5 Things To Consider Before Building a Goldfish Pond In Your Backyard

November 4, 2013
Posted in Garden

Fish make wonderful pets if you don’t have a lot of time and space in and around your house for high maintenance animals. If mommy doesn’t let you have a canine or feline buddy in the house, you can always resort to fish pets. Fish are in fact the most popular pet in the world next to dogs and cats according to a study conducted by the PFMA, U.K. Although aquariums are good to house small fishes indoors, ponds can provide more natural habitat to fish. More over watching beautiful goldfish swim around in your backyard could be very delightful.

Building your own goldfish pond can be a fun project for you and the little folks in your house. You can build a natural pond or use a small 30 to 40 gallon plastic pond that will act as a reservoir to hold water.


1. Choose the perfect spot.

First things first: Find the best area in your backyard to setup your new goldfish pond. Make sure that, the spot you choose is not in full sun or full shade throughout the day. You will have to find a place with the mixture of the two. If the pond is completely in shade, you might have algae overgrowth issues in the future and if the pond is exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day, your goldfish might not survive long since goldfish and other fish belonging to the Carp family are cold water dwellers. Adequate shade and sunlight is also ideal for aquatic plants.

2. Determine a Budget

Decide the maximum amount you could spend on your new pond. Like home renovation projects, pond estimates can also end up costing more than you had speculated. The budget determines the size of your tank and how cool it could look.

3. Size matters!

Goldfish ponds vary in shapes and sizes, from small ponds which measure only a couple of feet across to larger ponds measuring more than 10 feet across. The size of the pond is obviously the main factor that determines the number of fish it could house – goldfish can grow large and they love hanging around with their goldfish friends. The biggest regret of many goldfish hobbyists was not making their pond deeper and bigger. So, make your pond as big as possible. If you are buying a plastic pond, take a look at the volume of the reservoir.

Depth is also an important factor when planning your pond. It should be deep enough for the fish to escape the heat when it’s hot and to keep the water from completely freezing during the winter. Ponds that are very deep could also cause problem since O2 will be very less near the bed. The ideal depth of a goldfish pond is around 2 to 3 feet.

4. How many fish can I keep?

Thou shalt not overcrowd a pond!

They need a lot of room to swim around. An overcrowded pond will make the habitat unhealthy and make your fish sick and stressed. This is a highly debated topic in many aquarium forums on the internet. But the general rule of thumb is to have at least one gallon of water for every inch of fish.

For instance, if you are planning to keep 10 goldfish with an average size of 3 inches, you will need at least a 30 gallon pond. It is also better to have a foresight of how large they could become and house the pond accordingly if you are planning to introduce juvenile or baby fish.

5. Equipments

You will be amazed at the number of equipments we need for the new pond if you are not much of a fish keeper. In fact the equipments required will eat a good chunk of the budget estimated in step 2.

You will need a hose pipe for obvious reasons.  You will have to buy fish-safe pond substrate that can provide filtration and a base to root the plants.  Aeration pump or pond pump is a must for oxygenation along with tubing and air stones to control water current. You can also find a lot of pond pumps in the market that can also work as a fountain pump and filter. Goldfish poop a lot and a sufficient filter system is needed in place to keep the water clean and clear. You can also cut cost on decoration by using natural rocks, stones and driftwoods that you could find lying around. Last and definitely not the least, don’t forget to buy water softener or de-chlorinator to treat the water and to make it safe for your pet goldfish.

Author Bio: Aiden Korr is a fish enthusiast and has been fish keeping for the past 25 years. He has helped people set up aquariums and ponds with his expert knowledge. Find more information about ponds at Swallow Aquatics.

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