What Goldfish Can I Add To My Outdoor Pond?

If you have always wanted to create your outdoor pond including all the beautiful plants that add to the aesthetic but you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to what fish you can add and which ones are better to avoid. Here I will guide you through exactly what goldfish variety you can choose from.

Top 3 Outdoor Pond Fish That Should Be Avoided

Almost all goldfish can live well in ponds, but there are a few fish with very sensitive eyes and limited vision, that should be avoided in ponds due to the rough objects that can easily damage their eyes.

To be on the safer side, fish with very long flowing tails should also be avoided as the chances of their tails catching on something are very good. I would also recommend that you keep your indoor aquarium free from rough or sharp objects should you want to get anyone of the following fishies on this list.

Goldfish protruding eyes on a Black Moor.
Protruding eyes

1. Telescope and Black Moor Goldfish

I have two Black Moors in my tank that have these protruding eyes. The black Telescope is referred to as a Black Moor as they have a black matte or velvet-like skin with a different size tail. The Black Moor has a tail that is forked deeper with a longer, broader flowing appearance, compared to the Telescope.

Some might argue that the Black Moor is a Telescope, either way, they are very cute little fish to look at.

Telescope goldfish are very similar to the look of a fantail with only the eyes being what tells them apart. Most Telescope fish will have a dorsal fin but it isn’t uncommon for them not to have a dorsal fin. The dorsal fin, for those of you who might not know, is the fin that runs along the top “spine” or back of the fish.

2. Celestial Eye Goldfish

The Celestial goldfish is also known as the “star-gazer” or “sky-gazer” because its protruding eyes look upwards at the sky at all times. This cute-looking fish should be kept in an aquarium that is free of anything that can scrape or hurt their eyes. Because they are looking upwards all the time they will definitely and very easily swim into objects.

A fun fact about the Celestial eye goldfish is that it is bred from the Telescope goldfish (the variety without the dorsal fin) so you can get some Celestial goldfish with a dorsal fin but mostly these fish are born without a dorsal fin.

The Celestial also has a double tail which usually means they are a bit on the expensive side. The double tail can be described as double caudal and anal fins. Caudal fins are better known as their tails and the anal fins are located (as you probably would suspect) under the fish towards the “spot” or vent of the tail.

3. Bubble Eye Goldfish

This very strange little fish has two rather large fluid-filled bubbles where it looks like their eyes are just floating in these bladders. You can only imagine how these thin sacs of fluid can be easily ruptured by rough or sharper objects.

The rupturing of one or both of their sacs could lead to infection if not treated correctly. Luckily they will repair and “inflate” again as time goes by but will be different sizes than before. If just one eye bubble ruptures it will be a very asymmetrical fishy for a while as major injuries take a few months to fully recover.

Due to their likeliness of injury, I wouldn’t suggest this type of goldfish for a beginner. As beautiful as they are, they are not very strong swimmers, and accompanied by their limited vision they are prone to get stuck in places like filters, where they don’t belong.

Goldfish to Add to Your Pond

As I mentioned before, almost all goldfish are great options for a pond. There are three options I would recommend for beginners. These varieties do very well in ponds and very hardy fish with the changing temperatures.

The Common Goldfish

The common goldfish is a very popular freshwater fish known for its bright colors and distinctive body shape. They have a streamlined body, and a double tail fin, and can come in various vivid colors such as orange, red, yellow, and white. Common goldfish are hardy and adaptable, making them suitable for beginners and “pond life”.

The Comet Goldfish

The Comet goldfish has a more elongated body compared to the Common with a single tail fin. Their vibrant colors make it a sought-after choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Comets are known for their active swimming behavior and and very strong swimmers. They tend to be aggressive when food is involved.

I would suggest pairing them with fish that are also strong swimmers to avoid bullying. Their colors range from orange, to red and yellow. They are great options for both indoor aquariums and outdoor pond environments.

The Shubunkin Goldfish

Shubunkin goldfish are known for their calico coloration, which means a combination of red, orange, yellow, blue, black, and white spots or patches. Shubunkins have a single tail and are very hardy and adaptable fish, making them great options for a pond environment.

Lionhead Goldfish.
Lionhead Goldfish


When choosing the right fish for your outdoor pond, it is best to avoid certain varieties of goldfish, and better to start with their hardier family members, especially when you are a beginner.

Varieties to avoid are the ones with long flowing tails, protruding eyes, or bubble heads like the Lionhead goldfish. They are more prone to injuries due to their delicate features and the rough terrain of an outdoor pond.

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