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My fish are looking for food. Can I feed them now? What kind of food do I give them?
ASKED BY: Rick of Great Falls, MT
ASKED BY: Rick of Great Falls, MT

My fish are looking for food. Can I feed them now? What kind of food do I give them?

A: Fish sure seem to know when spring is on its way. This time of year, your Koi and goldfish that have been hibernating over the winter are beginning to waking up. Your fish may be moving slow, but they're hungry and looking for food.

Slow Eaters
When water temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months, your fishes' metabolisms slows down. They enter into a hibernation-type state, during which time they require little or no food. They literally live off the fat stores in their body.

As the water temperature rises above 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the spring, the fish start moving. Their metabolisms turn back on, and they need food to fuel their increased activity. To transition the fish from no food to daily food, fish experts recommend feeding a wheat germ-based diet when water temperatures are consistently between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A spring and fall or wheatgerm based diet like The Pond Guy Spring & Fall, Hikari WheatGerm, or API Cool Water fish food that is quickly and easily digested by the fish.

Summertime Bounty
In the warmer months when your water temperature tops 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can continue to feed the wheat germ-based diets, or you can choose to gradually re-introduce protein-based diets that help the fish grow quickly and show off their colors. Here's what we recommend:

Choose the diet that best fits in with your goals for the fish. If you're not interested in growing your Kohaku into show-quality specimens, for instance, stick to the everyday or color enhancement diet.

Word of Warning
The weather may be warming up, but make sure the water temperatures are at a consistent 40 degrees before you start feeding your fish. Feeding them before they're able to properly digest the food can lead to issues.