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Obviously, not every fish keeper wants a fish to keep indoors; some want a fish that they can keep in their backyard pond. If that is you, then worry no more because this guide will give you the various species that can live in outdoor ponds. You may either be a beginner looking for the ideal fish for your outdoor or just someone looking for inspiration, and there is always something for everyone.

Keeping fish in an outdoor pond is a specific way of keeping fish, but the most common is aquarium fish keeping. Outdoor fish-keeping has some different conditions. These fish are affected by weather, for instance, during the winter, and this means that the fish must be hardy to overcome such weather conditions. The type of fish that you will go for mean will be determined by various factors such as the size of the pond, water depth, the condition of winter, water quality, and so on.

It is therefore important to do proper research so that the fish you choose can be able to overcome the condition in the area that you are living in. You will obviously need to do maintenance and water cleaning to optimize the conditions. Below are some of the outdoor fish you can consider;


This fish is a subspecies of sturgeons. This fish is adapted to the cold climate of the cold waters of Eurasia-Siberia and the Rivers that flow into the Black Sea, Azov Sea, and the Caspian Sea. As a result of pollution to the natural habitat and overfishing of these fish, it has lately been realized that they are becoming an endangered species.

This fish is a hardy species, and they also have high adaptability to cold waters, and this makes a great choice for your outdoor pond. This fish has a distinct appearance with a black body that has white stripes and a barbell on its lips. This fish has an average lifespan of 22 to 25 years. If you are planning to add this fish to your outdoor pond, you must bear in mind that they might need some specific food since they might not be able to digest some of the protein found in commercial foods such as pellets.

Generally, this fish makes an ideal choice for your pond, but you should always remember not to excess greenery in your pond since this fish might develop some attachment to it.


The Common Goldfish would make a great choice for a backyard pond. There are many reasons to support this, but the main one is the fact that this fish is hardy and can withstand different conditions. In terms of maintenance, this fish does not need a lot of effort, and they can live with other fish species as well. This fish is also beautiful and will decorate your pond with some vibrant colors that are very interesting. They have a range of colors from red, orange, yellow, black, and even white. 

Obviously, they would be a great choice for a small pond, but if they are living in a large group, they with still thrive in a larger pond. This fish has an average lifespan of 10 years, and they grow to an average size of 12 inches. This fish is hardy and can withstand a low or freezing temperature. This fish is herbivore in nature, and they are not too picky; they can eat most of the herbivore diet. Thye love company, and therefore you need to pair them with a friendly fish and provide the pond with some hiding spots, and greenly and your Common Goldfish will live a happy life in your pond.


The Rec Shiners, also known as the Red-horse minnows, are among the smallest fish species in this category. They grow to a maximum size of 3 inches in length. This does not mean they cannot be kept in an outdoor pond. This fish is suited for the backyard ponds since, in nature, they also live in creeks and in rivers. This fish does not love living alone and therefore loves living in groups, and you should always have that in mind.

This fish is mainly used as bait by fishermen, but in the pond, they can easily become food for other fish due to their small size. It is therefore important to be kept when choosing the tank mates for the Red Shiners. Avoid the predatory fish but rather go for smaller and peaceful species. This fish is known to have high adaptability to different environments, and they are popular for their adaptability. They can survive low temperatures, and they do not need strict maintenance.


The Weather Loach, also reoffered to as Pond Loach, is among the oldest domesticated fish in the world. In fact, they are among the most common fish in the ponds, meaning you are likely to find them in any random pond. This species is known as the bottom feeder, which implies that they tend to float and swim around the bottom of the food. Just as the name suggests, this species has the ability and preference of living in ponds.

Also, the name weather loach has its own origin. It is named so due to its ability to predict bad weather. Before the storm comes, this fish is known to behave erratically, and they swim around the pond in a crazy way. This fish is peaceful, and they are very friendly to other fish in the pond. This fish has a long lifespan, with an average lifespan of 10 years or more.


