I stopped feeding the pond goldfish a week ago after the first frost.
Since then it has got warmer and fish have risen to the top of the pond.
Should I resume feeding or leave it till Spring. Also Ive taken the pump
and filter out as I have been told its safe to do so in Winter. Any
If it's a real pond you should never need to feed goldfish. But if
it's a pool then I would suggest removing those fish to indoor tanks
over a freezing winter. Those plastic pools typically freeze solid
throughout and all living creatures contained will die. Mainly
depends on your specific clime and water depth. You should consider
adding a bubbler.
Give the fish a small amount of food. If they take it, give them a
little more. When they stop eating, you stop feeding. Their metabolism
drops in cold weather; then they need less food. However, they might
still need some even through the winter. If you do continue to feed
them, then you must continue to use the pump and filter.
The public gardens where I am a docent also gets night-time frosts in
the winter. It has a large koi pond, and only the docents feed the koi.
During a cold winter, the koi might decline to take food for as long as
two weeks; but eventually they will eat.
The koi pond starts with a small cascade. Exiting the pond, there is a
stream with rapids leading into another cascade and ending in a smaller
pond. Three pumps with filters take the water from the lower pond and
return it to the upper cascade. At least one pump runs continuously (24
hours a day) even when the gardens are closed; all three pumps run when
the gardens are open. The cascades and rapids aerate the water so that
the main pond can hold more koi than a still pond. Even when they don't
eat, the koi still excrete metabolic wastes, which the filters remove.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
Goldfish are cold blooded and have no stomachs. The problem then is that
the food slows down as it is passing through the digestive system and
rots. There is little reason to feed them if they are sluggish and not
active. The Koi groups typically list 50F as the food cut off point.
The bio filtration is to keep the ammonia and the nitrites down. If
there is little new waste, then the need falls. You can test.
Bubbling is to add oxygen. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold, one
of the reasons why the polar regions have a wealth of life. You can also
test. Oxygen depletion deaths are largely hot weather phenomena and
usually at nighttime when plants are out gassing C02.
The tendency for most people is to have a lot of goldfish, natural would
be more like 100 gallons per fish, where the pond system can balance
You'll want to keep a hole in the ice to release trapped gasses, a
bubbler will help.
I realize that goldfish are a man made domestication and created out of
carp (The Romans first farmed them, the Chinese took it up and then bred
the gold (yellow) mutations) and it is normal to have a very controlled
environment for them. My take is somewhat different, they are very
social creatures and naturally live as a group, this social grouping
breaks down as population density rises to the level of a fish ghetto.
Keep the population down and nature will take care of the rest.
With all that said, I'm a goldfish newbie with my 600 gallon pond, so
take what I say with some reservations. Those are all common types
(including comet and shubunkin) aren't they? Rules for fancy types are
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