When To Stop Feeding Pond Fish – A Seasonal Guideline

You should always give enough food to your pond fish for good health. But the amount of food you give to them shouldn’t be the same all the time.

As the seasons change from winter to summer, there are some changes in what you should be feeding your pond fish. If you’re unsure about how much and when to feed your pond fish throughout the year, then this article is for you.

Feeding pond fish by hand.
Pond fish will take food from hand if you can train them properly. Image: Koi Story

When to stop feeding pond fish?

Warm Environment

In summer and spring, when the outside temperature is between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, feeding your pond fish two or three times a day should be fine.

If you see the temperature outside is rising over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then you need to stop feeding your fish. High temperature is not suitable for the fish to digest food.

Cold Environment

Cold weather or the winter is the season you need to be more cautious about. Your pond fish don’t need much feeding in winter, even in the warmer days, algae growing in your pond will be enough for them.

It’s all about the temperature outside during winter. When it’s cold outside, your pond water starts getting cold also. Your pond fish slows down when the pond water gets colder and they get ready to go hibernate in the winter.

When your pond fish stars hibernating, their metabolism slows down as well as their gut bacteria. In this situation, your pond fish will have problems breaking down high protein foods and if you provide them food during this time, they’ll get a bacterial infection. Cold-blooded fish like koi and goldfish will face the worst-case scenario because they don’t have a stomach.

In autumn, when winter gets closer and your pond’s temperature drops down 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to stop feeding your fish high protein food. Instead of high protein food, provide them a wheat germ food which is low in protein and easier to digest.

When winter arrives and your pond’s temperature drops below 52 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to stop feeding your fish as they’ll be into hibernation now.

Your pond fish will hibernate staying at the bottom of your pond and sometimes you’ll notice that your pond fish is coming to the surface water during this situation. You might think that they’re searching for food coming to the surface, but don’t feed them. They’ll take the food but it would become harmful for their body.

You need to resist yourself from feeding your pond fish during winter. The food you’ll provide during winter will not be digested easily and it could decay and rot in your fish’s digestion system causing bacteria to enter their bloodstream. Eventually, it will lead your pond fish to death.

Your pond fish builds up enough fat reserves during summer and autumn so that they can get through the cold wintertime.

Fish gathered in one place to take food

Tips For Feeding Your Fish

  • Feeding the right food at the right time and in the right amount is the main key to let your pond fish live the best life. Whenever you are feeding your fish, you need to provide them the amount they can eat in five minutes. Otherwise, there will be a bunch of food left uneaten.
  • You need to ensure the best water quality before feeding your pond fish. A bad water condition will stress out the fish and lead them to get diseases. You need to make sure that your pond is not getting any toxin mixed up in it.
  • If you leave your pond for longer like going on a vacation, then you should set up an automatic feeder so that your pond fish will not starve in your absence. You can hire somebody trusted to look for your pond fish feeding too.
  • Never feed your fish excess and bad quality food. Bad quality food will harm fish health as well as pollute the pond water. You should net out the excess food in your pond that is left uneaten otherwise it will pollute the water.
  • The best time to feed your pond fish is once or twice a day and this is how often you should feed them. Morning and/or evening time is the most popular period to feed your pond fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you feed pond goldfish in winter?

You should not feed your goldfish in winter. Goldfish are coldblooded animals and they don’t have a stomach. In winter they hibernate and their metabolism and gut bacteria slow down. So, if you feed during winter, they’ll get bacterial infections.

What do pond fish eat naturally?

The most common pond fish you see are omnivorous. They naturally eat what is found naturally in ponds that may include worms, insects, detritus, aquatic plants, algae, etc.

When should you feed pond fish?

You should feed your pond fish when they are active and looking for food. Don’t provide food to your pond fish when they are motionless and resting at the bottom of the pond, otherwise the food will get wasted.

Feeding your pond fish is a great responsibility and their lives depend on it. You need to know the right circumstances and conditions to feed your pond fish.

If you read this article carefully, it will help you to learn when to stop feeding pond fish and get the best results.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *