fish food


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I have ten two inch goldfish in a brand-new pond. How do I know how much food to feed them?
 
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We are also new to ponding/koi-keeping and had the same question. We had a surprisingly hard time getting a straight answer. The best answer we got was when a koi keeper in our area told us to feed them as much as they would eat in about 5 minutes (theoretically this would work for any size pond/any number of fish). This was not easy at first as the fish were shy and nervous, we were trying to scoop out uneaten food, and with a skimmer it was a challenge to even leave the food available to them for 5 minutes. We rigged up a feeding ring which helped tremendously. I don't know if you have aerators or waterfalls but the feeding ring has the added bonus of acting as a 'lens' through which we can get a good, unobstructed look at them also. I am curious to see what answers more experienced people have.
 

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I have ten two inch goldfish in a brand-new pond. How do I know how much food to feed them?
Is your pond cycled because you mentioned it is brand-new. How large is the pond? If it is a smaller size and uncycled I would not feed them anything, for now, until you get your water parameters under control. Please let us know so we can help.
 
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We are also new to ponding/koi-keeping and had the same question. We had a surprisingly hard time getting a straight answer. The best answer we got was when a koi keeper in our area told us to feed them as much as they would eat in about 5 minutes (theoretically this would work for any size pond/any number of fish). This was not easy at first as the fish were shy and nervous, we were trying to scoop out uneaten food, and with a skimmer it was a challenge to even leave the food available to them for 5 minutes. We rigged up a feeding ring which helped tremendously. I don't know if you have aerators or waterfalls but the feeding ring has the added bonus of acting as a 'lens' through which we can get a good, unobstructed look at them also. I am curious to see what answers more experienced people have.
I always cringe when 'they' say feed what can be consumed in 5 minutes. How often? And, five minutes is a long time for hungry fish. Just to make me sleep better, (and who wouldn't want me to have a good nights sleep? :)) contrary to popular belief, fish don't always need to be fed two times a day. I realize it is often found on the label of some foods. In nature, the 'Food Fairy ' doesn't drop by and feed the fish two or three times per day. Many factors are in motion: Water temperature, bioload, time of year, age of the fish (adult vs juvenile) and water freshening via bog filtration, partial water exchanges or whatever. It takes time to learn the rules of thumb about when to start feeding in the spring, when to back off in the peak of summer and when to begin getting things ready for fall and winter. It is so good and refreshing, that you both are seeking the 'lessons learned' from members of this site. You have come to the right place for assistance. Welcome!
 
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Jhn

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To add on to @Stephen Noble advice, goldfish can get away without be8ng fed at all in an established pond and will be fine…. even koi in an established pond can be fed occasionally (As in days between feedings).

I pretty much toss food in until the feeding frenzy settles down…usually less than 5 minutes. I feed my fish once a day at most this summer, the whole you have to feed your fish multiple times a day especially koi is a bunch of crap…maybe if you want to maximize their size ( not what I want to do) but other than that meh , there are some summers I fed them once a week or so, they did find fending for themselves. If I strictly had goldfish wouldn’t bother feeding them at all.
 
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I also feed once a day until the frenzy stops and then maybe a few more pellets. You can see them shift from “I must get all this food” to “oh, food, maybe I’ll swim after it”. It takes nowhere near 5 minutes. More like 30 seconds.
 
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“I must get all this food” to “oh, food, maybe I’ll swim after it”.

100% this. Spend time getting to know your fish. Ours start out with the frenzy and very quickly move to the slow graze, drop down, grab some algae, sniff around a bit more, snag another pellet or two... Some fish are aggressive eaters, others are more of the hang back and wait type. When you have time to watch them eat you get used to who the little piggies are and which ones were raised better. Haha!

Once you've learned their eating style you can do the quick drive by feed when you need to - or just skip it all together. Sometimes we feed twice a day, sometimes we forget. Sometimes the grandkids are over for the weekend and it's an ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAS BUFFET! the beauty of pond fish is they will never go hungry in an established pond - there's always something delicious floating, growing or landing on the water for them to nibble on.
 
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Thanks for the post. I know exactly how much to feed my aquarium fish as I've been keeping African Cichlids for 40 years. Once every other day so they consume most of the food in 5 minutes. The only thing I know about gold fish is my Africans love them- to eat. I'm sucking up whatever people say about feeding them in a pond setting. I KNOW cycling though and how important it is to the water quality.
 
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I always cringe when 'they' say feed what can be consumed in 5 minutes. How often? And, five minutes is a long time for hungry fish. Just to make me sleep better, (and who wouldn't want me to have a good nights sleep? :)) contrary to popular belief, fish don't always need to be fed two times a day. I realize it is often found on the label of some foods. In nature, the 'Food Fairy ' doesn't drop by and feed the fish two or three times per day. Many factors are in motion: Water temperature, bioload, time of year, age of the fish (adult vs juvenile) and water freshening via bog filtration, partial water exchanges or whatever. It takes time to learn the rules of thumb about when to start feeding in the spring, when to back off in the peak of summer and when to begin getting things ready for fall and winter. It is so good and refreshing, that you both are seeking the 'lessons learned' from members of this site. You have come to the right place for assistance. Welcome!
Thank you for your many words of wisdom. I have never had fish before but it sure is fun.
 
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100% this. Spend time getting to know your fish. Ours start out with the frenzy and very quickly move to the slow graze, drop down, grab some algae, sniff around a bit more, snag another pellet or two... Some fish are aggressive eaters, others are more of the hang back and wait type. When you have time to watch them eat you get used to who the little piggies are and which ones were raised better. Haha!

Once you've learned their eating style you can do the quick drive by feed when you need to - or just skip it all together. Sometimes we feed twice a day, sometimes we forget. Sometimes the grandkids are over for the weekend and it's an ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAS BUFFET! the beauty of pond fish is they will never go hungry in an established pond - there's always something delicious floating, growing or landing on the water for them to nibble on.
I just got a chair for my screened in porch so I can see the pond and watch the fish. It should be fun to get to know the fish. Thanks for your input.
 
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Thanks for all your good information about feeding my fish. I think maybe I was over feeding and I may cut back a bit. I hope I am not putting them on a diet.
 
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Skip multiple days of feeding if the pond is not cycled. You can potentially kill them with ammonia i would even suggest frequent water changes if the pond is not cycled. It's hard to hold off till the pond cycles and can tolerate food. The answer depends on whether you got plants and a bog or a filter in general.


Whats the volume of the pond?
 
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Feeding seems to be more about pleasing the owner, than the fish. I skipped feeding for the entirety of 2020 - fish did just fine. But they rarely showed me any interest when I was near. This year I went back to morning and evening light feedings and they swarm the edge of the pond when I approach like it's the ice cream truck. Even my little dog stands at my feet to eat any pellets I inadvertently drop on the ground...
 

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