Pond Fish bring life and color to the pond. We have listed the Pond Fish that are best suited for the Fish Pond. This page includes information on Koi, Goldfish, Algae Eaters, and bottom feeders like catfish and some other creatures which are fun to have in the Pond.





Lots of koi information is available online and depictions of koi care can be conflicting. This is a brief article explaining koi fish for ponds and koi for sale at PondMarket.

Koi are, without a doubt, the crowning glory of a pond. It takes excellent pond filtration and water quality to successfully raise koi fish. These spectacular pond fish are available in a vast array of colors and patterns. Koi are bred here in the U.S., and although nice looking, are nothing like pure bred koi imported from Japan, Malaysia, and other countries. Soil conditions rich in certain minerals, which is where koi derive their colors and patterns from, cannot be duplicated here in the U.S.

Koi can live very long lives in healthy koi ponds (30 or 40 years is not unheard of, records have been set around 80 years of age). Koi (also called Nishikigoi, Nishi Koi, Brocaded Carp) need adequate space (approx. 500 gallons per fully grown koi fish)and some depth because they will grow to about 3-4 feet in length depending variety. Although the growth of koi’s is dependent on pond size, they will grow large even in small ponds. Koi are typically not recommended for preformed ponds or ponds smaller than 500 gallons. For more information on koi, visit our knowledge base.

Koi are very intelligent, can have unique personalities, and will become very tame. Koi that do not feel threatened will eat out of your hand and enjoy a diverse diet. It’s not unheard of for koi to eat water melon, spinach, and other fruits and vegetables in addition to sticks and pellets. Fish are like humans and other pets in that a diet rich in vitamins and proteins ensures good color and health. Better foods have a higher digestion rate therefore causing less fish waste which leads to healthier pond water, less algae in the pond, and less pond maintenance.

PondMarket offers koi from Japan, Maylasia, and from domestic U.S. farms like Kloubec Koi, Blue Ridge Koi, Blackwater Koi, and Ozark Fisheries.

(available online and in our Store)






No fish pond is complete without some goldfish. Their bright orange color and lively movements add life and fun to the water garden. We offer the pond comet variety because they have nice tails and a bright orange color. Some of them are even red. Pond comets can have white tails, transparent tails, and red or orange tails. Some of the pond comets have long fins and tails and are referred to as veil tail pond comets. Many varieties of goldfish are available (discussed further down this page) including sarasa comets, shubunkins, red fantails, calico fantails, red cap orandas, and others. Goldfish limit their growth depending on the body of water they live in, which makes them the ideal pond fish for smaller Ponds.

(available online and available in-store)


High Fin Banded Shark





(a hardy Algae Eater)

Traditionally, the only algae eating fish around was the plecostomus, which is tropical and has to be taken inside once water gets below 55 degrees. Recently, Hi-fin banded sharks have become available for ponds.  Hi-fin banded sharks are hardy and eat nothing but algae.  Although referred to and named “shark”, hi-fin banded sharks are very gentle and docile fish. They play well with koi and goldfish, grow to 18″ long or so, and do a great job eating algae.

(available in-store only – check availability)


Butterfly Koi


Butterfly koi have long and flowing fins. They are absolutely gorgeous and can have fins in excess of 12 inches in length. Developed by Blue Ridge Koi in the late 1980’s, these fish are hardy, can be chosen by species, and are an awesome addition to almost any pond. PondMarket stocks butterfly koi for sale from Blue Ridge Fisheries, Kloubec Koi Farm, Blackwater Koi, and Ozark Fisheries.

available on-line (not Blue Ridge)


in-store from Blue Ridge; check availability. 







(Algae Eater)

Extremely fast growing Algae Eater feeds on String, Hair and other filamentous algaes in the Pond. These are tropical fish and must be removed from Ponds that might freeze over or in which the Water Temperature goes below 55 degrees. Great for smaller Ponds (where fishing them out is not a problem), or Ponds in sub-tropical areas.

