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Old 05-12-2015, 09:45 PM
Wildechild_01 Wildechild_01 is offline
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Default Suitable fish for AB

Okay here we go, hoping an answer appears. I am in the planning stages of a backyard pond and am having a hard time finding information on Hardy cold water fish that can winter in the pond other than the standard Koi and Goldfish. So wondering if anyone has any ideas. I am located just north of Calgary AB so winter can get a little crazy, also trying to decide just how deep my pond needs to be, a lot of different information out there when you start looking.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:40 PM
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I believe 3 feet is the recommended minimum to prevent all the water from freezing solid. However I think most stick to 2 feet because anything deeper qualifies as a pool and would require a railing by code. Plus it's safer for kids and such if you keep it 2 feet or less. You prevent it from freezing with a deicer or something along those lines. As for other fish, no idea but I've only really seen people winter koi outside, met others with a large variety of other species but they bring them indoors for the winter.
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Old 02-18-2022, 01:13 PM
NickSaggy NickSaggy is offline
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Been so interested in starting out something like this one. And there is no better time than now.
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Old 02-19-2022, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sphelps View Post
I believe 3 feet is the recommended minimum to prevent all the water from freezing solid. However I think most stick to 2 feet because anything deeper qualifies as a pool and would require a railing by code. Plus it's safer for kids and such if you keep it 2 feet or less. You prevent it from freezing with a deicer or something along those lines. As for other fish, no idea but I've only really seen people winter koi outside, met others with a large variety of other species but they bring them indoors for the winter.
This is a sure way to have a frozen pond. If you put something in 2 feet deep you will have fish pops come spring unless you put a green house over the top or multiple trough heaters. When it dips down to the -30s the trough heaters have a hard time keeping large bodies of water open. They aren't designed for it, most all heaters are not designed for it. The other issue you run into is a sudden melt will cause your fish to escape, you laugh but there was a fellow in Taber that I had to help herd his koi back into the pond after a sudden melt left 6 inches of water in his yard. His koi decided to go walk about.

When we put our pond in it was mushroom shape. The crown was 4 feet deep and the stem dropped to 5 with a 30 inch deep shelf around the outside. We would then sink a brute container for the Koi to winter in. Add a trough heater and either have a fountain pump boiling the water or an airstone. Had great success.


As for fish other than goldfish and koi, we kept those little pink minnows. They would spawn freely and were great for controlling mosquito larvae. Other than that I cannot think of any other cold tolerant fish you could add that have been bred for pond display like koi. I am sure you could add some sunfish or pumpkin seed but I think they would cause issue for the koi. Why add $2 fish that will harass your $1000 koi.

You should consider talking to your neighbors as well. Your neighborhood needs to be aware of the pond and how spraying herbicides and pesticides can kill your pond. Also be aware of cats, raccoons, herons, pelicans, all these can grab fish right out of the pond and that's NEVER fun.
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Last edited by Ryan; 02-19-2022 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 02-20-2022, 05:49 AM
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I have built and kept many ponds in victoria BC for 3 decades now. I know it is a lot colder there as we only freeze a week maybe of the year. Generally you want prob 3+feet in vic. 3 feet deep will be a water garden where you will probably put 4-5 small feeder fish each year (and they would prob get eaten by birds etc).. for koi or larger goldfish, i would suggest 5 feet+ deep because of your weather; however, your fish will probably freeze solid still and wouldn't want to spend any $$ on . You can keep common plecos in (summer only) in the pond, koi, sunfish (catch from ponds/lakes), brown catfish- Ameiurus nebulosus i loved these guys i would catch them in the local lake in victoria). Even in Victoria we bring koi inside and put them in big barrels or tanks unless we have deep mini lake/ponds. We use air compressors to create water movement in the deeper ponds to stop it freezing at depths.
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