First Pond First Winter


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Hi All,
I live in Long Island, NY and I am in the border of 7a & 7b. I have goldfish in my pond and at the deepest part, its about 24 inches (2ft) deep.

1) When should I slow down the feeding/stop feeding the fish? Right now the temps have dropped so during the day its in the mid 70's and at night in the low 60's
2) Should I switch their diets to a more winter friendly diet? I feed them regular tetra pond sticks
3) Should I leave my waterfall on or do you recommend completely turning it off for the winter?
4) Any thoughts on air pumps or aerations?
5) Any additional advise you have, would be welcomed!
 
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TheFishGuy

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1) I am no expert in feeding, as I only feed my fish about once a week anyway, so I just stop feeding mid fall. but I am sure others would have better advice on that kinda stuff.

2) I dont switch diets, but again, others will have better advice than me on that.

3) I turn my waterfall off, but some like to leave it on, because they can make some pretty cool ice sculptures and such, if you have an external pump that is not in and insulated area, definitely turn it off, but other than that it is really up to you :)

4)During the winter I have a pump at the bottom to provide some surface agitation to keep a hole in the ice, but many different people will have lots of different advice on that, not much of it is wrong or right, just a different way to do things.

I keep a deicer on, but I am in zone 4b so a bit colder than you. many people just keep something like that hand just in case it does get cold, and then they can turn it on :)
 
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Jhn

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Will add a few things for feeding, I stop feeding when the fish stop showing an interest in food, to me water temp is irrelevant. I don’t switch foods in the fall, another thing that is pretty much pointless to me.

I leave my pumps and waterfalls running year round, but they can’t ice dam and divert water out of the pond. Air pumps are fine, just move the air stones to a shallower portion of the pond. I have one that runs year round I just move it to a middle depth in my pond.

I will add none of my pumps sit on the bottom of my pond, but I don’t know if that matters or not anyhow. Especially in your pind that is only 2’ deep. There is scientific evidence that most garden ponds are not deep enough to have a thermocline where the bottom water is warmer than near the surface. I never took temp readings in my ponds deepest area in the winter to find out, so either way....
 
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When it comes to feeding, I go by the instructions on the food container. It's all relative to water temperature, not air temperature. When the water temperature goes down near 50 degrees F, switch to a wheat germ only food. When it goes down to 40 F, stop feeding completely until the Spring. In the Spring, start the wheat germ food when it gets back up to 40 and when it reaches 50 you can resume growth and color food. Absolutely no food when the fish go into hibernation. That's bad. The fish cannot digest food at that point.
 

Jhn

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@poconojoe koi not digesting food during the winter is an old wives tale. Granted they may not be eating the food we feed them anymore but they still are nibbling at algae, so digestion is going on Albeit at a much slower rate than the warmer months.

I know a lot of people switch to wheat germ in fall and spring, but in 25+ years of keeping ponds I’ve never fed switched food. Never had issues with my fish either, so I never saw the benefit of really doing it.
 
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addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
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Mine get fed on a random basis in the summer, actually very little. Fall/ spring the little fat pigs live off the pond plants. I watch them eating them all winter. I don't change food. Go through very little food.
 
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