Pond fish feeding
Fish feeding is often seen as nothing more than entertainment by many pond owners because feeding fish really is fun. But food is not only fun. It also serves to influence such factors as growth and the resistance against disease. And just as fish can be as different as a cat is to a cow, their feeding demands are equally different! Predatory fish, such as trout or perch, need food based on (fish) meat, whereas partly plant oriented omnivores, such as goldfish or koi, need a higher plant content in their food. Do not forget that commercial trout or carb farming food is created to build up as much fish biomass as possible in the shortest possible time (age of slaughtering), whereas in the garden pond more importance is attached to a continuous and slower growth for a long fish life. Nobody wants to slaughter their expensive koi carps after 2 years just to eat them.
However what is often overlooked in the garden pond especially, is the required quantity of food. Exemplary calculations and numerous tests about maintenance metabolism have shown quite clearly that many garden pond owners do not feed enough for fear of algae growth. A koi pond with 20 koi carps of 40 cm needs 600 g food per day (!) in the summer months.
If you feed something like trout farming food (mostly brown pellets in transparent large bags for little money) to goldfish and koi, this is like putting cows on a meat diet. The animals grow fast but they can’t process the food correctly and become susceptible to diseases. The missing extensive digestion of the food and its consequent excretion can lead to higher water pollution. Moreover a fatty degeneration of the liver occurs, which can sometimes be recognised by a very round body shape. Juveniles: Small fish need, in contrast to larger fish, smaller food, if only due to the smaller mouth size. Because smaller goldfish and koi grow stronger than the big ones (fish grow throughout their life time) their food composition also has to be appropriately adapted to that.
What should you do when you keep different fish species and sizes in ONE pond?
In this case – and this does happen a lot - you should feed different food sizes. The fish will pick out the food which fits best in their mouth, which they physiologically require, and which tastes best.
Do sturgeons require special food?
Yes, because sturgeons are small animal eaters, who search for food on the bottom. For these fascinating fish JBL ProPond sterlet has been developed in three granulate sizes ( JBL ProPond Sterlet S / JBL ProPond Sterlet M / JBL ProPond Sterlet L ).
How do you recognize the quality of a pond fish food?
The protein/fat ratio is, according to scientists, crucial for pond fish and is at about 4:1 (except in the winter; here a low protein food, such as JBL ProPond winter is preferable). A quick look at the label and a couple of easy sums will quickly show you what protein/fat ratio is in the food.
Should you also feed pond fish in winter?
Even when the water temperature sinks under 15 °C the fish are still active. Activity means energy consumption, which needs to be fed back to the fish. For this purpose JBL has developed a special low temperature food (JBL ProPond winter ). The composition of this food is such that the food is easy to digest and doesn’t affect the digestive tract, because in low temperatures the digestion process works very slowly.
The JBL ProPond concept with its NEO index not only takes the water temperature into account, but also the season and the size and requirements of the pond fish. You will find more information here: ProPond® / NEO Index®