Please can you help me to identify the fish in the attached picture. It is about 10cm long and lives in my garden pond in Aberdeen. How it got there is a complete mystery. There are two of them.
The pond is less than 2 years old and is quite small at ~1200 litres. I stocked it with native British plants bought online and through a local garden centre. The pond was frozen for much of the winter 2012/13 - and killed off most of the plants. We first spotted the fish in spring 2013 but it was impossible to get a good look at them. I did not expect them to survive this winter as it was frozen for a month in Nov/Dec, its a small pond and there cannot be much for them to eat. On Sunday as I was clearing out some leaves I managed to scoop up one the fish and got a good look at it.
The only explantion I can think of is that the fish arrived as eggs either in plants or by birds? I checked with the plant stockists and they told me they do not keep fish in the plant nurseries.
You will notice it is about goldfish. The fish above has all the features of a goldfish except the colour. When goldfish are released into outdoor ponds they often loose their gold colour and revert to a more natural colour as your fish displays.
Thanks John, this is very helpful - and seems obvious now! Eggs must have arrived on plants that we bought even though the stockists deny this! I had always wanted a nature pond for frongs and native creatures but I guess we have to live with our pet goldfish!