Feeding pond fish needs to be learned – because depending on the current water temperature, feeding must be adapted to the metabolism of the animals (and the pond). With the right feeding, you can make a valuable contribution to the health of your fish.
Food for the whole year
Depending on the shape, one can differentiate between three different main types of feed for year-round feed:
Pellet feed is mostly available for koi and goldfish. It usually contains higher levels of fat and protein. Pellets provide a lot of energy and important nutrients, but they also pollute the water more. Therefore, powerful filtering is important.
High-quality pond sticks are generally suitable for all pond fish species and especially for natural ponds. When fed, it is important that the fish have other food sources available. In the natural pond, for example, you will also find insect larvae and algae.
Flake food is particularly recommended for young animals and very small fish – because they also fit into small mouths. But here too, less is often more: flakes that are not eaten immediately pollute the water and also quickly lose valuable vitamins.
Special feed according to the season
Every season has its special requirements. Therefore there is special food for every season. But you can also make it easy for yourself and mix the winter and summer feed proportionally depending on the water temperature. This has the advantage that, even as the owner of smaller ponds, you can always feed on fresh feed packs and do not have to store large leftovers after the season.
In spring, the freshness of the feed is crucial for a good supply of vitamins and high-quality nutrients after a long period of hunger. Therefore, you should by no means use the old winter food at the start of the season! A freshly opened, originally packaged food bag guarantees optimal care. In spring it can be Wheatgerm food that contains a lot of easily digestible carbohydrates and a maximum of 32% protein. You can add vitamins once a week. This is particularly recommended if the food bag has been open for a few weeks. A multi-vitamin preparation with vitamins A, D, E, and C is just right. If the water temperatures rise above 14 ° C, you can slowly start adding summer food.
If there are small and still growing fish in the pond, you can use a protein-rich growth food with 42-45% protein. Older fish from the 3rd year onwards are adequately supplied with 38-42% crude protein. Summer food should not contain more than 6-8% raw fat due to the limited shelf life with high-fat contents. The higher quality of the protein, the better the growth. Food that also contains micronutrients can be better processed by your fish. This of course also reduces the number of substances excreted. Less nitrate and phosphate automatically means fewer algae growth.
If the water temperatures slowly drop in autumn, it is time to think about autumn conditioning. Below 20 ° C to around 16 ° C, 70% summer food and 30% winter food can be mixed. The winter food can then also be a little richer in fat, i.e. contain 8-10% fat. If you want to make it easier for yourself, you can increase the content of the lean Wheatgerm winter food to 10% with fish oil. But please check beforehand how high the fat percentage is. Between 16 and 12 ° C, you can continuously increase the proportion of winter food until there is only pure winter food below 12 ° C. Leftovers from winter food can be frozen very easily and thus extend the shelf life.
For the cold season, there is wheat germ feed for Koi on the market. They contain fewer calories due to the low-fat content. Instead, they provide easily digestible nutrients from the wheat germ. This food variant is particularly suitable for the energy balance of the fish in a cold pond. Since the fish grow less in winter, the protein requirement is lower. Accordingly, winter food contains little of it. The water pollution is kept as low as possible and the energy supply is guaranteed at the same time. This type of feed is therefore also suitable for indoor holdings or newly entering ponds whose biology is not yet efficient. When making your selection, make sure that fishmeal is listed first among the protein-supplying ingredients.
Feed quantities according to water temperature
When deciding how much to feed, the water quality and temperature are the main factors. If the water quality is poor, the amount of feed should be reduced.
From 20-26 ° C you can feed up to 1% of the fish weight of year-round food if there is no natural food in the pond. You can divide this amount into 3-5 feedings a day. Depending on how time is possible for you.
Water warmer than 26 ° C
If it gets even warmer, you should cut the amount of food in half again from 26 ° C. Otherwise there is a risk of ammonia poisoning.
In very high water temperatures, your fish may occasionally fast for a day. From 30 ° C, there is not enough oxygen in the water. Now be sure to cool with fresh water!
Water colder than 20 ° C
If the water temperatures drop below 20 ° C, you can slowly reduce the amounts and only give 1-2 rations a day.
Between 16 ° and 12 ° C, a light winter food mixed with the remains of the energy-rich summer food would be perfect once a day. Optionally, you can also use a lining that is specially designed for the autumn or spring seasons. Below 12 ° C, there is only winter feed or little year-round feed. Do not feed below 10 ° C every day! Every 2-3 days is enough now.
In small ponds, the filter system is usually switched off at a water temperature of 8-10 °. This is the end of the feeding season. If you want to continue feeding, you have to plan for more frequent partial water changes.