Nature Perfect

Crafting Beautiful Landscapes Throughout
The South Puget Sound Since 2000.

2905 Black Lake Blvd SW, Tumwater WA 98512

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Fish Feeding Guide

Fish Feeding Guide

Pond Fish Care 🕔November 4, 2019 0 comments

written by Kerri Bailey, Nature Perfect Pond Supply Store

Hungry Koi Ready to Eat!

Fish Feeding Tips. 

We feed our fish to maximize and enhance their vibrant colors, growth, and longevity. Koi and goldfish are omnivorous opportunistic feeders that need a balanced diet of protein and plant matter. Here are some tips:

1. It’s better to under feed than over feed.
2. In hotter months, feed when water is cooler (a.m.) and in cooler months feed when water is warmer (p.m.)
3. Allow 5-10 minutes for fish to consume their food. Remove uneaten food.
4. Feed Wheat based diets during cooler months and Staple or Color enhancing during warmer months.
5. Multiple smaller feedings are better than one or two larger ones.

Feed Summer, Growth or Color Enhancing food during hotter months and Spring /Fall or Wheat diet during cooler months.

What Should you Feed Your Pond Fish?

1. Commercial Fish Food- flakes (for small fish) or sticks/pellets (preferred). Feed a Wheat based diet for Spring and Fall (cooler months) and Staple/Growth or Color Enhancing for the Summer (warmer months). Smaller fish need a smaller pellet size than larger fish- if you a variety of fish- mixing fish foods is fine to do. There are also commercially made fish treats that you can feed your fish weekly.

2. Pond Plants- fish will eat algae, bugs and some of your pond plants. Don’t get mad at them, just provide additional plants for that reason.

3. Fresh Foods- feed fresh foods weekly in the warm months as a supplement or treat. It may take time for your fish to get used to their new diet so try several times until they eat what you feed. Remove uneaten fish food and do not allow fresh foods to rot in your pond (rotting food may promote algae blooms). 

·        Fruit: Watermelon or grapefruit slices, Orange Halves

·        Veggies: Whole Lettuce/Romaine, Squashes, Spinach

·        Meat: Fresh Earth Worms, Krill, Shrimp & Prawns with Peels & Tails

·        Grains: Wheat Germ, Cheerios, Wheat/Brown Bread

What to AVOID Feeding Your Fish-  Meat, Corn, Pasta, White Bread, Candies, Potatoes, Dairy Products, Peas (they usually rot if not eaten)

How Often and How Much Should I feed my Koi & Goldfish?

How Much do you actually Feed your Fish? As much as they will eat in about a 5 minute period. Throw out a small pinch or handful to start, depending upon how many fish you have. If they eat it all, give them some more, repeating if needed. Do this for 5 minutes or so each time you feed. Remove uneaten fish food when you can.  

Spring: We start feeding our fish sometime in April (weather depending) a wheat -based diet that their system can more easily digest. We gradually feed our fish building up to feeding every day once the weather is steady and warm (Over 65 deg F). Spring feedings are 1-3 times a week, feeding on warmer days and alternate days.

Late Spring/Summer: Once we hit May (weather dependent), then feed with Staple/Growth food daily, then increasing up to 2-3 times in June, July and August (although 1-2 times can be enough). Do not over feed and avoid feeding on excessively hot days.

Fall: In September we slow down to feeding daily, switching to Wheat Food and then alternating to every other day, reducing to 1-3 times a week in October. Usually after Halloween we do not feed our fish until the following spring.

Winter: Fish are “dormant” and cannot metabolize protein during winter. If your fish seem active during cooler months, you can feed “Cheerios” on warm days if they are active and will eat it. Always remove uneaten food.    

Fish can become very friendly and even eat out of your hand!

Water Temperature = # Daily Feedings  

Under 50°F 0  0 do not feed                     50-55°F  1-2 times a week

55 – 60°F 2-3 times a week            60 – 65°F 3-4 times a week

65 – 70°F once daily                                  70 – 75°F 2 times a day

75 – 85°F 2-3 times a day               85 – 90°F once daily or every other day                                       above 90°F 0   do not feed

Just remember the golden rule: it’s better to under feed than overfeed! Take out uneaten food before it spoils the water-adding to algae blooms.    Healthy Water=Healthy Fish

About the Author: Kerri Bailey is a water garden specialist with over 20 years experience in the pond and horticulture industry. Kerri is also an instructor, author and owned a pond store and maintenance business for about 10 years. She now works in our Pond Supply Store and writes Blogs and other informational materials for Nature Perfect Landscaping.

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