As someone who has never owned a pond and is rather novice at telling my koi from my carp, I’ve learned from my pond-owning customers that pond keeping is more interesting than it looks (and quite addictive too).
A number of pond enthusiasts have been to my store and passed on knowledge that can give surprisingly welcome results for other hobbyists. I decided to write a piece and share my new-found wisdom…
The activity levels and metabolism of pond fish are controlled by temperature (which makes them cold-blooded creatures). During the summer months when it’s nice and warm, pond fish are more active and because their metabolism is faster, they tend to be hungrier than usual. At this time of year they do most of their growing and need food that is higher in energy and protein. They also start to build up their fat stores in preparation for the winter during this time.
Feeds that contain spirulina (which is a naturally occurring algae) are commonly fed during the spring and summer to enhance colour after pond fish have faded during the winter. A pond stocked with healthy, vibrant fish is a great achievement, especially for keen hobbyists! According to the enthusiasts, the best way to feed your pond fish is little and often, giving them an opportunity to graze rather than one big meal. This also gives your fish the opportunity to eat the food while it’s fresh, before it sinks to the bottom of the pond where it can decay if not eaten. Plus, you can regulate how much they’re eating.
Having had some light shed on the subject, I compared a couple of brands to see what the protein levels are. For keepers of many varieties, Tetra produce some high protein feeds; their variety mix coming in at 31% protein. Meanwhile, Great&Small pond pellets contain 32% protein.
Koi keepers might be pleased to know that both Tetra and Great&Small have some high protein feeds designed to feed to koi, Tetra koi sticks offering 31% and Great&Small koi sticks containing 30% protein.