Learning how to stock fish in your wine barrel pond successfully requires some basic research. Among factors to take into consideration are the preparations of the barrel itself, breeds of the fish, whether they require a saltwater or freshwater environment, and the temperature of the water required to maintain healthy fish.
Step 1 - Prepare the Barrel
If fish are being kept in the barrel pond, it cannot be cleaned using detergents or sealed with chemical sealants. The toxins in the cleansers or sealants can permeate the wood then leach into the water, causing the fish to become sick or die. The best way to prepare the barrel is to line it with a clean PVC liner which has been rinsed with plain water.
Step 2 - Choose Fish that can Thrive in the Barrel Pond
The most appropriate fish for an outdoor pond are members of the goldfish family, including koi, fancy goldfish, and regular feeder goldfish. Goldfish are tolerant of colder water temperatures and don’t need aerated water. They occasionally go up to the surface to breathe air through their mouths, making them less dependent upon their gills and the amount of oxygen in the water.
Only freshwater fish are recommended for outdoor pond living. Saltwater fish require that the water be prepared according to exact saline levels, and the unpredictable conditions of a barrel pond make that very difficult.