Allotment Articles 2.
When people have a fish pond they often just think of goldfish and donít realize that there are now quite a few different varieties of fish available to the outdoor aquarist. Another thing that people donít realize is just how big fish can grow in the right conditions, or how long they can live. Goldfish, or comets that are long tailed goldfish, can live up to 20, or 25 years and grow up to a foot, or 30 cm long. However, in a small pond or cramped conditions this size is limited and they may only grow a few inches.
The growth of fish is governed by a hormone that all fish secrete and the higher the concentration of the hormone, the slower the growth rate.
Another popular fish that is closely related to the goldfish is the Shubunkin. These can be blue as in the Cambridge Blue, or multi-coloured with reds, blues and blacks making every fish look different. The less popular Sarasa Comet is also closely related to the goldfish, but was originally bred in America. These fish have a long comet tail but are red and white in colour.
Golden Orfe are another fish that can grow very big, often reaching one foot in quite a small pond. Unfortunately when they reach this size they often jump out of a small pond, but can grow even bigger, up to 3 feet in a lake. They are a golden yellow colour, very hardy and resistant to disease but they also need a good supply of oxygen as they get bigger. This can be supplied either by a fountain, or a waterfall and is most important on a hot summer night when oxygen levels are at their lowest in the pond. The Blue Orfe is a hybrid from the Golden Orfe, but has a pink underbelly and a blue back. The species has not been perfected yet and a lot of specimens are not a good blue colour, but if you look through the tank at your aquatic retailer you will always see some good ones which he will be happy to catch for you.
Golden Rudd are very similar in their habit to Golden Orfe in that they swim around on the surface always after insects. They are more of a red colour and donít grow anywhere near as big, so they are more suitable for a small pond.
A lot of people like to put water snails in their pond to eat the rubbish that accumulates on the bottom. However, snails also like to eat fresh green vegetation and are quite partial to lily leaves. A much better idea is to put scavenger fish in the pond such as Tench. The common green Tench is widely available, but once you have put it in you are unlikely to see it again until you clean the pond out because of its colour. A much better seen fish is the golden Tench that is sometimes sold.
Fancy goldfish such as Black Moors and Fantails are sometimes put in fishponds, but they are not the hardiest of fish so are best brought inside the home for the winter. Other varieties of fish sometimes sold for fishponds include Gudgeon, Weatherloach and Minnows but all of these are best kept in an aquarium where they can be seen to their full advantage.