Worried about my fin kids

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by AngelaM, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan
    My pond has only been up about three months. I do have algae growth started on the walls, floor and rocks. I'm worried is this going to be enough for the fish to eat when the pond freezes over? I've stopped feeding them a few days ago but I feel bad. They love their breakfast but once the water hit 55 degrees I stopped feeding. Should I have just fed them less and less every day and weaned them off of food instead?
     
    AngelaM, Oct 31, 2017
    #1
    CometKeith likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. AngelaM

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    As the water temp goes down, so too does your fish's metabolism. They require less as that's the way they're designed to survive. You can still feed them as long as they appear to be eating, but sparingly. Any food not eaten in a five minute span should be taken out of your pond. It's natural to worry, esp the first winter, but fish have been doing this for a lot longer than any of us have been alive. Once the water temp (not air temp) hits 50, I stop feeding altogether. If you can see algae on the sides and rocks, it should be enough.

    As long as light can penetrate the surface of your pond, the algae gets what it needs to keep on reproducing. Hence why it's a good idea to shovel any snow off the ice after it forms, but that's to keep ideal winter conditions. Even this isn't necessary as long as your fish load is low, your organic debris at the bottom of your pond is light, and a hole is maintained for any gases to escape.

    Hope this sets your mind at ease.

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Oct 31, 2017
    #2
    qclabrat and AngelaM like this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. AngelaM

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    7,332
    Location:
    Northern IL
    I keep feeding my fish as long as they are still interested in eating. The water temp is just a guide, not an absolute.

    Having said that - some years our fish have stopped eating in mid-October and we haven't started feeding again until almost May. Other years they continue eating longer and start eating earlier in spring. My point is - they can survive for long periods without food. That's how they are designed. If you do have algae growing in your pond, they may graze on it. We have found in spring algae starts growing before the ice is even off the pond. And oddly our fish always grow over winter... on what, I have no idea!
     
    Lisak1, Oct 31, 2017
    #3
    qclabrat, AngelaM and Meyer Jordan like this.
  4. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    31,037
    Likes Received:
    14,149
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    fall and winter food can be fed at lower temps. but care must be taken feeding them when they do not eat the food and some is left .It has to be removed .
     
    sissy, Oct 31, 2017
    #4
    AngelaM and Meyer Jordan like this.
  5. AngelaM

    Faebinder

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,173
    Likes Received:
    649
    Location:
    Hershey, PA
    Don't worry... winter is coming... you'll grow algae well in winter.
     
    Faebinder, Nov 1, 2017
    #5
    AngelaM likes this.
  6. AngelaM

    CometKeith

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    2,705
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Your fish don't need to be fed by you in the winter. If they are really hungry they can order a pizza....just kidding. Actually food is bad for them below 50 degrees and will make them sick. If they need to nibble a little the algae in the pond is fine for them.
     
    CometKeith, Nov 2, 2017
    #6
  7. AngelaM

    AngelaM

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's what I was thinking! I always graze more in the winter so I figured they would too! LOL
     
    AngelaM, Nov 2, 2017
    #7
  8. AngelaM

    Gemma

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,304
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    I was worried too the first couple of years, then I realized there was no reason for me to worry, I learned to stop feeding when fish showed little interest in food and just watched them slow down gradually as it got colder, then sink at the bottom, by then the pond would be covered with ice and snow, and I couldn't even see the fish anymore, but I knew if I kept the hole in the ice open, the fish would be ok....and so after the first couple of winters, I stopped worrying
    ....til now! I don't know what's different this year, but I'm feeling so concerned over things I never even thought of in 15yrs that I have the pond.
    things like should I cover the pond or not ...should I raise the air line or leave it as I always have etc.

    I know I'm going to miss my fish this winter, like I've never missed them before....but why? smdunno.gif
     
    Gemma, Nov 4, 2017
    #8
    AngelaM likes this.
  9. AngelaM

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    gemma; and your fish are thinking...

    what's wrong with her this year?
    she used to be so compliant...
    and she never bothered us after the leaves started falling...
    she didn't pace back and forth by the pond edge all the time...
    she allowed us to not worry about her ALL winter but not this year! What's up with that?
    And she didn't make us eat all those store bought pellets so late in the year...
    she used to leave the air stream just where we LIKED it!
    And what's with all the talk about the new ceiling? We LIKED seeing all them fluffy clouds and falling snow!
    and now she's thinking we can't take care of ourselves? Sheesh, been doing it all our lives!
    we're gonna miss her when she drives herself crazy this winter worrying about us...
    maybe she'll go worry about the chickens if we tell her the eggs are coming out oblong...
    or that the nest boxes are 2" too high...
    she needs a winter hobby...
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    brokensword, Nov 4, 2017
    #9
    AngelaM, Jimmy Gibson and Gemma like this.
  10. AngelaM

    Gemma

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,304
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Lol you sure have a way with words @brokensword smlaughing4.gif Thanks, I needed that!:)
     
    Gemma, Nov 4, 2017
    #10
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.