Why you should never buy aquarium fish

About 1.4 million German families have a garden pond in which so-called aquarium fish live. [1] While a wide variety of exotic freshwater and saltwater fish are usually kept in aquariums, “pond fish” species are limited to 20 to 25 species – depending on the size of the pond. Among the most well-known and popular “aquarium fish” for aquariums are koi as a cultured form of carp, goldfish, and goldfish of the Chopinken breed.

Find out here what’s behind the animal trade and what you need to know about buying and keeping them.

“Pond fish”: information on the origin, breeding and conservation of animals

Many garden owners love to watch the hustle and bustle of their garden – regardless of whether insects, frogs, toads or birds use the garden as a haven.

A garden pond helps ensure the survival of many species. But even if fish are wonderful creatures, the garden’s balanced biodiversity does not require “aquarium fish”. On the contrary: many fish like to eat amphibians and insect larvae and can contribute to the fact that some species of animals do not feel comfortable in your garden.

If you still want to provide a safe home for your fish, there are a few points to consider:

  • Fish cannot hibernate in small ponds because they are almost completely frozen.
  • Even with large ponds, there is a risk that some species will not survive the winter.
  • Not only cool water quality and Requires social behavior and nutrition Can pose a danger to animals – Breeding and trafficking are often associated with severe suffering for sensitive animals.
pool with goldfish
There are some things to consider when keeping fish in a garden pond.

What fish can you keep in a pond?

Among the fish that are most often kept in ponds are species such as

  • American sea dog
  • bitter
  • danios blue
  • minnow
  • mold
  • thorn
  • fork nine fork
  • carp
  • gill
  • golden
  • orfe
  • fish
  • rudd
  • Crochet silver carp
  • Schopenken
  • presser

If you would like to keep fish in a garden pond, please familiarize yourself in advance with the needs of individual species in their living environment: What other animal species are compatible with them? What food do they need? Do animals live outside in the winter?

Buying goldfish and koi fish: animal trading out of absolute greed for profit

While many people enjoy observing animals and learning more about their natural behaviour, others misuse sentient beings as status symbols – this applies to exotic wild animals such as reptiles, wild cats, horses and dogs, but also to “decorated fish”. Koi in particular is sometimes offered for several tens of thousands of euros.

These expensive fish are sold by a few specialized breeders who focus their breeding on the production of especially “valuable” animals – mostly for the affluent Asian markets.

However, millions of koi fish are also raised for the traditional global trade in fish farms in Asian countries such as Israel, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. In many of these countries, there are hardly any animal welfare standards and corresponding controls, or only insufficient standards. Many breeding farms even advertise their business through photos and videos that show hundreds of thousands of animals crammed together in tiny ponds.

Koi fish in the water
A particularly popular animal in the park’s pond is the koi, hundreds of thousands of which are kept in breeding facilities.

Two goldfish per cubic meter of water are recommended for keeping ponds – in fish farms, on the other hand, thousands of animals usually live in small ponds.

Global transport poses risks for the so-called aquarium fish: sensitive animals are shipped thousands of kilometers away in narrow boxes – by plane or on land carriers. Since fish have high demands on their habitat and are sensitive to change and stress, the mortality rate during fishing, shipping and transportation is very high. Especially when importing from poor areas, many fish die during transportation due to provision of safe technologies for profit reasons. [2]

Even if goldfish, koi and other “aquarium fish” are bred for garden ponds in Europe: in the end, breeders are always interested in making the maximum possible profit. Fish concerns and well-being move into the background. Even if breeders and sellers claim to handle the animals carefully during breeding, little is known about the actual conditions on breeding farms.

Keep rescued or adopted aquarium fish in the pond – you should know it

Anyone who decides to adopt fish from an animal shelter to keep them in a garden pond should take into account some aspects. Depending on the species, animals have only one species life expectancy And Reproduction rateIf they feel comfortable at home. Although many species of fish are social animals, they still need space and opportunity to avoid other pond inhabitants.

Since some fish are very old and new offspring are constantly being born, they quickly become very young in the pond. Owners are often asked what to do with the numerous animals.

goldfish swimming in the pool
Some fish species have a long life span and can reproduce quickly in a pond.

How old is a goldfish?

If the living conditions are ideal, goldfish in the pond can live from 20 to 30 years. [3]

Goldfish spawn in the so-called spawning season, between spring and summer. From April to May, the lady goldfish can spawn up to ten times and lay from 500 to 3000 eggs in the water – if the water temperature and quality is appropriate.

How old do koi get?

Koi generally live between 25 and 35 years old. However, if living conditions are ideal, individual animals can live up to 100 years or more: the oldest koi have been shown to have lived for more than 200 years. [4]

What do I do with my “pond fish”?

Maintaining and caring for “aquarium fish” is time-consuming and expensive, because maintaining a garden pond with ideal living conditions for animals is difficult. In addition, the fish reproduce quickly under good conditions – which means that fish farmers are often exhausted. Time and time again, it happens that the “surplus” of fish is released into public waters or the breeder wants to dispose of it in another way.

According to the Animal Welfare Act, abandonment of animals is prohibited. When so-called pets are left to fend for themselves, they suffer and at the same time pose a threat to the environment and wildlife. Abandoned animals can disrupt the balance of natural ecosystems because their foraging behavior threatens the populations of other animal species in and around a body of water. To prevent this, the authorities often order the killing of these animals.

Koi in the water makes bubbles
Never release the fish into any body of water.

There are now a few in Germany Contact points For owners who are inundated with “pond fish”. If you are unable to provide a home for your fish in an emergency, please feel free to come animal shelters And Shelter to ask for help.

Keeping Fish in the Garden Pond: Adopt Instead of Buying Them

If you want to bring a roommate with an animal, your decision should be well thought out. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a rabbit or a fish: always find out in advance whether you can and really want to give the animal a permanent home.

Don’t buy animals – either at your local pet store or online. Instead, contact local animal welfare organizations, animal shelters, and sanctuaries, since there are countless animals waiting for a new home.

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