Water temperature is the best way to tell
When spring rolls around and you’re anxiously waiting to see your playful koi once again, you’ll be glad you took consideration in the fall to properly care for them. Until the pond water rises above 50-degrees you should not feed your fish. And remember, you can feed them Aquascape Premium Cold Water Fish Food up until the pond water rises above 60-degrees!
When pond temperatures fall below 60-degrees, your fishes’ metabolism and digestive system begins to slow down. Investing in a pond thermometer will help you determine when to change the eating regimen of your beloved finned friends.
You’ve enjoyed watching and feeding your fish all summer, and now it’s time to help them prepare for their winter’s nap. You want to make sure your fish are strong and healthy as Old Man Winter makes his way to your pond. A well-balanced diet is critical to the health of your fish. When pond temperatures fall below 50-degrees it is time to stop feeding.
Overfeeding occurs anytime the fish are eating more than they need. This can make your fish sick, and excessive amounts of waste that strains the limits of what can be biologically reduced, results in a decline of water quality. Fish that are overfed in typical ornamental pond facilities will eventually develop large bellies and begin to look a little bit like tadpoles, with the big body and the wispy tail. That will not usually kill the fish, but the impact on the liver and other internal organs can and will be severe. So How Much is Just Right?
Fish should be fed no more than three times per day. In cooler water (65-70) they should only be fed once per day, if that. In much warmer water (76-82), three times per day is not "crazy,"' however, you have to be wary of bacterial blooms (cloudy water and low oxygen levels) if you feed heavy and there's a lot of waste.
Fish should be fed for about five minutes per feeding. If they don't come up and eat voraciously, they are telling you that they are too cold, too warm or, for some other reason, are not hungry. So feed light. If they are eating like crazy, you can sprinkle food on the water for five minutes as long as there are fish there to carry it off and eat it. Pretend it's a game – never feed so much that there is excess food left to float into the skimmer or filter.
Can I underfeed my fish?
If your fish are growing about a ½ to 1 inch per month, you're feeding enough. If not, you are either underfeeding, keeping them in too small facilities, or the food is not adequate to push growth. Signs of underfeeding include, heads that are wider than bodies, slightly sunken eyes, a kink at the base of the tail, poor color, thinness, trailing white stools, and inactivity.
Where to Feed my fish?
Proper Food Storage
If you do buy fish food in large quantities refrigerate it, don't freeze it. Freezing damages (think freezer burn) the fats in the food and so the fat-soluble vitamins are compromised.
Foods which are packed in nitrogen (no oxygen) by the manufacturer are better than food which is in cans with oxygen. If you can find food which has a bag that allows expression of air from the bag and resealing, that is optimal.
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