The moderlieschen (Leucaspius delineatus) is the most recommended fish species for smaller garden ponds. Due to its miniature size of usually 4-5, rarely 8-12 cm it fits even for the smallest ponds, which must have, however, a minimum depth of 80 cm in central Europe to enable a survival during winter.
The funky name „moderlieschen“ derives from an old German word meaning „small fish without mother“. This small fish was often overlooked for long times. Sometimes they can reproduce in large numbers and then people believed that the fish were raining from the sky. Even this legend contains some thruth: the eggs of the moderlieschen are very sticky and can by chance attach to the feet of waterfowl. So the moderlieschen can colonize even formerly fishfree waterbodies via airmail.
Moderlieschen belong to the carp family. As an extreme exception among this relationship the male moderlieschen takes care of the brood. The eggs are attached in rows at reed. If you can observe a reed stalk moving although there is no wind at all it is very likely that a male moderlieschen moves the stalk to transport oxygen rich water to the eggs.
Moderlieschen are completely harmless and are reliable mosquito-larvae exterminators as they love to feed on them. So one who has moderlieschen in the garden pond hardly ever has mosquito plagues. Moderlieschen are schooling fish and should be kept at least in groups of 10 specimens.
For our customers: moderlieschen have code 857003 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply to the wholesale market.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer