Goldfish are beautiful and interesting additions to any pond. Cold temperatures in winter mean that the goldfish must be able to withstand long periods of cold weather and water temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius. With so many varieties, understanding the best all-season pond goldfish will make your goldfish shopping easier.
The bright orange goldfish found in many ponds is the standard or common goldfish and is a descendant of the common Chinese koi fish which was domesticated more than 1000 years ago. A programme of selective breeding of bright red, orange, and yellow offspring created the contemporary common goldfish. Hardy in nature, this variety is an excellent addition to a modern pond and, not surprisingly, the most popular. These fish are highly social, so having a few in one pond will ensures their happiness. Remember that they are prolific breeders though. Keep a close eye on fish numbers and water quality, particularly in the summer. Too many fish can result in poor water quality and an unhealthy environment. A healthy ratio is 3.5 litres of water to every fish.
Comet goldfish make perfect pond fish. Growing to a large 30 to 35 cm, the comet is an active fish, swimming at high speeds in large ponds and tanks. Distinguished by a slender torso and a long, flowing tail fin, comet goldfish can live up to 20 years of age. They are omnivorous and will happily eat aquatic plants, larvae, and insects—perfect for keeping mosquitoes under control. These hardy fish can handle temperatures from 4 to 20 degrees Celsius and reduce their metabolic rate without harm, making them ideal for outdoor ponds. Because of their large size and quick growth, they require a well-filtered environment with plenty of oxygen.
Two of the most popular shubunkin varieties are British: the London and the Bristol. Shubunkins are more expensive than other species and can attract very high prices on overseas markets. Unique, marbled-colouration with black spots and large rounded fins are their distinguishing characteristics. Growing to 30 cm long, the shubunkin flourish in ponds. Both varieties have slender bodies, with the London variety possessing a shorter, rounded tail fin and the Bristol with longer flowing fins on all parts of its body. Shubunkin are naturally athletic and easily out-swim less agile fish for food. Keep shubunkin in a large pond—a minimum of 4 litres per fish—with its own species and they will remain happy and healthy.