Anyone who has ever walked into a friend’s yard and seen a well stocked Koi pond for the first time is immediately captivated by the beauty, variety and serenity of the Koi fish. After a few minutes of enjoying the Koi, most people wonder aloud or to themselves if they could also keep Koi as pets. Happily, the answer is yes. Koi fish make excellent pets for almost everyone. They are fairly easy to keep and provide a constant display of color. They are not fussy eaters. Since they are omnivorous, Koi will eat a wide variety of foods. From specially prepared Koi food to pieces of bread, frozen peas, lettuce, spinach or even earthworms. Koi love fresh fruit like watermelons or oranges. They will learn to recognize you and rise to the surface to feed. Many Koi can be trained to eat from your hand. Some will even follow you around the pond while begging for food. Koi are also very hardy, peaceful, and compatible with other peaceful fish.
Goldfish/Fancy goldfish can also thrive in a pond environment. They are generally smaller than koi, and have a greater variety of body shapes and fin and tail configurations. Bright orange or albino comets and shubunkin varieties with their calico markings do particularly well in ponds, as they are hardy, and often have long, flowing tails to admire. These fish are able to survive most normal outdoor temperatures, though a source of shade to keep the pond below 80°F in summer is recommended and a heater to keep the pond over 50° in winter will reduce stress and be welcomed. Goldfish will go into a period of reduced activity or dormancy at low temperatures, resting at the base of the pond, moving and eating little, if at all. This is normal, and their liveliness will return when temperatures rise again in spring. You can keep goldfish and koi together.
Golden Orfes are attractive orange/yellow torpedo shaped fish. They are fast surface feeders, eating mosquitos, and other insects in your pond. They like to swim in groups, and have almost dolphin like behavior. Orfes should be added to ponds in groups of three or more.