Best Types of Pond Fish To Keep in Backyard Pond

There are many types of pond fish that you can place in your backyard pond. Each has its own natural allure and beauty. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and personalities. Here are the best types of pond fish to keep in a backyard pond:


Koi fish are beautiful and colorful. They require lots of aeration and a good filtration system. When keeping Koi fish in a backyard pond, aim for at least 1000 gallons as Koi grow to huge sizes and need the space.

Koi fish in a backyard pond being fed.

Comet Goldfish

The Comet Goldfish is also called the Comet-tail Goldfish or Pond Comet. It is usually reddish-orange in color. But, there are yellow, orange, white, and red varieties. Some pond goldfish are also red/white.

Lionhead Goldfish

The lionhead is a hooded variety of fancy goldfish. They are characterized by their bumpy heads (sometimes likened to a lion’s mane – a type of mushroom). They look like Orandas (see below) but without the dorsal fin.

Lionhead Goldfish


Guppies are color and fun fish to keep. A large outdoor pond is perfect for keeping guppy fish happy and healthy. And, because they are prolific breeders, there will be enough space to house lots and lots of different types of guppies. It’s also a good idea to introduce a predatory fish to help keep the balance in the pond.



Shubunkins are a hardy, single-tailed goldfish. It looks like the Comet Goldfish but has longer more flowing fins and blue coloring.



An oranda is a breed of goldfish that has a prominent bubble-like “hood” on the head. The hood can be a prominent growth on the top of the head or may encase the entire face except for the eyes and mouth.


Black Moor

Black moors are all black in color, while all other goldfish exhibit different color combinations. Their eyes are huge and protrude out the sides of their heads.

Black Moor

Common Pleco

​​​​​​Plecos are native to streams and shallow ponds in South America. They can survive in ponds without air pumps, fountains, and waterfalls. Plecos grow up to 24 inches in length and thus require at least 55 gallons of water per pleco.

common pleco


Sunfish are one of the most popular fish for ponds. Like guppies, these foragers can reproduce rather quickly. Thus, keeping a larger, predatory fish to help control the population is necessary. A few largemouth basses should do the trick.

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Before introducing crappie, pond owners should be sure that their pond will be relatively clear most of the time. You should be able to see a light object in 24 inches of water. To control the crappie population, a predatory fish like the largemouth bass is recommended.