Can I put fish in a pond?

seth osborn

In the Brooder
Apr 22, 2015
I'd like to build a pond in the backyard and am wondering whether I might put fish in it. Is it possible to put live fish in it, and if so, how do i do it? THANKS!


6 Years
Feb 10, 2013
yo momma
I'd like to build a pond in the backyard and am wondering whether I might put fish in it. Is it possible to put live fish in it, and if so, how do i do it? THANKS!
Yes you can, just like a normal tank keep them in there bag in the pond for 15 minutes then it should be fine.


9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
NE Wisconsin
If you are going to try to raise fish in the pond, the pond will need to be designed right to do that. A pond in direct sunlight will get green and slimy really quick, especially if you have fish in there adding nitrogen - so you will need some type of filter. The water will need to oxygenated so the fish can breath - so you will need a mechanism to add oxygen. If you don't overload the pond with fish, water plants can remove a lot of nutrients and add oxygen - a bubbler will add oxygen also, or a paddle which splashes the water surface, or a pump and waterfall. A friend has a really neat set-up with a pump which sucks the pond water through a filter, pumps it up 3 feet high and dumps it on top of a wooden water-wheel he built which spins as it drops the water back into the pond. So the pump does filter and oxygen duties.

Life is Good!

8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
suburbia Chicagoland
Location, location, location! Once you dig a pond, you cannot 'move' it!

We'd like to put a pond in - but the prime location is near a maple tree....which is fine for 11mo out of the year, but that one month the tree looses all it's leaves would be deadly to a fish-stocked pond, unless it were fairly huge. Or a fairly huge net over it to catch the falling leaves and debris....cleaned daily....yeah, that's low on the priority list....

Ultimately, yes, any container can hold fish. Like stated above, one has to take into consideration: site, plantings (nearby and blown in), what planting zone (i.e. freeze point), quantity of fish desired, ability of local wildlife visiting pond (and preventing them from being harmed by it), cost considerations, electrical considerations (pumps run on electricity) - oh so much more!

Go to your local library - they'll have books on 'diy pond projects'. Heck, google it! There's much to think about, much to plan for, much to figure out.

Our 'pond' at present is a 40 gal hard plastic formed circle off the driveway - it's not deep enough to keep fish overwinter, so they all move indoors for the coldest season (5+mo of year). It's a complete pain in the rear to drain it every fall to reclaim whatever fish the bullfrogs haven't eaten, cover it with a piece of form-fitting plywood so it'll hold the snow load we place on it without cracking, and wait until spring to start it all again.

However, listening to the bullfrog on a hot summer night makes the effort worthwhile! Oh, and we never buy frogs...they come to us...and eat our 'feeder goldfish'. Annual expenditure of $3.00 worth of itty-bitty feeder goldfish early May....and we usually don't have anyone for the winter - except the frogs! Then the expenditures go up - buying crickets all winter to feed same said frogs....

Never dull on a homestead!


5 Years
Dec 31, 2014
NE Missouri
I used to design and build ornamental ponds so I am reading a lot of my own experience and wisdom in the replies above.

You will want to build your pond at least three feed deep at it's deepest point. If you can go deeper, all the better. You will also want to build your pond with shelves around the outter edge about 8-12 inches below the water level to set plant containers. Yes, I highly recommend plants, everything from water iris to water lillies will help you maintain the proper water ph and environment for your pond and fish, plus, they oxygenate the water for you. I highly advise a filtration system of some sort. These can be quite elaborate and expensive or convenient and cheap which is what I prefer. Little Giant makes a great line of pumps for the backyard pond keeper. Calculate the number of gallons in your pond and buy a pump that will handle that many gallons. Next, buy a two gallon bucket, attach either outflow tubing to your pump or a fountain head whichever you decide to use and set your pump down in the bottom of the bucket. Next, I aways bought filtration fiber that you can use with an indoor aquarium and wrapped my pump in that to prevent gravel from clogging up the intake vent. Finally, you fill the bucket with pea gravel, making sure that your fountain head and or output hose is outside and not buried. Sink the bucket so it is sitting at the pond's lowest level. You can run your output hose to an external waterfall or fountain head, whatever your heart desires.

Your goal will be to create a man made ecosystem for your backyard. Don't get discouraged if your water goes through it's emerald green stage. It is just struggling to create that perfect ecosystem and is having an algae bloom. Make sure you pull your filter and flush it to clear frequently at first. You will be amazed at how much sediment it will collect for you.Plants will also help you get and maintain clear water, and during the winter, if you make your pond deep and big enough, you can drop your plant pots onto the bottom for them to winter over with your fish.

If your goal is to have Koi, they are picky little prima donas. They like LOTS of room and LOTS of fresh clear water. I would recommend pond comets at first. I used to go to the neares pet shop and buy a dozen or two 'feeder' gold fish and toss them into my pond. It is amazing how fast they will grow and yes! Have babies for you.

What are you using for a liner? Flexible liner material is easy to work with and durable. There are also some nice molded pond liners that are nice.

As you can guess by now there is a lot to it and you can create just about whatever type of ecosystem you want. There are forums out there for pond keepers and lots of informative articles and publications that I recommend you study before digging that first shovel full of dirt. But believe me, once you dig that first hole, get your liner just right along with you plants, and rocks and will want a bigger pond and be hooked on pond keeping.

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