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Is it OK to continue feeding my fish summer food and just feed them less?
Ask Our Pond Experts
Ask Our Pond Experts

Is it OK to continue feeding my fish summer food and just feed them less?

Asked By: Don of Livingston, TN

A: We don’t recommend feeding koi summer food during the cool fall weather due to their temperamental digestive systems. To stay well and happy, they need specific types of food at different times of the year. Switching to spring and fall koi food is the best way to maintain fish wellness through winter.

Summer Versus Fall Koi Food

As water temperatures cool, koi gear up to enter a type of winter hibernation called torpor. As their metabolisms slow down, they need a diet that's easy for them to digest. Low-protein fish food rich in complex carbs, like our Spring and Fall Fish Food, contains the essential nutrients needed for winter without weighing them down.

We recommend providing food made with wheat germ for koi fish when water temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, fish require protein to grow and gain weight. But in the fall and spring, they transition between fasting and feasting and lack some digestive enzymes, so they'll need something gentle on their metabolisms.

Feed Koi Less in the Cold

As water temperatures start to drop, it's a good idea to give your fish less food. They will slow digestion and produce less waste, which helps maintain good water quality. While they naturally cut calories in the cold, you can still enjoy bonding with them through hand-fed treats.

Wheat germ is the best food for koi fish in the fall, but you can give your finned pals low-protein treats in moderation. Toss them some cereals, like oatmeal or brown rice, and vegetables, like carrots or frozen peas. Just ensure you skim out any uneaten scraps when they are done snacking.

Stop Feeding Koi at 40 Degrees

As soon as water temperatures consistently read below 40 degrees Fahrenheit on your pond thermometer, remember to stop feeding your fish for the winter. Don't worry: They won't starve. Your fish will live off the fat reserves it added in the summer, giving its digestive system a break.

Explore More Cold-Weather Koi Feeding Tips

Still curious about what to feed your koi fish on chilly days? Contact us online or by phone at 866-766-3435, or check out these related articles:

Choosing Pond Fish Food
Can Koi Eat Goldfish Food
Hand Feeding Koi Fish
Can I Start Feeding My Koi
Do Koi Sleep?

Last Updated: June 26, 2024