December 21, 2005

My first winter with fish

Q.>
I built a 1,000 gal pond last autumn and added goldfish in the spring. I have a bio filter box which keeps the pond clear and have had to net it to stop the herons.

My question is --- I live just north of Manchester in England, we very rarely get prolonged frosts and the temperature goes up and down at regular intervals. I understand not to feed the fish below 4C and it takes a few days for food to pass through the fish system, I have 15 goldfish, no koi. Should I feed in the winter if the temperatures are above 4C forecasted for a length of time or should I not feed at all until the spring?

I have not fed them for a week now as we have had a few days frost.

I have learned a lot from you Q & A - thank you

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A.>
As for feeding, when you say you do not feed below 4C, I believe that equates to 38F, but I don't really know. You should not feed the fish anything below 50F. The reason for this is that the fish's metabolism slows down at these temperatures and the food will not be processed adequately, not expelled timely. It therefore can become septic and kill the fish. It is important that you are using the water temperatures and not air temperatures because there can be a big difference. Generally the water will be warmer by a few degrees. My advice? I recommend no feeding during times of fluctuating temperatures and if that means the entire winter, so be it. The fish will be fine.

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Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at December 21, 2005 02:18 PM
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