Looking for Winter Hardy Fish Ideas


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Hey all - I am a new coming here and am looking for ideas on different fish to add to a backyard pond. The pond itself is about 5k gallons and about 4 feet deep. I live in Minneapolis, MN so they need to be able to overwinter. I really would like to do something unique, not Koi if at all possible. Also, I'd prefer smaller species of fish. Does anyone have suggestions of some more unique winter hardy fish?
 
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j.w

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@nicholasraph
I vote for Shubunkins!

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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Wow, you’ve got that huge pond and no idea what to put in it? Most people on here would be envious, as they would love to have a pond that big — no problems filling it with fishy occupants! Of course, I’m teasing you, but seriously, you must have bought property with a pond.

Shubunkins, as @j.w said! They are called “poor man’s koi,” because they are so pretty, but don’t come with the price tag and responsibilities associated with koi. They are very hardy, and will over-winter, since your pond is 4’ deep.

For any other, unique fish, you might look at native species that will tolerate the climate there. I’m sure there are lots of ideas on Google, just be sure to read all the fine print so there won’t be any surprises!

Is your pond natural or lined? Does it have any type of filtration? Is it planted?
 

addy1

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Welcome to our forum!

I vote for shubunkins also. I love mine and so easy to care for.
 
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Hello and welcome! Wow, you’ve got that huge pond and no idea what to put in it? Most people on here would be envious, as they would love to have a pond that big — no problems filling it with fishy occupants! Of course, I’m teasing you, but seriously, you must have bought the property with a pond.

Shubunkins, as @j.w said! They are called “poor man’s koi,” because they are so pretty, but don’t come with the price tag and responsibilities associated with koi. They are very hardy and will over-winter since your pond is 4’ deep.

For any other, unique fish, you might look at native species that will tolerate the climate there. I’m sure there are lots of ideas on Google, just be sure to read all the fine print so there won’t be any surprises!

Is your pond natural or lined? Does it have any type of filtration? Is it planted?

Hello! We actually built the pond, we had one there prior that was much smaller and of course I got out of hand and brought in machinery to dig a much larger/deeper one after a Heron ate all of our Koi in a single day. It has been about a 3-year project. I have a Helix pond skimmer which is the water source for the waterfall and a biosmart 500 gravity-fed filter with UVC. We have some plants but not enough quite yet. That has been a bit of a challenge with the skimmer and the floating plants. The pond is was created using an EPDM liner. I guess what I am looking for is a more subtle fish that is still winter hardy. I'd love a nice school of "brighter" colored minnows and smaller fish as I would like the pond to remain more naturalistic if that makes sense. Thanks so much for the suggestions.
 
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Welcome to the GPF!

To be honest, koi and goldfish are the most popular for garden ponds because they add lots of color to the pond and are friendly little critters. Some people enjoy schools of minnows, but they are obviously much smaller. Golden orfe are also hardy fish and fun in the pond -they love to school, but they also love to jump. In a pond the size of yours, that may not be a problem though.
 

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