(available in-store only – check availability)


Imported Koi Fish





PondMarket is one of the only stores, and may be the only store in St. Louis, to offer koi from Japan and Malaysia. Many folks often wonder what the difference is between one koi and another with regards to color pattern. Imported Japanese koi and imported Malaysian koi are often pure bred and have color patterns and vivid colors that can only be achieved from the country of origin. We offer koi from some of the most prominent farms in these two countries.

Imported Japanese koi, regardless of the breed or species, require superior pond filtration, excellent pond water quality, circulation, and do well when a pond aeration system is installed.


(available in-store only – check availability)


Blushing Apricot Pond Goldfish


This is a newer variety of Goldfish. Light apricot in color with a transparent gill vents projects a “blushing” emotion, hence the name: blushing apricots. They are winter hardy and availability is limited. PondMarket is the St. Louis exclusive source for the Blushing Apricot Goldfish.

(available in-store only – check availability)


Albino Catfish for Ponds

(Bottom Feeder)

Albino Catfish are popular pond fish because they grow very large, are something different to look at, and can clean up the uneaten food that sinks to the bottom and help keep the pond bottom clean. Unlike other catfish their color makes them easily visible. They are winter hardy and fast growing. Albino catfish are a great addition to a well stocked Pond.

available on-line


in-store; check in-store availability


Shubunkin Pond Fish



Shubunkin comets are often mistakenly referred to as “shubookin”, “shuboinkin”, and “shubonkin”. They are also commonly mistaken as koi fish. Folks that are not overly familiar with koi often think they are koi because they are available in a wide range of colors and fin structures. Shubunkins are awesome for ponds because they are very hardy like their goldfish cousins. Shubunkins are one of several varieties of goldfish for sale at PondMarket. Shubunkins can be found in different shades of orange, blue, red, and white. Like the pond comet, shubunkins can be found with long and short fins and are as such referred to as veil tail shubunkins.

(available online and available in-store)



Sarasa Pond Comets





Sarasa comets are considered a “fancy goldfish” because of their colors of red, orange, and white as well as their majestic flowing fins. Sarasa comets are a pond staple and one of several varieties of goldfish for sale at PondMarket. Sarasa comets are a goldfish and therefore grow according to the pond size and typically do not exceed 8-10″ in length. Sarasa comets are available in a wide variety of color, patterns, and fin structures. Some sarasa comets have very long fins and tails and are referred to as veil tail sarasa comets. We typically have a mix of all kinds of these goldfish for sale.

(available online and available in-store)


Trapdoor Hardy Snails for Ponds


Trapdoor Snails are winter hardy, they will not overpopulate, and they help keep the pond clean. They feed exclusively on filamentous Pond Algae (Hair Algae, String Algae, Bubble Algae, etc) meaning that they will not eat pond plants. They are suitable for all size ponds and even do well in container gardens. Trap door snails range in size from the size of a quarter to the size of a half dollar.

available online


in-store; check in-store availability


Bullfrog Tadpoles


Not only are they fun to watch as they grow into Frogs, they also feed on Algae and are winter hardy. Depending on various environmental circumstances, Metamorphosis takes between 3 months to 3 years. A great learning experience
for children of all ages!




(available in-store only; free with purchase; for educational and scientific uses only – check availability)

Helpful Links

Read about Pond Fish Health
Read about Pond Fish Food
Read about Pond Filtration
Read about Pond Water Quality
Download Pond Fish Care eBook
Shop for Pond Fish Medicine
Shop for Pond Filters
Shop for Pond Fish Food
Shop for Pond Fish


Low Maintenance Koi Ponds, Fish Ponds, and Water Gardens

Low maintenance fish ponds, koi ponds, water gardens, and garden ponds can be setup easily with the following: a pond filter system, beneficial bacteria, a pond test kit, tap water conditioner, a barley product, pH decreaser, phosphate remover, and pond plants. With that said, a fish pond does not need pond filter per-say, but, if a fish pond or koi pond does not have a pond filter, then the pond will go through periods of murkiness and green pond algae as the pond plants struggle to contain the dynamic force named mother nature. It is very difficult to keep a pond clean, healthy, and clear without a pond filter.

