I’m glad you asked this question. Many people worry about feeding their fish too often or not enough. Did you know that if you start feeding your fish while the water is too cold, it can harm them too?

I suggest you stop feeding your fish while the water temperature is below 42ºf. I don’t like to feed my fish below that temperature because their metabolism is slowed by the cold weather. This is basically a form of hibernation the fish put themselves in. Don’t worry; your fish will survive on the fat they built up over the summer months.

Since their metabolism is so slow in cold water, any food you give them will not be digested in time and can lead to blocked intestines. Do yourself, and your fish a favor and let them fast until the weather gets warmer.

Some manufacturers will say you can start feeding your fish while the water temperature is in the high 30’s. I personally don’t agree with this advice because I just don’t feel it’s safe to go that low.

One thing to keep in mind is that the water temperature should be at a stable 42ºf or higher and does not run the risk of falling below that temperature for the next several days. I recommend keeping a thermometer in your pond at all times to help you keep an eye on the water temperatures throughout the year. Be sure to also monitor your water quality, mainly nitrites, ammonia, and oxygen levels with a test kit. I suggest reliable liquid test kits to do this. Your fish will digest their food better in healthy water, and they’ll have more energy too.

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