On golden pond

History of pond fish keeping

source: Susie Green
Guardian Weekend February 23 2002 p59

Pond fish have been kept as far back as Roman times. Some Roman ponds had bridges and walkways, and places for people to dine by their ponds. Cicero called the Roman ruling class ‘piscinarii’ because of their enthusiasm for fish ponds. They kept different fish from modern pond fish keepers, and their favourites included mullets, and members of the eel family. Some eels were able to recognise their owners and come to be fed. Titbits fed by Crassus, a Roman general, to his eel, included milk curds and green figs. Crassus even put earrings and necklaces on his favourite eel. Lampreys often bite, and they were used by another Roman to attack people thrown into the water.

Koi carp have become more popular in modern times. These fish can distinguish between humans, and recognise their owners, while hiding from 
strangers. Koi are able to suck, since they have no teeth at the front of their mouths. Some koi keepers give their fish a baby’s dummy to suck, with honey on it. Koi also like other titbits, like fruits, cockles and prawns. Koi tend to be lethargic when it is cold, and many koi owners spend large sums heating their ponds.