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If you're designing a landscape water feature that will contain fish, you do have to have certain specifications in mind. Ideally, a landscape water feature should cover three basic things – appropriate depth, safety from predators and clean water.
A depth of two feet will be sufficient for most types of garden fish. If you plan on raising koi, because of their larger size, you should have a depth of at least three feet.
Garden predators that you might need to be concerned about include raccoons, herons, egrets and kingfishers. As long as you create a water feature with at least two feet deep steep sides, your fish should be safe. For areas of a water feature with shallow depths, plant a thick layer of bog or marginals to help protect your fish.
In order to keep your fish alive and healthy, it's essential you provide the optimum water environment for them. One way to do this is by getting a good biological filter to help you maintain their ecosystem. Moving water from a pump or via a waterfall will help oxygenate the fish's environment.