Pond stocking

Raider0622

Member
Hey everyone. This summer I am probably going to build a 1,400 gallon pond in my backyard (if I don't move). I am just wondering what types of fish I could get. I live in northern Maryland so it gets well below freezing in the winter. Currently I was thinking about 5 koi and 5 dojo loaches. I'd like some schools of small fish too, but I'm not sure what could survive the winter. I'd also love some sort of catfish but from what I've read most that can tolerate cold water will eat small fish. Thanks for the help!
 

BiologicalNerd

Member
Raider0622 said:
Hey everyone. This summer I am probably going to build a 1,400 gallon pond in my backyard (if I don't move). I am just wondering what types of fish I could get. I live in northern Maryland so it gets well below freezing in the winter. Currently I was thinking about 5 koi and 5 dojo loaches. I'd like some schools of small fish too, but I'm not sure what could survive the winter. I'd also love some sort of catfish but from what I've read most that can tolerate cold water will eat small fish. Thanks for the help!
channel catfish are one I recommend because they can survive through winter as long as the gasses produced within the layer of ice has some sort of exit. This shouldn’t be anything special tho bc for a fish to survive in a pond they need to breathe and not freeze to death so a hole wouldn’t be necessary either way. For the schooling fish you could do some golden rainbow trout.
 

afishfarmer

Member
Koi are a good choice for cold winters. Most common catfish will be okay too, but be aware that something like a channel catfish will eat smaller fish.
 

Kaity

Member
If you are worried about cold shubunkin goldfish are hardier than koi. Just be aware they do breed like mad in a sandy mucky bottomed pond and I am in a much colder zone than you. I do nothing special at all for the winter and just let my pond freeze over but it's about 12 feet deep in the center. For a small above ground pond 1500 gallons I just run a winter pump to keep a small section of ice open and the shubunkin breed in that too. Koi I couldn't keep over consistently in zone 4. Again you should probably be fine with the koi where you are.
 

Kribensis27

Member
Kaity said:
If you are worried about cold shubunkin goldfish are hardier than koi. Just be aware they do breed like mad in a sandy mucky bottomed pond and I am in a much colder zone than you. I do nothing special at all for the winter and just let my pond freeze over but it's about 12 feet deep in the center. For a small above ground pond 1500 gallons I just run a winter pump to keep a small section of ice open and the shubunkin breed in that too. Koi I couldn't keep over consistently in zone 4. Again you should probably be fine with the koi where you are.
Where are you located? Most people here have to bring koi into a garage for winter or add a super expensive heater to the pond for winter. I didn’t know shubunkins were more cold hardy! That’s even more reason for me to get some!
 

Kaity

Member
Kribensis27 said:
Where are you located? Most people here have to bring koi into a garage for winter or add a super expensive heater to the pond for winter. I didn’t know shubunkins were more cold hardy! That’s even more reason for me to get some!
Northern vermont. Spitting distance from Canada. I took over maintenance on a property where the owners insisted on keeping their small above ground pond stocked through the winter with koi. We never lost all of them but there were consistent losses Every year. I replaced with shubunkin and have not lost one yet six years later. Now I just have to convince the owners to let me remove the babies because it has become horribly overstocked.

In my own pond someone that didn't know the local law threw 25 in as a test.. last summer was four years and there are hundreds in it. It is a real task to fish them out and sort for color. Maybe next year. Maintaining balance is difficult. Really difficult. I added ducks. So there's your warning take it as you will. And please make sure all ponds with potentially invasive fish are isolated from other water and check local laws
 

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