Goldfish are popular pond fish, since they are small, inexpensive, colourful, and very hardy. In an outdoor pond or water garden, they may even survive if brief periods of ice form on the surface, as long as there is enough oxygen remaining in the water and the pond does not freeze solid.

Common goldfish, London and Bristol shubunkins, jikin, wakin, comet and sometimes fantail goldfish can be kept in a pond all year round in temperate and subtropical climates. Moor, veiltail, oranda and lionhead can be kept safely in outdoor ponds only in the summer, and in more tropical climates.

Small to large ponds are fine though the depth should be at least 80 cm (30 in) to avoid freezing. During winter, goldfish will become sluggish, stop eating, and often stay on the bottom of the pond. This is completely normal; they will become active again in the spring. A filter is important to clear waste and keep the pond clean. Plants are essential as they act as part of the filtration system, as well as a food source for the fish. Plants are further beneficial since they raise oxygen levels in the water.


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