When should I stop feeding pond fish?

When should you stop feeding pond fish in Knoxville Tennessee?  This is a question we get quite often in the Fall and Early Winter.  The days are growing shorter and the temperatures lower.   These two factors can greatly affect the health of your pond fish.


Let me start by explaining why you should not feed your fish in the winter. As the water cools in the Autumn, the metabolism of pond fish starts to slow down.  During the coldest part of Winter the fish will not be very active, often sitting in one place on the bottom in groups.  As their metabolism slows down, so does their ability to digest food.  If they feed during this time, the food can sit undigested in their stomachs and rot.  This can cause harm to the fish or even kill them.

It’s best to use a thermometer in the pond to determine when to start reducing feeding, and ultimately stop feeding for the Winter.  As the water cools into the 50’s it’s time to start reducing the amount you feed your fish, or switch to a Cold Water Fish Food.  Once the water temperature reaches 50 it’s time to stop feeding them.  Don’t worry they’ll eat algae and other available food if they get hungry.

We recommend Aquascape Fish Food.  All Aquascape fish foods contain probiotics that aid in digestion, optimize growth rates and reduce fish waste. Quality ingredients, including multivitamins and stabilized vitamin C, provide superior nutrition and will not pollute pond water. Aquascape fish foods are scientifically formulated to provide all pond fish, including koi and goldfish with premium qualtiy nutrition.


The other side of the coin, is when do you start to feed the fish again in the Spring.  As the water temperature gets into the 50’s consistently you can slowly start feeding again.  Be careful not to start to fast since we tend to have several false Springs in East Tennessee that can make you think the real thing is here.

Once the temperatures are on the rise it’s a good idea to pay some extra attention to your fish.  The reason for this is that their metabolism and immune systems are slow to wake up and they are more susceptible to parasites and diseases.  Also during this time if they eat more than they can digest it could cause problems, so be patient and let their systems wake up fully before feeding them too much.

Here are a couple of other timely posts to help you care for your Fish and Water Garden in the Winter.

Do I Need To Aerate My Pond?

Cold Weather Pond Care