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Introducing your first fish

Fish are the natural addition to any pond and often the reason for adding water to the garden. For fish to thrive and give you years of pleasure there are a few guidelines to follow.

Starting a new pond

After setting up your pond with a pump and filter, make sure to add Fresh Start when you fill the pool. With the filter running (you can run your fountain or waterfall at this stage), leave it all to settle for at least 24 hours to ensure everything is working correctly and allow the water temperature to stabilise.

Only introduce one or two fish at the start. The trick is to increase fish quantity slowly over a period of three months to allow the life support system to mature. After three months, by which time the life support system will be mature, fish feeding can be gradually increased, and the frequency of the partial water changes reduced. You will now have a healthy, matured pool.

Careful attention in these early weeks will pay for itself in an easy to maintain, and healthy home for your fish.

Buying and taking them home

Always choose healthy, strong looking fish from a good aquatic retailer. Ensure they are a species suitable for the size of your pond.
When you have purchased your fish you should take them straight home, gently transporting them in a shaded bag as fish are less stressed in the dark. Find out more information on how many fish you can keep in your pond.

Settling them in

When you get home float the sealed bag in the pond (out of direct sunlight) for 20 minutes. This is to equalise the temperature of the bag water to the pond water. Doing this avoids shocking the fish with different water temperatures.
Open the top of the bag and roll down the sides to create a floating bag.

Add a bit of the pond water to the bag every 5 minutes for a further 20 minutes. This allows the fish to acclimatise to the water chemistry of the pond.
After a total of 30-40 minutes slowly tip up the bag and pour the fish into the pond. Make sure no fish are caught in the corners.


Because of the shock of moving home, the fish may hide for a day or two, you may not want to feed them during this period. After one or two days try adding a little food. They will soon get used to their new home and become familiar with the feeding routine and be waiting for you at the surface when they see you approach. Find out more about feeding your here.

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