This fish species is commonly referred to as Plecos. It is a catfish species that make another great choice for backyard ponds. This fish is beautiful and exciting, and attractive to stare at. They have rich fins with a pattern that is tiger-like sprayed all over their body. This fish originated from South America, but today it is mainly found in many ponds across the world.

This fish is nocturnal, meaning that it is active during the night. They will spend most part of the day hiding under the rocks and crevices in the pond. This means that you should provide some hiding spots in your tank if you intend to have this fish in your pond. These fish thrive best in a large pond, but as long as the space is not too small, it is good to go.

This fish has a sucker mouth, and this implies that most of their diet consists of algae, but if you must buy them food, you have to consider plant-based foods.


The Koi Cap fish is Coldwater fish that makes a great choice for backyard ponds. This fish is very hardy and can survive in extremely low temperatures. In the pond, these fish acts as a decoration due to their varying colors that make the pond look amazing. The Koi fin has different varieties, just like the case of Goldfish, and you will find them in black, white, orange, yellow, and other varieties.

This fish originated from Japan, but with time this fish has spread in most parts of Asia and Central Europe. The name Koi is Japanese, meaning love or affection, and with this fish, you can expect plenty of love.   If you show love to this fish in your pond, expect to get it in equal measure. This fish also has a similar appearance to that of a goldfish, but you can separate the two by barbels on the lips since the goldfish dos not have.

As we said, this fish is hardy, but they do not withstand a long period of cold weather where the temperatures are below 10 degrees Celsius. Thye can withstand just normal winter and not an extreme one.


The golden Rudd is a pond species that is also known as the Rosette pond fish. This fish is known to be a very sturdy fish that does not fall ill very easily. This fish makes a good choice for outdoor ponds due to their ability to live under the harsh conditions of winter. They also have a pleasant look with a silver boy that has red or orange fins.

The lifespan of this fish is between 15 to 20 years, and if they are kept in good condition, they might live more. This fish will rarely fall ill due to their hardy nature. This fish is not prone to common diseases that similar fish of their size contact. With all these attributes, this fish becomes the ideal choice for outdoor ponds.


The Fathead Minnow is a freshwater fish that originated from North America. Over the years, this fish has gained popularity, and it has spread to other parts of the world. In Canada and United States, this fish is sold as feed fish.   In the wild, this species has a dull olive-grey color with a dark stripe along its side and a light belly. This fish is small in size and grows to an average length of between 2.5 to 4 inches.

This fish is an ideal choice for outdoor ponds due to the fact that they can adapt to a wide range of water parameters and environments. This has endeared them among the keepers. This fish can be kept in small ponds comfortably. This fish is able to survive in low oxygen levels waters that other fish species cannot survive. Due to this, the Fathead does not need a pond filter since they can survive.

 The process of breeding this fish is pretty simple. Thye begins to spawn when the temperature gets below 64 degrees F. The female Fathead can lay up to 25 times a year with an average of 6500 to 10000 eggs a year. If you are in need of a hardy fish that is easy to breed and will do good in an outdoor pond, this is the ideal choice.


Gobi Fish is another great choice for an outdoor pond. These fish are popularly known as great algae eaters, but in real life, they are omnivores. This fish will sometimes feed on some soft algae, but the main diet consists of insects, worms, and snails. This is grown to an average size of 5 to 6 inches with a lifespan of about five years under proper care. This fish loves living in a school, and they become so happy. The school should consist of at least 6, but if you are looking at breeding them, they should be eight or more of them.

This fish loves dwelling at the bottom section of the tank, and therefore you will not be able to see them most of the time. This fish has a dark brown color that makes them almost invisible in the pond. If the fish is living in a pond that is deeper than 30 inches, they can hibernate during the winter season.


The Redear fish, also known as Redear sunfish, is a freshwater species mainly viewed as a sport fish, and they can make an ideal choice for backyard ponds. This fish is also referred to as Pumpkinseed fish due to the fact that its body is covered with pumpkin seed shape spots. It is also known as redear fish because it has red or orange coloring near the gills where the ear would be.

This fish originated from the lakes and ponds across the United States, such as Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, and other states. This fish grows to an average size of 10 to 15 inches in length, depending on pond size. This fish has a distinct appearance that makes them appealing to its owners. This fish mainly eat the snails, but they definitely feed on other fresh-based foods. They are a great choice for outdoor ponds, and you should try them.


Orfes, also known as golden orfes, typically grow to a foot to a foot and a half in length when put in ponds. In the larger ponds and lakes where there is plenty of food available, they can grow to three feet. This fish is extremely sensitive to water conditions, and therefore you should ensure that pond water is of high quality always. In terms of temperature, this fish is hardy and can tolerate low temperatures as low as freezing points. This makes them an ideal fish for an outdoor pond.

You should always bear in mind that this species is exceptionally active, and this makes them prone to oxygen depreciation; therefore, you will need to ensure oxygen levels are always high in your pond. This fish is also a jumper, and therefore you need some boundaries to prevent them from jumping off the pond. This is because the fish is invasive and should not be let out of captivity.


Pond Sturgeon is large fish that makes an ideal choice for outdoor ponds. This fish is larger, as said, and should not be kept if you do not have a large pond or a lake. This species began to evolve many years ago, and they have an incredibly resilient. The temperature range depends on the individual fish, but generally, as long as you keep the temperature above the freezing point,  you are good to go.

 This fish does not like intense lighting, and this explains why they love dwelling in the bottom section of the water bodies. By living under the water, they also get many hiding spots to protect themselves from extreme brightness and heat from the sun. This fish also need a high-quality sturgeon to feed with at least 40 percent protein content for the best possible growth.


This fish is also known as batfish due to its appearance that resembles that of a bat. This fish is a suckering algae eater. This fish is generally peaceful, and they are easily compatible with most fish, including the Goldfish, Guppies, Plecos, among others. This fish does not prefer living alone but loves living in small schools of 3 or more of their own. This fish needs cold water of between 55 to 75 degrees F with plenty of decorations for hiding purposes.

This implies that this fish can live in outdoor ponds even during the winter as long as you keep the water heated within the range. They have a quite striking pattern on their body. This fish grows to an average size of 4 feet in length, but this may take years to reach this point since they primarily feed on algae.


Mosquito fish is a small fish that is rarely seen in the aquarium trade. They are, however, common among the pond fish-keeping community. This fish is small, as the name suggests, with an average size of approximately 2 inches. His fish has a torpedo shaped body which is also semi semi-transparent and it makes them quite agile in the water. The dull gray or brown color lets them fade into the background.

Most of the Pond fish keepers do not opt for this fish due to its appearance but rather its utility. This fish can consume a lot of mosquito larvae in a day. This fish is loved due to its ability to keep insects in control.

This fish is also very adaptable, but they thrive best in the standard pond environment. This fish can, however, remain resilient even when things fluctuate to the extreme, and they will hold on until things get back to normal.


This fish is arguably the most famous live-bearing fish, and they are an ideal choice for an outdoor pond. This fish has no problem breeding in captivity. You can easily have a flourishing guppy fish to add some life to your outdoor pond with proper and careful planning. Guppies are on the smaller side with an average size of 2 inches. The females are a bit bigger compared to the males, but the males are the most preferred by keepers.

The reason why the males are popular is due to the eye-catching tailfin filled with color and intricate patterns. It is fan-shaped and considerably larger than the other fish, and this makes it stand out. The females also have a beautiful caudal fin. However, with their large size, it makes the finless striking than what you see in males.


This fish originates from South East Asia, and they can make great pond fish. Just as the name implies, this fish is a great algae eater. Some of the algae are beneficial to the tank, but this fish prevents overgrowth, which leads to poor water conditions. This fish can swim throughout the whole pond, but they will mostly stick to the bottom side near the substrate, where there are plenty of algae.

This fish does not have the signature flattened body that other algae-eating species have. This fish instead has a long and slender profile that is perfect for swimming in any part of the pond. They have an under-the-turned mouth, which is the only defining feature that signifies their preference for bottom-dwelling. This fish is pretty muted when it comes to color. This fish is predominately brown or beige, but a lateral line runs from the tip of the snout through the caudal fork or tail. It provides a beautiful contrast that helps them stand out.


