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Year Round Care

Taking care of fish is an year-round job so it’s a good idea to know how to take care of your fish in different water temperatures throughout the year.

In January and February your fish are living on stored food that they’ve kept on reserve in their bodies. Allow them to rest and do not feed them. Even if there is a warm day here and there, you should not feed them until the water temperature reaches and has stabilized at 50 degrees Fahrenheit because the slow metabolism of the fish can’t handle digesting food. Don’t let your pond completely ice over to allow the exchange of gas. Do not break ice because this can cause extreme stress or death to your fish.

During March, provide additional aeration in the water if you see your fish coming to the surface often. Fish will remember where they’re fed so if you see them gathering there then feed them, but lightly. Avoid high protein foods. If you pond has been covered, remove the cover on sunny days. If you plan on draining the pond for spring cleaning, be sure to carefully move and keep your fish in a proper holding tank. Keep them out of direct sunlight and treat the water with a Stress Coat and/or salt product to relieve stress.

In the months of April and May, your fish may be more susceptible to parasites due to temperature changes. Keep an eye on your fish to watch out for suspicious signs. Temperature changes will also promote spawning. Chasing or bumping into each other isn’t fighting, but part of normal mating rituals. If you want fry, netting them and keeping them in an aquarium until they’re big enough to survive on their own may be in your best interest. Begin feeding protein food at this time in the year.

Periods of heat or rain in the month of June may affect the water quality. Be ready to provide additional aeration to the pond if you notice fish surfacing to the top and chomping for air. When feeding, only feed the fish what they’ll eat in five minutes. The food should be high in protein at this time. Add in salad greens or celery to supplement their diet.

More so in July and August, oxygen depletion can occur. Constantly keep an eye on the behavior of your fish for odd behavior. Spraying the top of the pond with some cold water from the hose will help to lower the temperature as well as aerate the pond. Feed the fish as needed.

September and October are the months to move any fish that are sensitive to cold weather indoors. Decrease feeding as the temperature lowers and the fish slow down. Feeding should taper down to every two to three days by the end of October. Replace the high protein food with wheat germ varieties. If the water temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during this time, stop feeding all together. Keep the pond clean of fallen leaves and dying vegetation.

During the colder months of November and December, keep the feeding down to once weekly until the water temperature gets back up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit once more. If you keep the pump running through winter, raise it within a foot of the pond’s surface to prevent overcooling of the lower water. Don’t let the pond ice over completely.

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