A pond filter’s main purpose is to keep the pond fish healthy by establishing a beneficial bacterial colony that converts fish waste into harmless water components. In smaller pond filters that do not have mechanical and biological filter media, it is critical not to clean the filter media with tap water because it kills off the beneficial bacteria in the pond filter. In pond filters that have mechanical and biological filter media, the filter pads can be hosed off with tap water because the beneficial bacteria grows within the biological filter media. Only clean the biological filter media when absolutely necessary and preferably in early spring or late fall.



A backyard pond, koi pond, or water garden is a little world and eco-system we created that may need our help occasionally to achieve the natural balance necessary to sustain pond life and healthy pond fish. This is usually not difficult.

It is very important to eliminate chlorine and other metals from tap water when filling the pond. There are many articles and videos claiming adding little bits of chlorinated water here and there to the pond does not hurt koi and goldfish. However, these are the same folks that attribute fish loss to a faulty pump or hot weather. Metal is to koi and goldfish gills what cigarette smoke is to human lungs.  After adding small of amounts of untreated water to koi and goldfish ponds over a period of time damages fish gills. If there is an oxygen problem for any reason after damage to gills from chlorine is done, the result is fish loss whereas healthy fish can tolerate an oxygen deficiency for quite some time. There are many cost effective brands of dechlorinator, tap water conditioner, and chlorine remover that are very easy to use. We have a Concentrated Water Conditioner that is an all natural and concentrated tap water conditioner. For water changes, pond clean outs, and when a lot of tap water has to be added to the pond, we recommend our all natural Koi TLC.

With that said, we are all guilty of overstocking our ponds with pond fish because there is always “that one fish” that we really do not need, but, we really want it! Overstocked ponds are also ponds that have overfed fish. Over abundances of pond fish food and too many fish can have oxygen problems that our pond pumps and waterfalls cannot overcome without the use of an aeration kit


Achieving Pond Balance is a Maintenance Free Koi Pond




Achieving a healthy pond with clear water and very little maintenance is quite possible without spending a lot of time and money. As a general rule of thumb, filtration systems and the need for aquatic pond plants are disproportional in that the more sophisticated the filter system, the less the koi pond will depend on pond plants for clean and clear water. Therefore, if a koi pond or garden pond has a relatively simple pond filter and/or a pond filter that is sized according to the gallons in the pond, and it has very few pond plants, the koi pond, goldfish pond, or water garden will struggle with regards to clear water. Conversely, ponds that have a pond filter over sized for the pond, and have a fair amount of pond plants, will remain relatively clean and clear with very little pond maintenance.




As a general rule of thumb, a pond setup for success upfront will require little work. If the pond filter is maintained with new filter pads and/or a new UV bulb, the pond pH is adjusted to as close to 7.0 as possible, and beneficial bacteria is used throughout the season, infrequent use of algae controls will be needed. Barley products such as barley bales, barley extract, or barley pellets introduced into the pond early in the season help keep string algae out of the pond.

Phosphate levels in the pond are a major contributor of pond algae blooms. Phosphate levels show up from koi and goldfish food, aquatic plant fertilizers that contain phosphate, and in spring and fall months from pond filters being inefficient due to decreasing and fluctuating temperatures. In many cases, a random phosphate remover treatment will eliminate the need for an pond algae killer or a pond fish and pond plant algae control product.

Nitrite and ammonia levels need to be monitored or tested in new ponds for a few weeks as the biological pond filter grows beneficial bacteria to consume these problem compounds. In established ponds, these levels typically need to be monitored or tested in spring and fall months. Applying beneficial bacteria on a semi regular basis to garden ponds and koi ponds keeps these levels low and helps keep algae, sludge, and organic matter down to minimal and acceptable levels. Keeping organic matter down is the key to a maintenance free koi pond. Organic matter is what causes pond filters and pond filter pads to get dirty and therefore need to be cleaned. Nitrite and ammonia levels are usually caused from fish waste and in some cases are created from the breakdown of organic debris in the pond.





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