If you have a water garden, chances are that you have fish too. Whether they be goldfish, koi or small mouth bass, having too many fish can affect the health of your pond. Remember, bigger the fish, bigger the fish waste.
So...How many fish is too many?
First, you need to know your pond's surface area (Hello, 4th grade math!) Pond Length x Pond Width = Surface Area
The popular consensus in the pond world is 1" of fish for every square foot of surface area.
For instance, my pond is 11' x 16' so it totals 176 square feet (roughly) of surface area, so the maximum inches of fish I should have is 176 inches. But that's not the end...
Don't max out from the start! Koi fish grow, and boy do they grow fast. The average adult koi is at least 10" long. But they don't stop there. When calculating how many fish should be in your pond, use the full adult size to accommodate for your growing koi. For example, with my 176 inches of surface area I could get anywhere between 10-17 fish as long as they stayed 10" (which they won't).
We receive many calls with people wanting to donate fish or needing to get rid of some and it can be a real problem doing so. We only have a limited amount of space for this type of situation and finding someone who needs fish is difficult. If this is your case, check out local Facebook Groups designated specifically for Pet Classifieds or pet rescue for your area.
Fish are a NECESSITY for a healthy and thriving ecosystem pond. If you want to minimize the maintenance on your pond, fish are a key factor in doing so. Just make sure you have the right amount!