Pet Pointers: An alternative habitat for pet fish
Here is a question: If you were a goldfish, would you rather live in a nice comfy fish bowl or an exotic outdoor pond? In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza explores that question.
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We see fancy goldfish in pet stores all the time, and most people keep them in tanks in our homes to enjoy. But there is an alternative habitat to a tank. A backyard pond can be elaborate with waterfalls and multiple levels or a simple oval with a filter and a few plants.
A wide variety of colorful goldfish and koi fish can be kept in ponds, from fancy and regular goldfish to red and white koi. With the right filtration and care, these fish will thrive in ponds. Use caution if you want to mix different species, or even different types of goldfish, as there can sometimes be aggressive behavior. Ask for help and do some research before you add fish that may not be community friendly.
One benefit to keeping fish in ponds is that this environment will allow them to grow much larger than in a tank. Koi are best kept in ponds of over 1,000 gallons to allow for their maximum size, between 25-36 inches. Goldfish can be happy in much smaller ponds, but the water must be deep enough for them to survive the winter. At least 12-18 inches below the frost line is a necessity.
To have happy healthy pond fish avoid chlorinated water, be sure there is plenty of aeration and filtration, add aquatic plants or lily pads to provide cover for your fish, and if necessary, a net covering over the pond can help protect your fish from predators like cats, birds, or raccoons.
Before you bring home any pet, learn more about them and have their habitat ready when you bring them home.