Can I add pondfish in autumn?

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One reader asks when is the latest he can add goldfish to his pond? Jeremy Gay advises.

Q: What is the latest in the season that I can add goldfish to my pond, please? It ended up being finished later than expected due to shortage of materials during the Covid upheavals. I’d like to add some fish this year if possible but it will be autumn before the filter is mature. Is that getting too late?

CRAIG PHILLIPS, VIA EMAIL

A: Jeremy replies: Whether you can add goldfish isn’t necessarily about  the month of the year, but the water temperature. If the fish are being held indoors at the fish shop, outside water temperature shouldn’t really be more than about 5°C lower, so if they’re being held at 20°C in the shop and the pond water is at 15°C, it will be a smooth transition. If the fish being kept in vats outdoors and the retailer is local, so has similar weather conditions, you will be okay right down to 10°C water temperature, so long as that’s the temperature they are also at outside the shop. Once below 10°C, I wouldn’t buy or move fish, and especially after the first frosts.

Goldfish can be moved down to 10°C.