Feeding Goldfish in the Winter?


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I acquired my thousand gallon pond this spring. At that time it had eight goldfish and I suspect that they were survivors of over a year of total neglect, no food, no water filtration, no aeration. Acting on advice from here, I quickly replaced a defective pump, restoring the 4000 gallon per hour pump/filter/waterfall to operation, so now the pond is well filtered and aerated, and the pH/ammonia/nitrites,nitrates figures are all consistently within acceptable levels. The advice from locals and from here was that the fish would be just fine subsisting on insects and algae. Again, acting on this advice, I have not been feeding them. The fish population has now grown to about eighteen, and they seem to be thriving, so I'm guessing that they are getting plenty to eat.

I live in zone 7a, with fairly mild winters, but during winter, there likely won't be too many insects around for them to eat, and I suspect that there won't be much algae either.

Do I need to start feeding the fish when the weather turns cold?
 
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mrsclem

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Where exactly are you located? Any idea if your pond will freeze? I stop feeding my koi when water temps drop below 50°. Fish metabolism slows down in cold weather so they don't need to feed as much. I have been feeding my one pond every other day as there are no plants in the pond so the fish will have nothing to snack on during winter.
 

Mmathis

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I am in zone 8a/b and only have goldfish. I don’t feed much as it is, but when the temps start dropping, I stop feeding. Maybe unconsciously I go by when the pond plants start showing signs of seasonal changes — which probably means that it also has something to do with the days growing shorter as much as it does with the temps.
 

j.w

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I'm in zone 8a and we do freeze here off an on during winter. I do not feed my fish at all during winter after the temps get down to 50f. Their metabolize slows down and they don't need feeding. The carpet algae will still be there on the sides of my pond and if they want to nibble on that they can. There will be some kind of insects or worms etc. that are still out there and if the fish want to they can eat them. I did not feed my fish at all during Summers thru winters for the first several yrs at all and they did fine all on their own. Now I just feed them off and on very seldom as I enjoy seeing them come running to greet me.
 
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I'm also in Western NC & I don't feed at all once the water temperature goes below 50 degrees (I have koi, not goldfish) Honestly, I don't even have to check the pond thermometer, I know when it's less than 50 because the fish stop coming up & begging for food. If we have a mid-winter warm up & the water temp rises enough for the fish to start asking for a hand out, I toss them some plain Cheerios (easy to digest & won't pollute the water) Other than that, they exist on whatever they can, or want to , scrounge out of the pond from sometime in November to March.
 
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I'm in the minority and feed my fish year round. I'm in zone 6. My pond is covered in the winter so it stays fairly warm and my fish beg all year round. I may skip some days in mid winter, and I cut down on how much I feed.

If the pond is not covered and the water gets cold, the fish normally go to the deepest water and go into torpor. They don't move much and don't use up much energy and their metabolism slows a great deal. They normally won't eat during that time. That can last for months in a cold climate and the fish will be fine as long as they have plenty of oxygen.
 
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I acquired my thousand gallon pond this spring. At that time it had eight goldfish and I suspect that they were survivors of over a year of total neglect, no food, no water filtration, no aeration. Acting on advice from here, I quickly replaced a defective pump, restoring the 4000 gallon per hour pump/filter/waterfall to operation, so now the pond is well filtered and aerated, and the pH/ammonia/nitrites,nitrates figures are all consistently within acceptable levels. The advice from locals and from here was that the fish would be just fine subsisting on insects and algae. Again, acting on this advice, I have not been feeding them. The fish population has now grown to about eighteen, and they seem to be thriving, so I'm guessing that they are getting plenty to eat.

I live in zone 7a, with fairly mild winters, but during winter, there likely won't be too many insects around for them to eat, and I suspect that there won't be much algae either.

Do I need to start feeding the fish when the weather turns cold?
I am in your zone and I don't feed when water temp gets below 50 degrees, but I keep aeration going all winter, and add a deicer if it starts to freeze up.
 
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Since my pond is in a greenhouse structure for winter, the water very rarely gets below 50 degrees.

When the pond was uncovered, I didn't feed in winter when the pond was usually frozen over except for a hole for air and gas exchange. The fish were hanging out on the bottom and didn't budge. Feeding at that time would have been a waste of time and food.
 
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Hi, here in Wales the temperature is already down to 45° f and the fish that were gasping for air a month ago are already going to the bottom. I only feed if I see them at the surface now, maybe once a week on sunny days. There is plenty of weed in the pond and they always disappear for the winter. The pond doesn't normally freeze because the aerators are working constantly. Nice to read all the comments
 
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Hii I have also fished before ten-month. My fish was also dying due to poor water temperature. I don't feed them too much my friend told me that if you overfeeding them it may be possible that they are dying there for I don't feed my fish at all during winter after the temps get down to 50f. Their metabolize slows down and they don't need feeding. For fish, it is necessary that the water must be clean and optimum water temperature( 75 to 80) degree.low or heigh water temperature can damage fish there for I don't feed my fish in the winter session.
 
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