The Molly fish exist in different kinds. Each of the different kinds has its own unique quirks and unique features. Some of the more popular varieties include the balloon molly, black molly, Dalmation Molly, among others. Despite some differences, these fish have a common profile and body shapes. Molies have a body that is flattened with a triangular head. They become widest and tallest in the middle section. On the front, the body of this species tapers to a nice point at the snout. At the back, it tapers to a wide caudal fork and fan-shaped tail.

You do not need to have any experience to keep a healthy Molly fish. This is because they are hardy and easy to take care of. They can adapt to different environments. This fish is peaceful and will easily get along with other species in the pond, and this makes them dear to most pond fish keepers.


The Grass carp is one of the common Pond fish that are ideal for outdoor ponds. This fish was actually introduced in Europe for weed control, and this explains the name Grass carp. This fish is loved by most pond fish keepers due to its ability to eliminate excessive vegetation in the pond. Naturally, they are found in ponds or fast-moving rivers.

Today, this species is loved by most fishermen, but it is preferred for the outdoor pond because it can adapt to various living conditions. This fish can also live in static water. In Asia, this species is found in ponds. This fish grows to an average size of 30 inches, and they should be kept in a group since they will thrive best as such. This fish feeds on plants, and you should be careful about which plants you let the feed on.


The Golden Tench is a subspecies of tench fish. This fish has been bred artificially, and they closely resemble the Goldfish. They are popularly known as very sturdy and healthy fish that rarely contract diseases and fall ill. This is also the reason why this fish is known as doctor tench. Generally, this fish is a bottom dweller. They spend most of their time at the bottom of the pond as they scavenge for leftovers and swim around.

This fish is a schooling one as they prefer living in small groups. Each group can consist of around 5 of them, and they will be good to go. In terms of size, this fish can grow to an average size of 20 inches in length. This species is viewed as the ideal fish for an outdoor pond due to its high adaptability to changes in weather and healthiness.


This fish is primarily sold as feeder fish for the larger species. This does not, however, mean they cannot be kept in the pod as long as there are not so many predatory fish. Provided that you place them in the same pond with small and peaceful species that are of the same or smaller size, they will be okay.

However, you should be careful where you are buying this fish. Avoid as much as possible buying them in places where they are sold in bulk or where they are kept in large numbers because they might carry diseases. Besides that, this fish makes an ideal choice for outdoor ponds, and they are very adaptable and can comfortably live in a variety of conditions, from warm, tropical settings to cool waters in the winter.


The sticklebacks are interesting fish species that vary in size. Some are smaller, while others are larger, and they can grow about 8 inches. This fish makes an ideal choice for an outdoor pond due to its adaptability and sturdy nature. One of the common species of this fish is the three-spined stickleback. These are mainly found in nature and the ponds.

 This fish is hardy and is well adapted to the freezing conditions, and are also quite commonly known as being very good in a number of different conditions. These are the reasons that show this fish can survive in a pond throughout the year.


Different from the common Goldfish that has been discussed already being fast, energetic, and enjoying swimming, this fish is typically slow and cannot compete with other fish for food. It is for this reason that the common Goldfish and the Fancy Goldfish should never be kept in the same pond or with any species that have a high appetite and is very active.

This fish comes in different varieties, and most keeps prefers them due to their varied, unique appearances. This fish can make an ideal fish for outdoor ponds as long as the temperature and Ph requirements are met. This fish can, however, not withstand the extreme winter conditions, and therefore they need to be moved indoors during the period.


The ideal fish for outdoor ponds are the hardy fish that can thrive in just any condition. This is because the temperatures in the pond can change from time to time depending on the season since they are not controlled. Some of the fish can fit in this category we have discussed.

In this article, we have tried to have as many varieties as possible so that we can give you a wide range of choices to choose from. Some may want a small and low maintenance fish, others may opt for a big fish, and this has all been taken care of. It is upon you as the keeper to choose the ideal fish that you can be able to meet the requirements and that which will give you an easy time taking care of.

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