There is nothing I enjoy more than paying a visit to the local koi pond supply store. When my wife asked me if we were going to add more fish to the pond this year, my answer was a resounding “YES!” The best thing about having a water garden is going to the store and picking out fish. I am like a kid on Christmas morning.
Once my pond was up and running, I couldn’t wait to get to the store and pick out some fish to bring some life to my pond.
My local pond supply store gets their fish in early spring. I recommend going to a pond outlet if there is one close to you, rather than a pet store, just because the selection will be that much better, and the prices are usually decent.
My mission for the day was to get my hands on some butterfly koi.
Koi (link to my article on what to know before owning koi) enthusiasts that are purest, consider butterfly koi to be mutts. They were discovered in Indonesia in the early 1980’s. Considered “ugly” when first discovered they were merely grey and brown carp with large fins.
Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery can be credited with breeding the fish to what we know today. They discovered that by crossbreeding them with colorful koi, the gene for their long fins was the dominant one. This allowed them to be bred with color, while still retaining their long fins.
The crossbreeding also made this strain of koi disease resistant. The solid color black butterflies have less gene strain making them more resilient than than their colored koi counterpart.
The fins of the butterfly koi keep growing. Fins get longer with age until the blood vessels can’t sustain any more growth.
These koi have more than just their color pattern going for them when it comes to their value. Even without properly defined color patterns, they are an impressive sight with their long flowing fins as they appear as dragons gracefully move through the water.
If you go to an actual pond supply outlet, they will be able to answer any immediate questions you may have. In the video, I had some questions about breeding. I wanted to know if the koi I was purchasing would ever produce offspring. They were able to put me on the right path. I just wanted to make sure my pond wouldn’t get over run with fish.
All the other fish at the store will coexist with one another, including the koi. They all will eat the same food as well.
Sarasa goldfish – There were two types of these at the store, the fancy tail and the single tail variety. Similar to the comet except with splotches of white and orange. These fish thrive in a pond of at lest 180 gallons. These fish will grow to the size of their surroundings to a maximum of 14”.
Shubunkin Goldfish – These are a great alternative to koi. They have similar markings and will grow to a maximum size of 14”. This is perfect for a smaller pond of at least 180 gallons.
Red Comet Goldfish – These are bright reddish/orange in color with a longer tail fin. Similar to the fish mentioned above, they grow to a maximum size of 14”, and require a minimum habitat size of 180 gallons.
If you can’t find what you are looking for locally, shopping online is a great option. I love adding new things to my pond! The problem is, eventually I will be at my max as far as fish go. At that point I will have to hold back and enjoy what I have.
Do you have any different varieties of fish in your pond? How do you hold back from overstocking your pond? Any comments below would be helpful. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them as soon as possible, so don’t hesitate to ask. Until next time, enjoy your backyard water garden!