Fishes for the Garden Pond
The fishes have been selected in the main to give the new owner a taste of what is available: they include the decorative varieties with bright colours and the not so decorative fishes that are important because they clean the pool of unwanted rubbish.
Some will become tame enough to eat out of your hand and show themselves whenever you appear. But make sure that the fishes and other livestock are suitable before introducing them into the pond, so that no one species will dominate and attack the other inhabitants. The obvious example is the Pike – also known by its apt name, Fresh-water Shark – which will clear a pond of other fishes very quickly.
Keep the fish food near the water so that it can be given easily when the fishes are active. If you supplement the food with earth-worms, do wash them under a tap to remove impurities before mincing or chopping them and dropping them into the water. Keep the pond understocked to begin with, as the fishes will grow and need more food and oxygen. It is very easy to overstock, and it will look fine while there is plenty to eat and the weather is cool, but when the temperature soars the water will become deoxygenated, causing the fishes distress. This can be seen when the fishes start to swim with their heads close to the surface. It is best to lift some out and put them in a separate tank or pond until the water cools and the oxygen levels have risen.
The other forms of livestock can provide hours of interest, with the smaller members such as the flies and beetles giving so much energy to their search for food, and the snail is such a contrast as it steadily moves around. Although the pond will give hours of fascination to the older child in the life-cycles of fishes and insects, take care to inform the very young child of the dangers of water; it is the visitor who is at most risk, as ignorance of the hazards can result in accidents. The owner who is aware of this fact usually makes sure that young visitors are supervised until they realise the danger.