Preparing Fish for Winter with Food
The Importance of Low Temperature Fish Food
|The most important thing to remember when feeding your fish|
in the fall is water temperature. See the floating thermometer
in the lower right hand corner of the photo? Everyone who feeds
their fish should have one!
For those Game of Thrones fans out there: winter is coming. I know it’s still months away, and we don’t want to think about it. But for the sake of your fish, I advise that you prepare at least a little bit!
How can we do that now? What do our fish need?
First we need a little science background. In the cold weather (water temperatures below 40°F), fish metabolism slows down so much that when you peer through the ice at your prized pets at the bottom of your pond, it may even look like they’re sleeping! Rest assured. Your fish are fine. And you should NOT be feeding them.
Stop feeding your fish when the water falls below 55°F.
The time between now and then (from 65°F to 55°F), we can help them prepare for their deep sleep of winter. Feeding with a low temp fish food sparingly in the fall gives them some supplemental energy. Plus with a lower protein level, it’s easier for the fish to digest. Low temp fish food also helps give your fish a little more bulk to battle the winter. Low temp food is a great way to start feeding your fish in the spring too (by spring I mean water temperatures above 55°F).
To reiterate: feed your fish low temp food from 65°F to 55°F.
It’s important not to overfeed with low temp food, however! Since it has less protein, that means more waste for your water. And if you’ve ever paid attention to any of our advice, you know that more waste means more algae!
A side note about temperature: there’s a big difference between air temperature and water temperature. Make sure you’re measuring the water temperature itself with a floating thermometer. And make sure that the temperature is consistent. We live in Indiana, where you can wear shorts one day and a parka the next.