An Introduction To Ponds:
A Bit of History

"Oh, my lovely goldfish in your beautiful golden dress,
As you waken gently I'll feed you morsels tenderly,
Oh, my lovely golden pet."

This nursery rhyme makes the goldfish an early friend to all the Japanese children, and it is a rare household indeed that has not had goldfish in residence at some time. Perhaps due to the early memories of the Japanese, the peacefulness and tranquility of fish keeping carried over into their more hectic adult lives.
All of today's various goldfish species can be traced back to the Crucian Carp, actually just about any of the species, when left alone by man, will revert back to this carp within a few generations. The earliest recorded natural mutation of the Cruccian Carp can be found all the way back to around 1000 A.D. in China. This first mutation was red in color and so astounded the Chinese, that they began the practice of controlled breeding to keep this red strain and also to develop new mutations.

Goldfish really didn't hit America until just over 100 years ago, around 1876. After the initial awe and wonderment over these fish, interest waned and a great number of rare and unusual species were lost forever. Today the bulk of more fancy varieties are imported from Asian markets. The few American breeders that attempt to raise quantities, generally raise "Commercial Grade" fish. A great number of this grade of goldfish wind up in our processed cat and dog foods.

Now in recently goldfish or Koi Pond keeping has exploded in the U.S., Millions of people are keeping or have kept goldfish from the small 1 gallon pickle jar tank ( my first! ) to outdoor ponds in excess of 10,000 gallons! A multitude of breeds and strains have flourished once again here in the U.S.. There are various shows throughout America showcasing what has been accomplished by the most serious of breeders.
The biggest increase however has been in the ponds found in backyards all over our communities. Some of these are very basic, nothing more than a half a whiskey barrel with a few plants and fish, some are quite inventive utilizing old or broken swimming pools, to ornate Japanese style gardens with waterfalls, polished stone walkways and Pagoda styled viewing shelters.