Q: My fish are looking for food. Can I feed them now? If so, what kind of food do I give them?
Rick – Great Falls, MT
A: Fish sure seem know when spring is coming. This time of year, your koi and goldfish that have been hibernating over the winter are waking up—and they’re hungry.
When water temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months, your fishes’ metabolisms slows down. They enter into a hibernation-type state, during which time they require little or no food. They literally live off the fat stores in their body.
As the water temperature rises above 45 degrees in the spring, the fish start moving. Their metabolisms turn back on, and they need food to fuel their increased activity. To transition the fish from no food to daily food, fish experts recommend feeding a wheat germ-based diet when water temperatures are consistently between 45 and 55 degrees. A diet like Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food is quickly and easily digested by the fish.
In the warmer months when your water temperature tops 55 degrees, you can continue to feed the wheat germ-based diets, or you can choose to gradually re-introduce protein-based diets that help the fish grow quickly and show off their colors. Here’s what we recommend:
- For your regular everyday diet: Pond Logic® Floating Ponstix Fish Food, which is nutritionally balanced diet that contains digestive enzymes and amino acids for optimal fish health.
- For color enhancement: Pond Logic® Growth & Color and TetraPond® Koi Vibrance® Fish Foods each contain ingredients designed to enhance your koi’s reds, deepen their black and highlight their whites.
- For rapid growth: Pond Logic® Professional Fish Food and TetraPond® Koi Growth formula help your koi develop strong bones and muscles during the growing season.
Choose the diet that best fits in with your goals for the fish. If you’re not interested in growing your Kohaku into show-quality specimens, for instance, stick to the everyday or color enhancement diet.
Word of Warning
The weather may be warming up, but make sure the water temperatures are at a consistent 45 degrees before you start feeding your fish. Feeding them before they’re able to properly digest the food can lead to health issues.
Pond Talk: What’s your pond’s water temperature where you live?
Filed under: Feeding Fish, Fish Population, Koi & Goldfish, Water Gardens & Features, Wheat Germ Fish Food Tagged: | fall & spring fish food, Floating Ponstix, Growth & Color, koi growth fish food, koi vibrance, professional fish food, spring & fall fish food, spring fish food