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  Goldfish are the most popular fish stocked for water gardens.  They are active, hardy, and inexpensive.  Their colors range from black, white, and of course orange.  They may grow to lengths of 12 inches or larger, although 6-10” is typical in small water gardens around here.  Unusual body and fin shapes of goldfish occur, although they are not as hardy as the slender bodied, straight tailed common goldfish.  Goldfish will survive the winter in most ponds as long as they are at least 18” into the ground. Above ground ponds freeze solid so fish must be brought indoors under these circumstances.  
   Koi, meaning colored carp in Japanese, are larger fish growing to 30 inches or more.  They come in a greater array of colors and patterns, ranging from black, blue, white, yellow, reds and oranges.  Many times 3 or more of these colors can be found on one fish and unlike goldfish, these colors and patterns change throughout the koi’s life. A long-finned hybrid called a butterfly koi exists and is a little hardier than the standard koi.  Koi need at least 24” of water to do well in the winter, and even deeper water is recommended.
  Goldfish and koi can coexist in the same pond and will even cross breed.  The result is a multicolored fish called a shubunkin, or a calico goldfish.  It usually has black, orange, or red markings on a bluish background and large, dark colored eyes.  Transparent splotches are also common, especially on the gill covers.
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Types of Pond Fish