Skip to content
The Best Fish for Outdoor Ponds in Australia

The Best Fish for Outdoor Ponds in Australia

Which is the best fish for an outdoor pond in Australia? With their beautiful scales and friendly disposition, many consider koi as the king, providing glimmers of colour as they weave their way beneath the lily pads. Certainly they deserve their rightful place in a tranquil water garden. However, there are many regulations regarding the keeping of koi in Australia, so check your local state regulations. But before setting your hopes on a school of carp in your garden pond, consider the array of other pond fish  just waiting to call your pond their home. Listed below are some of our favourites that we think you'll like too.


Fantail Goldfish

Goldfish in ponds are a classic staple of the garden water feature, and for good reason. They are resilient and able to handle all different kinds of water. For the newbie pond owner, goldfish are a great choice for getting started with fish-keeping. Several varieties of goldfish are available, from comets (plain orange and white) to the exotics like ranchus and bubble-eyes.

Exotic Goldfish

Included in this showy category are lionheads, telescopes, black moors, orandas, ranchus and ryukins. The single most distinguishing characteristic of this group as a whole, are their round, bulbous abdomens.


Extra caution should be taken with this exotic group as they are not as hardy as some of the other goldfish and may become ill when experiencing the outdoor winter in particularly cold parts of Australia. This is especially true of the adults of these varieties.

It is thought that the reason for this overwintering weakness is the compacted, contorted abdomen of these fish. Their abdomens serve as a delicate balancing act of downward ballast, intestine, and fat versus the buoyant structure of the airbladder. The hardship of extreme cold almost always degrades this equilibrium, resulting in the fish flipping over and eventually dying. So if you live in a particularly frosty part of Australia, consider bringing these finned friends indoors with you to ride out the winter together!



Originating from China, a shubunkin is a single-tailed, long-bodied goldish. There are two varieties of shubunkins. One with a long tail fin and broad tail fin lobes that are rounded on the end. The other looks more like a common goldfish, with a short tail fin. Bred mainly for their colouring, shubunkins often have a red, black, and sky blue colouring – sort of like a calico goldfish.

Shubunkins that are mostly blue with strong accents of white, red and overall pattern sparingly flecked with black are deemed as most valuable. In fact, those with white, black, and orange pattern may resemble baby koi. but they differ in size and markings, most notable being the lack of barbells (whiskers of sorts) that are found on koi. Shubunkins are have a robust quality that makes them an ideal Australian outdoor pond fish, able to survive sweltering summers and severe winters, and can grow up to 36 centimetres in a minimum 818L pond.



The sarasa has a similar body shape to the shubunkin but does not reach quite the same size. The Sarasa features a white base colour with brilliant red highlights. They come in both a Common and Comet variety, with the Comet having a longer, flowing V-shaped tail. Originally bred in China for ornamental purposes, they are beautiful, robust and make for an excellent outdoor pond fish.


Famous for their catlike whiskers, there are actually many varieties of catfish, some of which have no whiskers at all! An interesting alternative to goldfish, they like to swim around on the bottom of the pond, so be aware that this can stir up the bottom and cloud the water. Fortunately, Aquascape has an extensive range of water-clearing products so don't let that deter you from choosing this unusual-looking pond fish.

Learning about Fish

Getting to know the background of the pond fish you plan to keep as pets is vital to their survival and your sanity. By knowing their defining characteristics, you will have a thorough understanding of how the fish will interact in your pond with other fish, plants, and aquatic life.

Other Fish to Consider:

  • Perch
  • Minnows
  • Rainbow Fish
  • Murray Cod
  • Bass

For advice on stocking your backyard pond with the best pond fish and all the equipment and accessories you need, get in touch with us now.

Previous article Treating and Controlling Pond Algae

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare