain the beautiful pond you always dreamt about.

If you have any questions or ideas please leave a comment.

Help others decide...

What kind of fish do you have in your pond?

See results


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    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      5 years ago


      It is very much true that snakes eat fish. Of course there are kinds of snakes that hunt in water. And it might be one of them. Well there is no real 'method' to get rid of the snake. The only thing is you will have to chase it away with a net or a stick. Or maybe call somebody who can handle reptiles to catch it. If you don't know the proper way to catch a snake better call someone professional.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for your informaton and they are very helpful. We have a snake in the pond and whch appear to eating the fish. Any advice ir is it true that the snake can eat the fish? Thank you.

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      5 years ago


      Thanks. :)

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      5 years ago from India

      Beautiful photos.

      I have pinned them

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      5 years ago

      thanks a lot for the votes and the awesome comment.

      It's too bad that your kitties made your pond a buffet. lol.

      You can always use a net of some kind to protect it. But it takes away all the beauty of the pond.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      I do not have a fish pond as my kitties would think it was a buffet.

      This is so well written and detailed information is provided that would enable anyone to be able to accomplish this without too much difficulty.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Angels are on the way ...Voted up and shared

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      5 years ago

      You're welcome...

      There are many fish that can live together. Also there are fish who don't live with other type of fish.

      I will be doing a hub on different types of fish soon.

      Stay connected.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This is beautiful and I had never considered having different fish together. Thanks for a very informative and colorful write!


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