Feeding Your Fish as Temperatures Decline

As temperatures begin to decline, it is time to begin thinking about adjusting your fish feeding schedule.  As water temperatures cool, pond fish naturally adapt with the changing temperatures.  Their digestive systems are simple in structure, so it is best to adjust diets for them to help avoid sicknesses from over eating.  This water temperature guide is designed to help you determine the best care for your fish in the upcoming months.  If you do not have a way of determining water temperature, consider a floating pond thermometer.

 Once temperatures drop below 70°F (21°C), decrease the frequency of feedings to small amounts every day or regular amounts every other day.

 Once temperatures decrease below 60°F (15.5°C), introduce a low protein diet feeding every couple of days.  A wheat germ based diet would work well during this temperature range.

 Once temperatures drop below 50°F (10 °C), stop feeding your pond fish.

When feeding pond fish, it is helpful to based feeding quantities off of amount eaten in a couple minutes. Anything more than that can become excessive to the point of increased waste in your pond or digestive problems for the fish.  If using a floating fish food it will be simple to see how much they are able to eat within a couple of minutes. You can use a fish net to pull any excess food added from feeding times. If any food does sink to the bottom it can add to an excess in the water’s nutrient load, use a beneficial bacteria or sludge remover as a part of your regular maintenance routine as a simple solution. It is also helpful to consider turning off any waterfalls or skimmers that could pull fish food away from the surface of the water. This will also signal your fish when it is feeding time, so they will be ready to greet you at the water’s surface.