You’ve seen the options on the store shelves. There are flakes and pellets, and brand after brand to tempt you. You wonder whether it really matters. Is choosing a fish food about the same as choosing a toothpaste?
The answer is no – all pond fish food is most definitely not created equal, and there are some things you’ll need to consider before choosing one. Here’s a quick guide to why the type of food you choose matters, and if you have questions about what’s right for your pond, our pond shop professionals are available to answer them.
Choose High Quality
Just like us, fish need proper nutrition to survive and thrive. Could you live on fast food burgers for a while? Sure, but your health would certainly suffer, your skin and hair might lose their luster and your energy level will take a hit. You need a certain balance of vitamins and nutrients, fats and proteins, to look, feel and perform your best.
When it comes to your fish, you don’t want to feed them the “fast food burger” of fish foods. That means choosing a high quality brand that is scientifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your fish. Quality ingredients and vitamins will not only provide better nutrition but they’ll actually help keep your pond water cleaner than a low-quality counterpart that shreds, decays and pollutes the environment.
Good food includes ingredients that produce good bacteria to aid in digestion while eliminating bad bacteria that can cause health problems. It is also highly digestible and helps reduce fish waste, which means cleaner water and ultimately healthier fish.
Nutritionally well-balanced food will keep your fish healthier and less prone to disease, give them the energy they need to be active and improve their appearance. Aquascape and Microbe-Lift are both highly respected quality brands that you can count on for balanced nutrition.
Choose For The Season
The nutritional requirements of your fish change throughout the seasons. During warmer months, fish are more active and their metabolism is higher. Summer is the main growth season for koi, so they need a quality, high-protein diet to grow and to build their reserves for winter.
During summer you can also include fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. Fish, like us, enjoy variety, so use the opportunity to add special treats to the mix. The extra nutrition from fresh food encourages healthy growth and weight gain.
During cooler months, however, fish metabolism slows and their digestive tracts are not as efficient. They need food that is more digestible, which means less protein and more carbohydrates. When the water temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, switch to a quality cold-water fish food that provides fish with the nutrition they need to survive through winter.
Choose By Special Need
All high quality fish foods will contain the right balance of nutrients, but some also contain other ingredients for special needs. For example, a color enhancing food is designed to quickly increase the coloration of your fish with the addition of natural ingredients like spirulina. If you’re looking to brighten up the reds and golds of your koi, this is a good option. Aquascape’s color enhancing fish food has a proprietary blend of ingredients designed specifically to enhance red and orange colors without “bleeding” into the white areas.
Some fish treats act as vitamin supplements to improve their overall health and can be included as an occasional part of a healthy diet.
You can also find medicated foods to help with certain diseases, from ulcers to parasites, ich and fin rot. Be careful, though – if your fish are sick it’s important to understand the problem and remedy any water quality issues before simply switching to a medicated food.
Some food is designed for automatic fish feeders, so if you’re planning to be away for a while, choose a food that you can use effectively in a feeder.
Sometimes, choosing a food type is a matter of personal preference. If you love to feed your fish and watch them eat, choose a food that floats on the surface. Or if you like to watch them nibble from your hand, a snack like Koi Krunchies can be both good nutrition and great fun. And remember, fish like variety, too, so switch it up and your fish will be even happier.
Whatever you choose, remember: high-quality. Brand matters. Nutritional content matters. A good food will keep your fish healthy, active and looking their best, it will help you maintain water quality, and won’t pollute the environment.
If you have questions about the best type of food for your pond fish and koi, let us know. Our pond pros can answer your questions, advise you of the right food for the right reasons and even treat sick fish. And visit our Matawan showroom to browse and purchase a selection of the highest-quality pond fish food on the market.