As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter our fish’s metabolism will be slowing down and we will we need to make a few changes to our maintenance and feeding practices.
Feeding can be reduced to daily rather than, twice or three times daily. The quantity that your fish consume may also be less compared to what they were consuming during the warm summer months.
Switch to wheatgerm fish food. It is the ideal to feed for your fish in winter. It can be given at temperatures down to 6°c.
It is a food source rich in complex fats, vitamins and minerals. It also contains slow releasing carbohydrates. These are the essential elements that your fish need in there diet to remain fit and healthy during winter.
You may also decide to install a pond heater.
It will protect your fish from extremely low damaging temperatures.
Technically they may survive such an experience but make no mistake exposing your fish to near freezing conditions is doing them no good whatsoever.
A heater will protect your pump, uv, filter system and pipework from ice damage.
I remember how many customers had to make expensive repairs after the bad December we had in 2010.
Even during a typical British winter the ever changing weather causes fluctuations in pond temperatures that gradually weaken the fish and leave them susceptible to a multitude of problems.
Don’t stop with your water changes and keep testing he pH.
A common problem that can occur with pH is that it suddenly drops and forms a strong acid. This is referred to as a pH crash. It can happen very quickly and often results in the mysterious death of your fish.
pH crash often occurs during the winter months when the pond is being topped up by heavy rainfall. Rainwater is soft in nature and lacks the necessary minerals. In general using rain water to keep a pond topped up is not a good practice for this reason.
To prevent the pH from crashing we need to maintain a level of carbonate hardness by adding treatments of KH buffer directly to the water and using Oyster shells in the filter.
Oyster shells slowly dissolve if the water is acidic and raise the buffering capacity.
Here is a voucher for you to save 20% on KH buffer. Just print it out or show your phone at the till.
During the winter we will be offering free pH and KH testing at the store. pH crash can have devastating consequences, but it is easy to remedy and prevent.
If you would like to know more watch the YouTube I made a few years ago it has a lot of useful tips about how you can avoid problems associated with winter.