Can You Keep Trout In A Garden Pond?

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Garden ponds are a great source of beauty in a backyard. They can be full of plant life and animal life, however some fish do better in ponds than others.

Trout can be kept in backyard ponds if certain conditions are met. Trout need to be kept in cooler water, from 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The water needs to be 5 to 7 feet deep with at least 50 gallons, and the water must be continuously moving for trout to survive.

Trout, like any other living creature, needs specific things in order to thrive in its environment. What should you do if you want to build a trout pond?

What Do Trout Need To Live?

Depending on how many trout you want in your pond, you may need a large or a small pond to keep your fish healthy. The more trout you plan on having in your pond, the bigger your pond will need to be. Some trout eat each other, such as brown trout, and will need to be kept in a much larger pond.

Trout need colder water than the average pond fish in order to survive. Different types of trout do better in different temperatures as well. Brook trout have a high range of temperature in which they thrive. They can live in waters ranging from 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rainbow trout are the most common type of trout and need warmer water temperatures ranging from 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown trout are similar to Rainbow trout, and need water temperatures ranging from 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your pond needs to have plenty of depth for your trout to do well. Trout ponds need to be at the minimum 5 feet deep at the deepest part. If you want plant life in your pond as well then you should leave a foot of shallow water around the edge of the pond to grow plants.

Shallow waters freeze easier than deep waters, so if you live in a cold region, then your pond will need to be deeper and have more water to prevent freezing.

Most ponds need 4-6 hours of direct sunlight exposure. This amount of sunlight gives the plants in your pond plenty of energy to perform photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process in which plants use energy to convert CO2 into oxygen.

The oxygen the plants give off dissolves into the water for the fish to breathe. If your plants aren’t getting enough sunlight, then they won’t have enough energy to perform photosynthesis, and then your fish will not be getting enough oxygen in the water.

Like all living things, trout need plenty of food to live. Trout need to be fed because they will not get enough food from the pond alone like other pond fish would. The amount of food you give your trout will depend on how many trout are in your pond and how big your pond is.

Trout need to be kept in moving waters in order to survive. If you have just a stagnant pond, your trout will not get enough oxygen. You need to have some sort of moving water, such as a creek or waterfall to give the water plenty of dissolved oxygen. Too little oxygen will kill your trout.

How To Build A Trout Pond

  1. Choose the location for your pond. Make sure you build your pond in a place that gets 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  2. Decide how many trout you plan on having in your pond. The pond will need to be 5 to 7 feet deep, and have a minimum of 50 gallons of water. The more fish you plan on having, the more water you will need. Large trout ponds with a considerable amout of fish will need closer to 500 gallons for the trout to thrive.
  3. Design your pond and sketch it out. Include measurements in your sketch to make sure that you have enough space for the pond. Make sure to include enough space for a pond liner as well.
  4. You are ready to start digging out your pond! Make sure to have sloped edges instead of straight drop offs.
  5. Install a pond underlayment, and then a pond liner to prevent leakage and to make sure your pond bottom will be water tight.
  6. Use rock around the sides of your pond to secure the liner.
  7. Add an air pump and water filter inside or outside the pond, depending on the pump and filter.
Trout pond design example

How To Feed Your Trout

Trout food can be purchased in three different sizes: 0, 1, and 2. As your fish grow, they will need the next size bag of food. Here is a helpful summary that I learned from Trout In the Classroom.

  • Swim up stage: you will need to feed your trout 0.01 ounces of food per fish. Keep this amount until most of the fish reach 1 inch in size.
  • 1 inch or more in size: you will need to feed your trout 0.05 ounces of food per fish. When your trout are 1 inch in length, you will need to switch to size 1.
  • More than 1 1/2 inches: you will need to feed your trout 0.12 ounces of food per fish. When your trout are more than 1 1/2 inches in length, you will need to switch to size 2.
  • More than 2 1/2 inches: you will need to feed your trout 0.38 ounces of food per fish.

You will not need to start feeding your trout until they are 7-14 days old. When they are first hatched, they will eat their own yolk sac to get nutrients. If they begin to rise to the top of the hatching basket, (swim up stage) that means they are hungry and are ready for you to begin providing food.

Do not leave uneaten food in your pond; scoop it out with a net or some other device, but make sure to not accidentally remove any trout from your pond.

The small food (size 0 and 1) might float to the top of the pond due to the oils in the food. If this happens, make sure to push the food down below the surface so that your young trout will be able to reach the food.

Thinking of keeping perch in your garden pond? Check out our article “Can You Keep Perch In A Garden Pond?” first.

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We always wanted a fountain of some kind at our house, but professional installation was just too pricey. So, we decided to make our own little fountain and after learning how, we thought we should share our experiences to help people in our same situation.

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