Your first winter as a novice fish keeper,"the long slow decline in temperature begins".


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If this is your first ever winter as a novice fish keeper you should have by now cleared the bottom of your pond aof dead leaves and detitus .
As if by magic with the clocks going back here in the UK the nights have started to grow longer and colder than the mild tme weve all been having lately [I'm unsure about the US, just reporting what eve observed here], as such we re starting to take a dip in temperature loosing
In response to the longer night we have shed approximately Ic
As the nights grow longer and colder we should shed a futher 4c to 5c between now and January but our insulated policarbonate roofing sheets sitting above our pond should keep out all but the coldest temperatures .
By that time we expect the temperature on the pond to drop to between 9c to to 7c .
As we drop to and then passed 10c then our feeding regieme will stop having allready dropped passed 10C.
For any first time keepers on your first ever winter the thought of not feeding your fish may be worrying but as the winter progesses the koi or goldfishes metabolizms will be slowky shutting down to the pint that we stop feeding again till the spring.
Again for those on your first ever winter this also neccessitates a change in their food, we change from their summer feed to winter feed around th start of October to feeding our koi Wheatgerm and garlic untill the 10c cut off .
Why must we stop feeding at 10c ?
Both Goldfish and koi are members of the Cyprinid species of fish and as such do not possess a stomach and instead process their food through their intestine, so as the temperature keeps dropping it is vitally mportant that no food is left in the intestine least it start to rot which could ebdanger your Koi/Goldfishes life which obviously we dont want.
Should your pond temperature continue to drop past 10c to in some cases for ponds without covers around 2c your fish are nearer to being dead than alive but as long as your pond is deep enough to survive a freeze I can asure you that your fish will survive in a torpid state until your pond temperaure creeps back up again.
You must remember however to maintain a hole in the ice so that as the ammonia builds it can gas off which is vitally imprtant .
After the temperature rises in the spring to above 10c [ give it a few eeks to stablize ] you can then begin feeding your fish again .
Continue with the wheatgerm and garlic to late spring early summer when you need switch to a food with a higher protien .
Why feed wheatgerm and garlic well for one it is easily digestable two it goes along way to protecting your fish from any parasites
I hope this goes part way to helping the novice help his/her fish survive "good luck".

Dave
 
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Good advice Dave.
Here in the Midlands the fish are becoming more lethargic, and slowing down. They aren't coming up for food as eagerly as they did through the summer and aren't eating as much.
The lilies have all died back - so I've removed the decaying pads and stems.
At least in the UK we don't get the extreme cold and snow that some of our friends have to put up with.
Chris
 
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Good advice Dave.
Here in the Midlands the fish are becoming more lethargic, and slowing down. They aren't coming up for food as eagerly as they did through the summer and aren't eating as much.
The lilies have all died back - so I've removed the decaying pads and stems.
At least in the UK we don't get the extreme cold and snow that some of our friends have to put up with.
Chris
Thanx Chris
That may be true nowadays here in the UK Chris but I've seen it as low as -15c here in Plymouth before now last year we had a serious cold snap
I'd say on average since we moved to our present address back in 1990 it has gotten warmer by a good few degrees .
However the policarbonate sheets will remain over the pond until next spring now whatever the weather and I wont be tempted to take them off even if its quite mild "you never kow just whats arround the corner..
Look at all the storms we had a few years back we here in Plymouth got repeated maulings as did the south east with all the flooding.
It in reality depends just where the Jet stream sits at any given time durng both the summer and or winter .
But you saying its good sound advice has made me think this will make a good article that any novice joining us can see in the articles section and read

Dave
 
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