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We built a 7m2 pond (approx. 4500 litres) last year, always intending to stock with fish. It is well established with plants so that time has now come.

I'm thinking to start small with two or three shubunkins and maybe a couple of golden tench. What does anyone think to that 'pairing'?


  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    How deep is your pond? Some wildlife gardeners will advise against putting fish in your pond but I have had goldfish in mine for more than 30 years and they and the wildlife thrive. The only problem I have is that they breed so successfully!
    I don't  know much about particular types of fish but I would suggest starting with the most common and tough and learning as you go. Beware herons.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,116
    Hi, pond depth was going to be my first question as well. It is important with fish unless you live somewhere that doesn't get much frost.
    My next question would be, do you have a filter? I'm guessing with the lite stocking that you maybe don't and that is fine but be aware golden tench can grow very large (though not necessarily very quickly). We had 4 tench, 2 normal and 2 golden, in our pond for about 15 years and they got to about 18" long before they got upgraded to our friends "lake". We massively over filtered the pond which helped with the bioload but if you are going for a natural pond then perhaps look at canary yellow goldfish instead. They can still grow large, as all goldfish can but are tamer than tench and will still root around the bottom of the pond.

    I think 3 shubs and 3 canary goldfish would do well in your pond and they will likely increase in population. I think the tench are doable (but they seem to prefer more of their own company) as well but you are on the limit of the size they'd be recommended for and whilst they aren't the most active fish (so space is less important) they will limit the other fish you can have a little more.   
  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
    Thank you guys!

    The pond is around 2 1/2ft at its deepest - designed and built with fish in mind - and does have a large volume filter (Oase Filtoclear 12000) plus some bio filtration.

    @thevictorian, that's interesting about the tench because I'd read somewhere that they'd prefer not to be one of a kind in a pond. Aside from their eventual size, yours were presumably happy enough together?
  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
    Have people had issues with shubunkins eating pond plants?
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    My daughter has a couple and they gobble up all the oxygenators. My goldfish dig about pond plants but they don't seem to eat much.
  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
    Thanks @posy, that's helpful to know.
  • I have always put a tench in any pond I have built as they are bottom dwellers/feeders and help to keep the debris down. Once in the pond normally you will never see it again. Remember to put enough food for them as well as the surface dwellers.
    I have kept Golden Orfe, be careful because sometimes they can jump quite high, and end up poolside, they are a shoal fish so like to have at least 3 of the same breed in the pond, Shubunkins and Comets get along with each other, I have never had any problems with any of these. Have never kept Goldfish, all I know is the fancy ones with very long fins and tails do not do well in a wildlife pond because their fins are easily damaged by plants and other fish etc., which develops into fin rot so it is best to avoid them unless in an aquarium.
    The local heron has polished off all of my fish for the last 3 years so I have stopped replacing them. Too expensive now.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,116
    As you have a filtered pond then your original stocking should be fine. Tench, at least ours, didn't exactly hang out together but neither did our other fish. They really liked to hang out at the top under the lillies and you'd just see these big mouths poking out from under the leaves. I think they like their own kind when smaller and become more solitary as they age so I don't think it matters if you have two or ten, after a few years.

    Most goldfish, so shubs, comets etc, will eat some plants but generally not enough to cause many problems and it controls the growth of weedy plants a bit. Koi are the fish that are more likely to strip ponds of some plants because they tend to grow larger and have appetites to match but you can keep plants with them successfully as well.   
  • ifrat77ifrat77 Posts: 3
    edited 13 May
    Generally, Shubunkin goldfish and Golden Tench are peaceful fish that can coexist well together in a pond. They are both social species and can even form small schools or shoals. It's important to provide plenty of hiding places and other environmental enrichment, such as plants or rocks. You should also make sure that the pond is large enough to accommodate all your fish comfortably and that there is enough food for everyone.

  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 2,682
    I weakened and replaced my lost fish. They surfaced much earlier this year for some reason. Hopefully they will survive the herons visits as I have plenty of plant foliage for them to hide under. 
    After thinking I had no frog spawn then seeing loads of tadpoles, they have disappeared but there have been some very satisfying plops when I have looked in the pond so I assume there are frogs and toads around.
    Having had a first ever autumn spring clean the pond weed is going rampant, the reed has lots more stems, the iris is looking promising and the miniature water lilies seem to be doing well so fingers crossed for a good pond year.
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