The 1.5 update to Stardew Valley introduced fish ponds, stone pools which players can place on their farms to breed fish and collect items. For players who wanted more utility from the game's fishing mechanics, this provides a world of opportunity — and some great ways to make money on the farm.
Each type of fish in Stardew Valley comes with its own unique quirks, and can provide the player with unique benefits. For players looking to expand the ways they raise animals on their farm, fish ponds are a great avenue to explore. Here's what players need to know about building them and maximizing profit.
Like other farm constructions, players can purchase fish ponds from Robin at her carpentry shop. To build one fish pond, players will need the following:
- 200 Stone
- 5 Green Algae
- 5 Seaweed
Once the pond is complete and a fish is caught, the player can place it in a pond. Legendary fish cannot reside in ponds (nor can their cousins from Mr. Qi's "Extended Family" challenge), but all other species are able. With at least one fish in the pond, they will start to reproduce every few days (except for Tiger Trout), increasing the pond's population.
Once the pond reaches a certain capacity, a yellow exclamation point will appear over the pond. This indicates that the fish inside have a quest for the player, requesting a specific item. The exact item varies widely depending on the species of fish, and can range from bug meat to building materials to cooked food to rare gemstones. Check out the Stardew Valley wiki for a complete list of the items that various fish will request.
Some species will only request items twice; others may request items up to four times. These can occur at populations of 1, 3, 5, and/or 7 fish, depending on the species. Each time a quest is completed, the pond's maximum occupancy will increase, up to 10 fish total after the last quest.
Fishing In The Pond
As long as at least one fish remains in the pond, the population will continue to grow up to the pond's current maximum. This means that, as long as the player does not empty the pond completely, it will provide them with an endless supply of that species of fish.
An endless supply of fish means an endless supply of maki rolls, sashimi, and quality fertilizer, as these recipes all call for any fish. Additionally, if players happen to have a favorite cooking recipe that calls for a certain fish, it can be massively beneficial to dedicate a fish pond to that species.
Depending on the population and species, fish in a pond will produce items for harvest every 1-3 days. Collecting these items will grant the player a small amount of Fishing XP; the exact amount depends on the item.
Almost all fish have a chance to produce roe, which players can place in Preserves Jars to make Aged Roe (or, in the case of Sturgeon Roe, to make Caviar). The only fish that do not produde roe are the Squid and Midnight Squid, which regularly produce Squid Ink. Many fish produce other items in addition to roe; the specific items depend on the species. A full breakdown is available on the Stardew Valleywiki, but read on below for a description of some of the fish that offer the best items.
Best Fish To Keep In Ponds
Though all fish roe can be aged in a Preserves Jar, Sturgeon is the only roe that will make Caviar. This gourmet product is worth 500g (or 700g with the Artisan profession).
Sturgeon can be tricky to catch, but the payoff is worth it. Fish for them in the mountain lake in summer or winter, between 6am and 7pm.
Like most fish, Stingrays will produce roe; however, they also have a decent chance to produce a number of other items, some of which are quite useful and not too easy to come by. These include:
- Magma Cap: 4% daily chance to appear at maximum pond capacity
- 2-5 Cinder Shards: 9-10% chance at max capacity
- Dragon Tooth: 5% chance at max capacity
- Battery Pack: 9-10% chance at max capacity
Players can fish for Stingrays in Pirate Cove on Ginger Island, which is unlocked by purchasing the Beach Resort. They can be caught in any season at any time of day.
Though they may not be the most attractive fish, Aged Blobfish Roe fetches prices comparable to Caviar. Additionally, they have a small chance to produce some fantastic items in the fish pond once it reaches its maximum population:
- Pearl, 1.7-1.9% daily chance
- 5 Warm Totem: Farm, 1.7-1.9% daily chance
Fish for Blobfish by taking a ride in the Submarine at the Night Market.
In addition to the usual roe, an Octopus has a 15-16% daily chance to produce 1-10 Omni Geodes. These rainbow-speckled geodes can contain anything from Prismatic Shards to rare artifacts to building materials. Players can also trade them for rare goods in Calico Desert.
To catch an octopus, head to the Beach between 6am and 1pm during the summer. Alternatively, try Ginger Island West during these times in any season.