Fish & Scavengers

Explore Water Garden Life

The living creatures in the water garden become pets and contribute to the water garden by consuming insects and algae. Springdale offers goldfish varieties suitable for outdoor, year round use. We also carry ornamental Koi and Golden Orfe. No pond system is complete without snails as scavengers. Springdale offers the Black Japanese Snail to help clean the decomposing organic debris from the pond bottom.


These fish are the main staple of a water garden. Goldfish come in a variety of shapes and colors. Common goldfish, called comets, are the most often seen due to their ability to tolerate a wide range of water conditions. Shubunkins are multicolored fish that are about as long lasting as comets and have the same body shape. Fantail goldfish are slower moving and not quite as tough as a comet, but are often used in outdoor water gardens. As long as they are below the ice in the winter, they will survive outdoor conditions the entire year. Contrary to an often told myth, goldfish cannot freeze and survive.

With regular daily feeding these fish will come out from under the lily pads to be seen. They are able to live without feeding at all, but will stay hidden and reclusive. Stock fish in a new pond at the approximate rate of one inch of fish for every 8 gallons of water. This rate allows for growth and reproduction. Don’t rush stocking of fish until the pond becomes established. Wait at least four weeks before stocking the first fish in your new pond.

Black Japanese Snails

The recommended stocking rate of this essential component for your pond is one snail per every 1-2 square feet of pond surface. We suggest that you stock your pond with snails at the same time you install the plants. This allows the pond to begin establishing its own natural bacteria. Once organic debris begins to be formed, the snails can start to feed on it.


Koi grow to be quite large and should be placed in ponds more than 1000 gallons (larger is better). We have some that are 30 inches in length. The are disruptive to the pond plants when they get too large, digging up and eating whatever they can. This is the reason for giving them as much space as possible. They are so much fun to feed and watch, especially in schools of several fish. More attention to filtration is needed to maintain water quality due to their constant stirring of the water.

Golden Orfe

Golden Orfe are a fun schooling fish. They stay together in groups and are most interesting when several are placed together in a water garden. They are compatible with Goldfish and Koi, if desired. Growing to 18 inches or greater, they are able to jump out of the water and catch an insect as it flies by the pond. They eat floating fish food in what can only be described as a feeding frenzy, quickly darting in to get a pellet then retreating just as fast. While they grow quite large, they are not nearly as likely to dig into the soil of plants.