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Koi or Goldfish

Question: What's best for my garden pond, Koi or Goldfish?

Answer: Again the answer is dependant upon so many variables. How big is the pond?, how deep?, how efficient is the filter?, is it filtered?, etc, etc. Even having answered these questions the reality for most people, myself included, is "a mixture of both". I do have some lovely Koi in my pond, even up to 30", but I probably have just as many Goldfish, and some of them are at least half that size, and just as pretty.

Some purists will tell you that Koi are the only true ornamental pond fish, or at least the only ones worthy of that description. Other fish keepers will tell you off their tame Goldfish, who's beauty and temperament are far beyond that off any Koi. The choice is up to you, but one consideration should be ....

I need to be very careful how I phrase this next paragraph, because there is a great myth that Goldfish don't need good water quality.

"Koi tend to need better filtration systems for their long term health". That is not to say that Goldfish don't..! It's just that Koi are not as hardy as Goldfish, (I'll probably end up with a Hitman on my trail for saying such a thing). but alas, its true.

If you call to our shop to see some filter systems we will ask you "What size is your pond?" in gallons or in litres. The next question we will ask is "What are you going to keep in it, just wildlife and plants, Goldfish or Koi?" The reason for this is, most filter manufactures rate their filters by a combination of size and inhabitants.

A typical example could be an Oase Filto-clear 6000..

This filter is suitable for wildlife ponds up to 6000 litre capacity, but only 3000 litre if there are Goldfish in the pond, and only a mere 1500 litre if there Koi present. Not only that, but it assumes normal stocking levels. For a 1500 litre pond this might be about a dozen 10" Koi, NOT a dozen or more 20" - 24" monsters.

So whichever you choose, Goldfish or Koi, the important thing to remember is.. all pond fish need exactly the same water quality as aquarium fish, No Nitrite, No Ammonia, and a pH of 7 or above. They also need a varied quality diet and regular water changes just like any other fish, tropical or otherwise.

Koi and Goldfish in a Garden Pond