Unique Fish Species for Your Outdoor Pond

When it comes to keeping a backyard pond, you may think that your options for fish are limited to goldfish and koi. In reality, however, there are plenty of unique and interesting fish that you can use to stock your pond. Below you will find descriptions of some of the most unique species of fish for backyard ponds.

Problems with Goldfish and Koi

Keeping goldfish and koi in an outdoor pond is more challenging than many pond owners realize. Both of these species need a significant amount of space, space that the average plastic backyard pond simply cannot accommodate. These fish need highly oxygenated water and a large water volume in order to accommodate for their high waste output – if you try to keep goldfish and koi in a pond that is too small, you will have a very difficult time maintaining high water quality. Water quality is the key to keeping any outdoor pond healthy and there are a few simple tricks you can employ to make your job easier. In addition to having a high-quality filtration system in place, you should also consider installing an EcoBio-Block Wave in your pond to help bolster the beneficial bacteria colony in your pond. EcoBio-Blocks are infused with live beneficial bacteria as well as the nutrients they need to reproduce and thrive in your pond, establishing and maintaining the nitrogen cycle so that your pond water remains clean and the quality remains high.

Megalotis SunfishSunfish

The fish belonging to the genus Lepomis are collectively referred to as Sunfish and they make great additions to the backyard pond. These fish typically grow between 4 and 8 inches long, though some species can grow up to 16 inches in length. Some common species belonging to this group of fishes include the Bluegill, Warmouth, Redbreast Sunfish, Spotted Sunfish and the Green Sunfish. If you are looking for a species that will add color to your pond, consider the Megalotis Sunfish which exhibits bright red and blue coloration.


Another interesting type of fish for the backyard pond is the Stoneroller. These fish belong to the family Cyprinidae and they are native to the United States. There are five different species of Stoneroller – the Central Stoneroller, Largescale Stoneroller, Mexican Stoneroller, Bluefin Stoneroller and the unnamed Campostoma pullum. These fish tend to inhabit fast-moving bodies of water, so if you plan to use them in your pond you might consider installing a stream or water channel for these fish.


The fish belonging to the family Percidae are commonly referred to as Darters and they are found in freshwater streams throughout North America. These perch-like fish tend to remain small and they can make a colorful and active addition to the backyard pond or stream. Pair Darters with minnows to add some visual intrigue to your pond or water feature.


If your backyard pond is very small, one of the best fish you can keep in it is the Killifish. There are over 1,000 different species of Killifish but one of the best species for a backyard pond is Heterandria formosa, the Least Killifish. These fish are one of the smallest species in the world, growing up to only 1.2 inches in length, which makes them ideal for a small pond. This species also prefers slow-moving or standing water, so a small pond with a single fountain to keep the water oxygenated will be ideal.


Sharks for the Saltwater Aquarium

When it comes to stocking a saltwater aquarium, your options are nearly limitless. If you want to cultivate a saltwater aquarium that is truly unique, consider stocking it with some unique fish – saltwater sharks. In this article you will read about several species of saltwater shark that make stunning additions to the home aquarium.

Epaulette Shark epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum)

Epaulette Shark

The epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) is a type of carpet shark native to the tropical waters of New Guinea and Australia. These sharks are named for the white-bordered black spot that sits behind the pectoral fins which looks like a military epaulette. This species is fairly small for a saltwater shark, growing to reach an average length around 3.3 feet. Epaulette sharks are nocturnal and they tend to prefer shallow waters in coral reefs or tidal pools. This species subsists on a diet of crustaceans, worms and small fish.


The name wobbegong is given to a group of twelve carpet sharks belonging to the family Orectolobidae. These sharks tend to inhabit the shallow tropical or temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, primarily around Indonesia and Australia. Most species of wobbegong achieve a maximum length of 4 feet, but the largest species – the banded wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) – has been recorded at a length of nearly 10 feet. Due to their large size, these sharks are only recommended for very large saltwater aquariums and experienced aquarium hobbyists.

coral catshark coral catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus)


The species belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae is comprised of over 100 species that are collectively referred to as catsharks. The species in this family are some of the most attractive species of saltwater shark but, unfortunately, they are fairly rare in the aquarium hobby. One of the most common catsharks available is the coral catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus) which typically grows no more than 4 inches long and dwells in the debris of a reef environment. Other catsharks you may encounter include the smallspotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) which grows up to 3 feet long and breeds readily in the home aquarium.

Tips for Keeping Sharks

Unlike traditional aquarium fish, sharks do not have scales so they may be more sensitive to changes in water temperature as well as water chemistry. The key to keeping your saltwater sharks healthy is to maintain stable conditions in your aquarium, including high water quality. A simple way to ensure high water quality in your tank is to install EcoBio-Stones in your tank. These stones are made from porous volcanic rock and infused with live beneficial bacteria as well as the nutrients they need to thrive. When added to your tank, these beneficial bacteria will reproduce to establish and maintain the nitrogen cycle which is the key to keeping your tank water clean and clear. EcoBio-Stone M 2 packs will treat up to 120 gallons of water (under good water conditions, additional 2 packs can be added for poor water conditions and for larger tanks) and will work for up to two years and once you put it in your tank and will keep your water clear and healthy.

Keep in mind that even the smaller species of shark require a very large aquarium in order for the shark to remain healthy. You will need to research the particular species you plan to keep so you can aquascape the aquarium appropriately – many sharks are nocturnal and will require places to hide during the day. As long as you do your research and select a species that is well-suited to the home aquarium, you should be successful in keeping saltwater sharks.

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