FEEDING YOUR KOI AND POND FISH

Koi Feeding

It is drawing near the end of summer and it is time to make sure that your koi, goldfish, and pond fish are getting all the food that they care to enjoy right now! This time of year is an excellent time as a pond owner to take advantage of their voracious appetites and let them build the fat reserves they’ll need for those winter months when pond fish no longer are taking in sustenance. It is a good time to be able to interact with your koi fish as well, if you’re interested in hand feeding your koi this is a great time to give that a try.
Be careful with your feedings though it is easy to fall into the trap of over feeding your fish which can really drag down your pond or water garden’s water quality and clarity. Remember this: fish do not overeat, WE overfeed. That excess food just breaks down, creating high nutrient levels and clogging our pond’s filters! So while your fish are still on summer staple foods…let ‘em eat! As the weather cools switch over to the “Fall Blend” fish diet of your choice and feed your koi and pond fish until water temperatures settle at around 52F/11C degrees and discontinue feedings at that time. Let your koi, goldfish and pond fish settle down for those winter months and before you know it, pond season will be back, and so will their appetites!
Springtime feeding is very different from summer feeding routine and fish will tend to not take as much food at the beginning of the season so try not to offer them a lot of food just because it was a long winter. Regular feedings of low temperature spring mix pond fish food should start to be offered when water temperatures rise to 55F/13C and stabilize there. Let your fish tell you how much they want to eat by really watching them closely and learning their feeding behavior. A great skill to have as a pond keeper is the art of knowing how much to feed your fish and at what times of year you need to adjust your feeding routine. A little secret is to let your fish tell you when they are done eating. When your fish start nosing their food or just showing a “bored” interest in the food then it is time to stop, there is no mistaking when the koi and pond fish are being ravenous but it can be a little hard to tell when they stop eating so watch closely.
Fall feeding routine is similar to spring, but we still will have those higher temperature days that the fish will be taking down lots of food, mixed with lower temperature days that they will not take as much so it is a great time to practice your skills of observation with you koi and pond fish and get good at knowing when enough is enough with your fish and their feeding patterns. Once the water temperature stabilizes at 52F/11C degrees again remember to discontinue feedings, and don’t be tempted to feed on those “warm” days during the winter when the fish seem to be active for a day or two. The koi and goldfish may take food on those days, but they will not metabolize the food correctly and various problems can arise down the road, …resist the temptation!
Some good observation mixed with some smart feeding routines for your koi and pond fish will result in healthy fish with good body tone and hopefully a long life in your pond!

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