“When can I start feeding my koi or pond fish again?” is a question we are asked almost daily this time of year. We understand why, too! Your pond has either been cleaned or turned on for the spring, the fish are becoming more and more active almost begging for food. You can’t wait to interact with your friends who have been hibernating all year.
When is the right time?
As you can imagine, your koi and pond fish “telling” you they are hungry doesn’t mean its the right time to feed them. The right time to start feeding your koi revolves around one thing: WATER TEMPERATURE. We recommend commencing feeding at 55 degrees F. Even though the water temp may be ok at 55, we still recommend only feeding once a day and quite possibly a lower protein food. Once the water temp is above 70, it's game on with the feeding frenzy! There are many opinions to this, but we feel it’s better to be safe than sorry and there is plenty for your koi and pond fish friends to snack on while we are waiting for the water to warm up.
Here’s a quick why: Fish metabolize protein at warmer water temperatures and will eventually lose the ability to metabolize protein at lower temperatures. If protein is digested at lower water temperatures the food may get stuck in the gut causing sickness in the fish which could ultimately cause the fish to die.
But...they look so hungry!
It’s the end of March beginning of a April the water temperature is still fairly chilly, but we get a string of 70-80 degree weather. Our fish begin swimming around like they are in the Kentucky Derby, having fun and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. They greet you at the pond edge begging for some food. We enjoy feeding them as much as they enjoy the food we throw out at them. BUT we know we shouldn’t, the water temperature just isn’t quite there.
What are we going to do? We really want to feed our fish. CHEERIOS (Honey Nut seems to be their favorite)! Throw them some cheerios. This is safe and a great way to enjoy those warm early spring spells.
A Frog’s Dream Aquatic Services is offering this pond information as a personal information source to our website visitors. Pond services are performed in Morris County New Jersey (NJ) Hunterdon County New Jersey (NJ) Somerset County (NJ) and Warren County (NJ). Fish and Koi Pond Construction, Streams and Waterfalls, and Fountains are all in our wheelhouse of talent. Explore our website for more ideas. Like our Facebook page for daily inspiration. Receive #TheWeeklyRibbit for weekly water feature tips and a fun video.
4/10/2019 07:45:18 pm
Thank you for all the info. Wasn't sure about when to start feeding my Koi. Two years ago had 13 babies. Last year I think they eat all the eggs. Hope for some more this year.
3/24/2020 05:27:57 pm
Hi Clay! Great to see you looking healthy and happy with this crazy pandemic going on. Glad to have "Weekly Ribbit" starting up again! Looking forward to seeing you all! Hope you and your family are well.
5/2/2020 08:14:03 pm
Great info thank you
3/6/2022 07:50:04 pm
thanks, I have 7 CHOI they are 2yrs old & very big, they have been hibernating all winter in my 600 gal. pond, they are all alive now & look hungery, thanks for your tips, P.K.
3/17/2022 06:16:57 pm
Thanks for info....I have 10,000 gal pond, 4ft deep.. at least 20 big koi...hope Heron doesn't come back..my husband died 1 2/2 ago and now I'm trying to wing it taking care of the pond...there are probably at least 200 babies...and here we go again this summer....with more....in Seattle area...too cold to feed em but they are surfacing....but they will have to wait...learning about filters, pump...power outages...waterfall maintenance,etc....lots of fun...will check out your website often...thank you...
10/24/2022 05:10:33 am
Available both record still stay. Once according production now improve.
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Over the last 18 years, Clay has been involved in landscaping and aquascaping, which led him to his passion, POND BUILDING and opening A Frog’s Dream in 2006. His true passion is to create works of art for others to enjoy and marvel at in the privacy of their own backyards.