21st Nov 2019
Its time to think about feeding your pond fish in the summer. Once the water temperatures reach 14 or 15°c you can move from the ordinary or staple foods to ones that are high in protein. This is because the metabolism of your fish is speeded up by the warmer water and so they can digest food more easily, high protein food is a little more difficult for them to digest and should only be used at this time. You need your fish to make the best use of this most active period in their year so that they can gain as much weight and size as possible. The high protein summer food really helps with that.
Each food manufacturer will have their own type of high protein food for feeding in the suummer months. These typically have protein levels in the high 30s or 40s as a percentage of their total weight. Good food brands will have fish or shellfish as the main source of this protein. A couple of examples are the Nishikoi Growth and the Tetra Growth foods, both of which have a great reputation.
Another way to feed your fish in the summer is to use what we call treat foods. These are usually dried, frozen or even live shrimps, bloodworms or daphnia that might ordinarily be found in rivers and that contain a great natural source of protein. They might look a bit icky but your fish will love them! Bradshaws have a range of these treats from Nature's Grub including Koi Treat Mix that contains a selection of different foods.
The other thing to consider with feeding your pond fish in the summer is the holiday period. You can just ask a neighbour to feed your fish when you're away but if you do be very careful to make sure they know how much to throw in otherwise they might do serious harm out of their kindliness, we hear of people coming back to find that a whole summer's worth of food has been used in two weeks and their fish are sick! The other thing you can do is to get an automatic feeder. These come in many different styles and with widely varying prices. The first question to ask is what kind of food will it feed, most are only good with pellets, very few can take flake foods. The softer or less dense foods like flake and sticks can, especially if they get damp, clog up the automatic fish feeder and this will stop it working.
Next you need to consider the capacity of the feeder, if you are going for two weeks then it needs to hold as much food as you'd normally use in two weeks. This might take a bit of planning, you can mark the side of your food tub and see how much you use over the course of a week while you are at home then you'll have an idea how much you use. Once you have a good idea of the amount the feeder needs to hold have a look at the various options. Most can be programmed to feed multiple times each day, say morning and night, and this should be the same times that you normally feed your fish. Its a good idea to place the feeder in the same place you'd ordinarily stand (or sit) to feed your fish so that they are already familiar with coming to that point in the pond. Try not to set up your automatic fish feeder just before you go away, get it in place a few days before so you can check everything is working.
Bradshaws have a wide range of automatic fish feeders for you to choose from so you should find one that'll suit your needs and your pocket