Gardening Water gardens

In Your Water Garden, A Few Fish Go a Long Way

20180811A Arden, Wikimedia Commons.jpg
Fish are an attractive addition to water gardens, but don’t overdo it! Source: Arden, Wikimedia Commons

There is essentially no limit to the number of aquatic plants that can have a water garden (when you can no longer see the water because there are so many plants, it may be time to stop adding more!), but with fish, there sure is!

If there are too many fish, the oxygen level in the water will drop and your fish will suffer. Also, when there are too many fish, they produce more waste than the bacteria and plants can filter out and the water will become polluted and smelly.

To know how many fish your pond can hold, calculate about one goldfish per three to four square feet of water surface area and one koi for every 10 square feet of surface area. You need more space for koi, as they grow larger.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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