Do you have to feed pond minnows? Winter time feeding?


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Pond is a 15k gallons roughly and hundreds of tadpoles came though it this year so far, and think most graduated into frogs w/o any type of supplemental food and they seemed to do OK from whatever organisms they skimmed off the surface or clinging to the rocks, despite the fact the pond is a year old and first season running it full capacity.

As the minnow population is finally taking off, starting to see very young minnows out and about swimming now, and seemingly adopting spawning territory and even the fry are starting to actually swim out in the open with them. Previously, they stayed hidden in rock crevices as did their bait shop parents. Noticing those young minnows pecking at the rocks for food now though.

They are clearly growing as they were born in the pond and about 3 to 4 weeks old now, but curious if there's enough food as-is from whatever organisms in there?

Also, the plan is to run the pump + filter all winter (will be experimenting with heat tape and running filter outlets directly into the water, hopefully it works; last winter water froze over a few inches and could walk on it).

Should they get a fish flake on occasion or pellet? Drill holes if it freezes over to disperse food across the pond?
 
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My advise. Quit feeding in the winter. Especially if the bog is turned off.
 
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Not using a bog. Running a 55 gallon filter. Idea is connect insulated extensions from dual outlets and run just below water surface, so when water freezes, it should still circulate.

Will there be enough organisms to feed these guys? Even when water is freezing at the surface?
 
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Keep in mind, when the water gets cold the fish's systems (digestive & otherwise) slow way down as well. Please note - I know nothing about 'minnows' specifically, but in a pond as large as yours I'd be fairly confident that they would be more than able to find enough food on their own (if they even needed or wanted any) My pond is much smaller (about 3000 - 3500 gallons) and I have koi - a few are rather large in the 18 - 24" range - and once the water temp falls below about 50 degrees I don't feed them. Heck! Trying to feed them would be a total waste of time & food, because once it gets that chilly they really aren't interested in coming up to eat. They will slowly swim around & graze a bit on the algae that grows on the rocks in the colder water, but honestly I don't even need to check the thermometer to know whether the water is above or below 50 - I can tell by the way they're acting (ie - not interested in food)
 
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Pond isn't as mature as yours yet. Just starting to get some type of weird plant-like ground cover on the silt muck slowing expanding out near the one shore. Maybe baby kelp? So many strange plants growing out of thin air (or fat water lol) it's hard to tell what's what at times.

These minnows are supposed to be very hardy, so don't doubt some/most can survive, and it might be beneficial population control to not feed them, but would hate to lose everyone and have to start fresh next year. If we get a really cold winter, it can last late Oct. to early March.
 
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You’ll mess up the chemistry of the ammonia at a time when the plants are dormant. No feeding in the winter. You’re just feeding algae which is eating fish poop.

if they are hungry they can eat algae.
 
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Pond isn't as mature as yours yet. Just starting to get some type of weird plant-like ground cover on the silt muck slowing expanding out near the one shore. Maybe baby kelp? So many strange plants growing out of thin air (or fat water lol) it's hard to tell what's what at times.

These minnows are supposed to be very hardy, so don't doubt some/most can survive, and it might be beneficial population control to not feed them, but would hate to lose everyone and have to start fresh next year. If we get a really cold winter, it can last late Oct. to early March.
Honestly, if you DID happen to lose them all (which I doubt) it would most likely NOT be because you didn't feed them over the winter. Actually, feeding them during a time when the water is cold, biological activity is almost non-existent, and they probably don't even consume what you throw in there, is going to create a situation where you're MORE likely to lose fish.
 
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I have rosy red minnows in my approximate 6 by 6 foot, 8-9 inches deep pond. Three Augusts ago, I put 12-15 or so in my pond. When it got so cold (zone 6 a/b) that I turned my pump off (maybe October-November), I completely forgot about them.

No food, I let the water level drop as the hoses were frozen. When the water warmed up enough for me to start my pump again (February or March), I just happened to see a couple of the fish swimming around. I had forgotten that they were there and had assumed they all died.

They went all winter without me feeding them or doing anything for them. They produced several sets of fry over last summer, as they have this summer.

No need to feed them. I don't know where you are located, but still a couple of months for algae to grow.

I have fed mine cichlid pellets, goldfish flakes and frozen brine shrimp. I have yet seen them eat any of it.

I don't ever see the adults as they stay hidden all the time. One will flash out for me every once in a great while, so, I have no idea how many adults I have in the pond. But, I probably have 30+ or so fry swimming around all the time.
 
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Alright, no feeding it is! Thanks everyone.

Literal explosion of minnows, which is jarring knowing they came from a few that toughed out the sink to pond transplant! Everyone is swimming out in the open now, so it's easy to see them in daylight.....so many minnows!!
 
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Weather is all over the place atm. Last week was sustained mid/upper 20's and today is 61 with torrential rain. Anyhow, been periodically looking in and minnows seem unfazed. Strange seeing them out and about when it's snowing, but still cool.
 
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