Why Do Fish Stay At Bottom Of The Pond?

A fish pond is defined as a dynamic environment with the sun, wind, and other vegetation that affects the quality of the water. It is essential to monitor the health of the pond as it is the main contributor in making sure that your fish will survive or not. However, there are still some issues without knowing about your fish behavior that you need to look into.

Why do fish stay at the bottom of the pond? There are plenty of reasons for this: overcrowding, lack of oxygen, over-feeding, and poor nutrition. These are stress factors that can lead the fish to huddle together at the bottom of the pond.

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In this short read, you will have a better understanding of fish’s behaviors and what leads them to the pond’s bottom.

Fish Need Oxygen

This behavior is pretty typical to fish believe it or not, but when fish does not get enough oxygen, they suffocate. They go where they can find more oxygen, and since warm water on the surface contains less dissolved oxygen, they swim down the bottom since it has colder water there. Dense water can hold more dissolved oxygen. Just be mindful of the weather as the availability of the oxygen varies.

Weather Changes

Weather also plays a role in this kind of fish’s behavior. During late spring and summer, the warming water in the top 8 – 10 feet of the pond loses its oxygen.

Although it is colder at the bottom, the lack of light prevents the photosynthesis process. This process produces oxygen, and plants rotting at the bottom consume oxygen too. But during the summer heat, there is still more oxygen on the bottom compared to the top.

On the other hand, during winter, fish will often come to the top because the water there is getting colder. Cold surface water can hold more oxygen, so this will invite fish. But since cold water sinks, warm water will rise.

The winter winds and the drop of temperature can cause lower, warmer layers of oxygen-deficient to rise. As a result, fish follow the oxygen, and it is usually found in the bottom.

Natural Fears

It is common for fish to stay at the bottom if they are new to the environment or fear other predators that might come in their way. Most goldfish owners say that their fish are wary initially and have to get used to their new home.

It usually can take them days for them to settle in. Another factor is that if there’s already have fish in the pond, they need to adjust sharing the water.

Fishes have their natural fear of predators, and sometimes they think shadows of shrubs and bushes are predators. They become so wary of their environment that the only thing they will do is stay at the bottom.


Overall, there are scientific and behavioral patterns. You should consider why your fish tends to swim and stay at the bottom of the pond. There might be some underlying issues, so it is still essential to take a good look at them every now and then. The way your fish is acting is a good indication if there are healthy or sick.