Preparing Fish for Winter with Food
When the fall season arrives, your first duty to your fish is to watch the water temperature.
First we need a little science background. In cold water (water temperatures below 55°F), fish metabolism slows down so much that when you look them it may seem as if they are sleeping! Rest assured. Your fish are fine. And you should NOT be feeding them.
IMPORTANT: 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 fish 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 quickly. 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).
REMINDER: 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.