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.
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.
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:
- For your regular everyday diet: CrystalClear Staple Fish Food or TetraPond Variety Blend, which is nutritionally balanced diet that contains digestive enzymes and amino acids.
- For color enhancement and growth: The Pond Guy Growth & Vibrance or TetraPond Koi Vibrance Fish Foods each contain ingredients designed to enhance your Koi's reds, deepen their black and highlight their whites.
- For rapid growth and show quality Koi: CrystalClear Platinum Fish Food or Hikari Hi-Growth Fish Food that is formulated to help your Koi develop strong bones and muscles during the growing season.
- For tasty treats: Hikari Silkworm Selects is packed with flavor that even the most finicky eaters will love. Mix Hikari Silkworm Select with a daily Koi diet or use as a treat anytime during the growing season to add weight or improve sheen and luster for beautiful, show-stopping Koi.
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.