Garden ponds are a great addition to your backyard which not only beautify your household but also provide a chance for recreational fishing for the whole family. Of all the fish that you can have to serve this purpose, Trout are one of the better options.
Like every other fish, Trout also has some specifications for it to be able to live in a garden pond, and failing to meet proper requirements for Trout would bring miseries. So, the question arises, can you keep trout in a garden pond? Let’s find out below.
Necessary Living Conditions for Trout
Trouts are a member of the salmon family who grows about 20-30 inches in length on average. They are carnivorous fish that feed on insects (both aquatic and terrestrial), smaller fishes, crustaceans, and basically any organism that they can get their mouth around.
You can keep trout in your garden pond if you meet certain requirements. Let’s take a look at them:
Trout are typically cold-water fish. Depending on the kind of trout, they can survive at a variety of temperature ranges. But usually, they need the pond temperature to be between 53-64 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rainbow trouts, which are the most common, need about 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature. Brown trouts can survive in the warmest of waters, from 60-65 degrees while Brook Trouts are the inhabitants of the coldest waters, living in temperatures between 45°-60℉.
If you live in warmer areas where the water temperature is almost always over 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you have to either add shades or plants like water lilies or a waterfall to reduce the temperature or think about your choice of fish. Their well-being mainly depends on temperature.
Also, trouts need a greater percentage of dissolved oxygen as they live in moving water where dissolved oxygen is more in supply. Having your pond temperature on the cooler side will increase the dissolved oxygen because cooler water contains more dissolved oxygen than warmer water.
The size of the pond will depend on the number of Trouts you want. A larger number of fish will require a larger pond. But keep in mind, trout are carnivorous fishes who aren’t averse to cannibalism. Being rather big fishes and cannibals to add to that, they need a bit more room to themselves.
Due to the reasons stated above, you’d want your pond to be at least 5 feet deep for optimum living conditions for trout. If you live in colder regions where water freezes, it’s better to have deeper ponds with shallow edges to allow vegetation to grow.
It’s best to have a pond with a capacity of 500 gallons at least or more, depending on the number of your fish.
You have to make sure your pond gets at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Sunlight helps in the photosynthesis of the underwater plants which in turn produces oxygen.
The more oxygen is produced, the more ease the fish will feel in the water. Not getting enough sunlight will result in the fish not being able to breathe properly which will prove to be fatal.
Most fishes like moving water. But in the case of trout, they need it to survive. They will not live very long if your pond is stagnant as stagnant water is low on oxygen. If your pond has no natural way of water movement, add a water pump to create a flow of water and create a constant flow of oxygen.
Another way of creating water movement is to allow stream water to come into your pond. This will produce more dissolved oxygen due to the movement created by the water from streams. It will also help in getting rid of stagnation.
Trouts need feeding as they don’t get sufficient food from the pond. Also, they can’t feed by themselves like other fishes like minnows and perch. The amount and type of food will depend on the number and size of fish in your pond.
While feeding your trouts, keep in mind that you have to feed different kinds of food to different aged trouts. Trout food comes in 3 sizes. They are 0,1 and 2.
- Size 0: Until the fish reaches 1 inch in size, you need to feed your fish size 0 food. When they reach a length of 1 inch, you have to switch to size 1. Up to this point, feed each fish 0.01 to 0.05 ounces of food.
- Size 1: You have to feed your fish this kind of food until they reach the size of 1.5 inches. In this stage, feed them 0.12 ounces of food per fish.
- Size 2: At this stage, you have to feed your fish 0.38 ounces of food per fish.
Make sure to clean up the uneaten food as they will pollute the water because of the oil they have in them. This oil will make the food float to the top. When that happens, push the food down, especially size 0 and 1 foods, so that the little fishes can eat properly.
While stocking trout, keep in mind that they are cold-water fish. So, it is best if they are stocked during winter and fished during summer. They are fun to catch and are delicious to eat. If you are looking for these characteristics in a fish, you can stock trout in this method.
How to build a pond for trout
While building a pond for trout, you have to keep a few things in mind.
- Choose the location of your pond carefully. It is better to dig it close to your house where you can directly supervise your pond and the pond gets 4-6 hours of direct sunlight as mentioned before
- The length and width of the pond should be measured at its longest and widest areas. Calculate its depth by adding 2 feet, to accommodate for the pond liner. The final measurement will look something like 10 feet x 5 feet x 5 feet in dimensions.
- While digging your pond, make the sides sloping instead of straight cliff-like drops. If you are planning to grow aquatic plants, grow them on a shelf around the bank where the depth is 1 foot only.
- Put underlining in order to prevent it from leaking. While putting underlining, make sure there are no wrinkles of any kind.
- After placing the underlining, put a plastic pond liner over it, preferably black. Try to make it as smooth as possible.
- To make sure the pond liner is in place, put stones around the edges. You can also place the stones properly by mortaring them.
- It is better to put your pond pumps and filters inside the pond. This equipment is essential to keep the water oxygenated. It is better to buy pumps and filters which can handle large volumes of water.
Pros and Cons of Keeping Trout in a garden pond
There are some advantages and a few disadvantages of keeping trout in a garden pond. Let’s see them at a glance.
- For your family, there is no better fish for fishing. They are easy to catch and can be caught with even kernel corn.
- During colder months, it is harder to catch most fish. But as trouts are cold-water fish, they provide opportunities for fishing even in cold weather.
- Small trout are an excellent food source of big bass.
- Rainbow trouts are a great fish to catch in fishing tournaments.
- Being cannibals, they themselves can reduce their own population in shallower water.
- As they can’t feed themselves and have different food requirements according to their size, they can be a bit harder to maintain.
- They can’t survive in warm waters, making them unavailable to most of the regions.
Get Trouts For Your Garden Pond!
After seeing the discussion above, if you ask me: can you keep Trout in a garden pond? I will say: Absolutely, provided you live in a colder climate and follow the steps above. If you can ensure their optimum living conditions, there aren’t many better fishes around for you to keep in your backyard.