FAQs About Fish
The question of fish always comes up in the water gardening conversation. As a matter of fact there are several questions that almost always come up. That’s why we call ‘em “frequently asked questions” (FAQ’s). And, here they are.
Q. Don’t fish increase the workload for a water gardener?
A. In simplest terms, the answer is no! In fact it’s just the opposite. Fish constitute 20% of the naturally balanced, holistic, organic ecosystem that makes up your water garden. Fish actually play a critical role in reducing your workload. Fish do the following…
Q. What happens if I forget to feed the fish? Won’t they die or become unhealthy?
A. In actuality, your fish will do just fine even if you never feed them. As a matter of fact, feeding the fish is more for your benefit and entertainment than for theirs. Actually the one mistake you can make is to overfeed them or feed them too often. When temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you definitely should avoid feeding them at all. Click here to check out our full line of fish food.
Q. What about the fish in the winter? Won’t they freeze to death in the pond? Will I need to bring them in the house?
A. No. If you simply make sure that your pond is at least two feet deep, the proximity of the earth to the pond’s surface will not allow the latter to freeze any deeper than 8”. That leaves 16” for the fish to lounge around and basically hibernate over the winter. You do need to keep a hole in the ice (using a “floating heater”) to allow for the exchange of gasses (like oxygen). But other than that your fish will do just fine in the pond, all year round. Supplemental oxygen can also be supplied by running your waterfalls, adding a bubbler, or using the pump to churn the water near the surface.
Q. How is the cost/value of fish determined?
A. Supply and demand just like anything else. And in the water gardening world, the fish that’s in greatest demand is the colorful and charismatic koi. The cost of koi can vary all over the map. If you’re a breeder or like to show your koi, your fish can get real expensive. If you’re really a water gardener at heart and aren’t concerned about showing your koi, then they’re not much more expensive than goldfish, which by the way are also very popular in water gardening circles. For what it’s worth, the three main factors in determining the value of koi include…
Q. How do I know how many fish are “too many fish” in my pond? How about too few? And just right?
A. Good question. Too many fish means too little food, problems with your fish, and potential for an overgrowth of algae. Too few fish means that the pond’s nutrition will not be satisfactorily absorbed and recycled. The general rule of thumb that we always suggest is 1 inch of fish per square foot of pond surface area. In other words, a 10’ x 10’ pond, which is 100 square feet, could support 100 inches of fish. This 100 inches could consist of 10 ten-inch fish, 20 five-inch fish, or….well you get the picture.
Q. Won’t raccoons or other predators eat my fish?
A. Actually, raccoons don’t swim, so if your pond is built at least 2 feet deep and 8 feet wide, with some places for your fish to run and hide- they should be safe from those little nocturnal critters. The only critter that is a valid concern is the heron. Again, providing a place for your fish to hide (in and under water lilies, and other plants, or man-made fish caves) will help prevent any disastrous occurrence of fish-napping by a heron.