In my later years I have become interested in pond fish and I have built and rebuilt bigger ponds for my fish as they have grown in size and number. The pond in my small garden is now about five hundred gallons, three feet deep and in 2003/4 contained twenty two cold water fish, such as goldfish, shibunkins, golden rudd, golden tench, gold and blue tench, gold and blue orfe and two rather large koy carp (the white koy (seen left) is the oldest of these & takes food from my fingers). In late 2004 two fish died and they were replaced with four golden trout but unfortunately only two of them survived (I believe two became a supper for the koy carp whilst they were still small and unaware of the dangers). After twelve months or so in the pond and very quickly taking every scrap of food thrown in the pond the golden trout became quite large (I was surprised how quickly they grew) and required more and more food to satisfy their hunger, in fact they became very aggressive with the other inhabitants of the pond, they intimidated and bullied them to get the food they wanted. I made a decision to remove them and offered the trout to another fish keeper who had a much larger pond, after seeing the fish in action and
hearing my reasons for giving them he was very pleased to take them from me. In late summer 2005 I added four more docile, colourful and slow growing shibunkins to the pool, they have settled in quite well. Come spring 2006 and it seems that two of the new shibunkins and three of the older inhabitants of the pond have not survived the winter. This has given me the opportunity to add more stock in the early part of the year giving them extra time to settle in. I have added 4 Sarrasa Comets and 4 more colourful shibunkins. During winter 2007-8 the blue and golden Orfe were unable to survive the cold due to their severe arthritis (yes, fish do suffer from that also). No further fish have been added recently, the count being 14 as of June 2009. Update September 2009 : The large white Koy died after becoming egg bound and unable to release the eggs. Shortly after I added five more colourful shibunkins, four of these have survived.