Companions for Your Koi

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If you desire more variety for your aquascape, several varieties of fish make great pond mates for Koi. Check out these potential companions for your Koi, all compatible in behavior, diet, and environment.


GoldfishKoi and Goldfish thrive in similar water conditions. Pond Goldfish (as the name implies) are best suited for your backyard. Fancy Goldfish are less hardy, don’t acclimate well to cold weather, and are best suited for indoor aquariums and tanks. The best options for a pond include Shubunkins, Comets, and Fantails.

Golden Orfe

Golden OrfeGolden Orfe are social fish that will assimilate seamlessly into your pond. Their range of yellow and orange hues and length of about 24 inches create a nice visual blend with Koi. Like pond Goldfish, they are hardy and can adapt to heat and cold. Orfe are extremely social fish, and it’s common to witness them communicate and play.

Rosy Red Minnows

Rosy Red MinnowRosy Reds are serene fish well-suited to your Koi pond’s conditions and versatile enough to eat the same food. These active swimmers sport various shades of orange. Because Rosy Reds often serve as feeder fish, obtaining them from a reputable source and following quarantine protocols is essential.

Chinese Hi Fin Banded Shark

Chinese Banded Shark

The Chinese Hi Fin Banded Shark is a bottom-feeding algae eater that helps clean the pond. These fish can grow to the size of Koi or larger and will happily rise to the surface to share food. While these “sharks” can tolerate cold water, they can’t adapt to freezing conditions and must be moved inside when the outdoor temperature drops below 40 or the water temperature drops below 55.

Japanese Trapdoor Snail

Japanese Trapdoor SnailThis species can grow to the size of a golf ball or a bit larger and makes a great addition to your pond, as these snails will eat organic matter that other pond dwellers won’t or can’t. Plus, they won’t harm your live plants. They have a hardy nature but thrive in water temperatures between 68 and 85.


FrogFrogs are great amphibians to partner with Koi. Their favorite meals are the pesky flies and mosquitos that can disrupt your pond’s ambiance. Although it is possible to purchase adults or tadpoles to grow at home, most pond owners advise attracting frogs to your pond rather than buying them. If the conditions aren’t ideal, the frogs will depart, whether placed or lured there.


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