It is almost that time of year again. We have pushed the clocks ahead one hour and the days are getting a little longer and warmer. If you have not already, you will see life emerge in your pond. You will see movement, you will see fish picking at algae and maybe even coming to the surface. As it gets warmer and warmer, you will soon need to start feeding them.
Once the fear of freeze is gone, you can start up the filters. Now would be a good time to scoop out dead leaves and other debris accumulated on the top and bottom. And, add some type of biologic starter or enzymes to help get rid of sludge.
When the water reaches fifty degrees, you can start feeding the fish. Do not feed them before this time. They will not be able to properly digest the food in the cooler temps and will just put it back into the pond as waste product. It can also cause health problems for the fish later on in the season. In addition, the bacteria in the pond will not break the food down until the temperatures are almost sixty degrees. So, you can see, the nitrites and ammonia will quickly build up and could be detrimental to the fish.
The food to use in the spring would be a wheat-germ based food. The fish are still in slow motion, and they cannot use a high protein based food at this time. Many companies make great foods with wheat germ. Wheat germ is extremely palatable and easy to digest. Also look for no corn or corn starches which are nearly impossible to digest. Always look for foods that contain high quality ingredients, which in turn will provide your fish with excellent nutrition.
As a result, your fish will not require as much food and less waste is produced. You can see how this would help with clean clear water. And, help you to enjoy your pond more!
You should use the wheat germ based food until the water temperature reaches about seventy degrees. When you do switch your food from wheat-germ based to higher protein based, make sure you do it slowly. Use a little of both until the fish get familiar with the new food you are using.
Hopefully, this has given you some insight as to when to start feeding your pond fish. Remember, your fish associate at your favorite store or nursery can help answer any other questions you may have.
I bet you can’t wait to be sitting by the pond listening to the waterfall and watching those beautiful Koi.