Over-wintering pond fish
The metabolism of
koi and goldfish is controlled primarily by water temperature. As the
water cools, pond fish require less protein in their diet. When koi
and goldfish are fed high-protein food in cool water, the excess
protein is excreted as ammonia from the gills. The microscopic
organisms that make up the biological filter (and consume ammonia)
also slow down in cooler water.
seasonal feeding can lead to a build-up of toxic ammonia, which
stresses fish and reduces their winter survivability. When the water
temperature drops to approximately 65° F, start feeding with
Spring & Autumn Pond Food.
This type of
fish food is better suited for the dietary requirements of pond fish
in cool water and won’t pollute the water with excess ammonia. Some
water gardeners continue to feed their fish until they no longer come
to the surface. I stop feeding my pond fish when the water falls below
There is no need
to worry about "frozen fish" if a section of the pond is at least 18
inches deep. Pond fish will seek the deepest part of the pond and
over-winter there until the water warms in the spring. If your pond is
less than 18 inches deep, the fish may freeze during a harsh winter.
Check with your local pond supplier if you live in an area with harsh