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.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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