• Treats will give you a chance to interact with your fish, while providing vital nutrition.

    Treats are an important part of feeding your pond fish for a number of reasons. Treats provide an amazing opportunity to interact and connect with your fish. They function as important nutritional supplements to your normal fish food. And finally, they do exactly what a treat does for humans: they make your fish happy.

    Nutrition

    If you are like most fish owners, you feed the fish in your pond a basic food base every day. These usually come in pellet form, and are designed to be fed to a wide variety of fish breeds. However, specific fish need specific nutrients. You should design the diet you feed your fish around the specific amino acid, vitamin, and Omega 3 fatty acid needs of your fish species. This may mean feeding krill to one species of fish while feeding blood worms to another while feeding orange slices to another.

    Interaction

    Unlike many of our pets, we rarely get the opportunity to interact with our fish. They sit passively by in their tanks or pond while we go about our business. Feeding time offers us that chance to truly connect with them. If you select treats that your fish really enjoy eating, you will discover a noticeable difference in their mood at feeding time, just like when you give a dog a chew or pieces of turkey to a cat. Enjoy your time with your pets.

    Remember the Seasons

    Failing to change how you treat your pet while the seasons change is a very common mistake for pet owners, and even more common for fish owners. Your pond fish are more exposed to changes in climate than any indoor pet. Here are a couple of tips to remember while feeding your fish over the seasons:

    • Temperature and Metabolism. Pond fish are adapted to their outdoor, multi-seasonal lifestyle. When it is warm out, your fish’s metabolism will greatly accelerate. When it is cool, it will slow down. Some fish will eat their normal meal 2-4 times a day in the warm days but only a day (or even every other day, depending on the breed) during the winter. The rate at which you give your fish treats should slow or accelerate at the same rate as normal meals.
    • The 5 minute rule. Like other types of food, uneaten treats will fall to the bottom of the pond, and eventually decay, causing disease. You should not put more treats into your pond than your fish can collectively eat in five minutes or less. Any longer, and treats will sink to the bottom. Because your fish will be more energetic during the warm months, this also means that you should feed them smaller quantities in the cold months.

    For Koi Owners

    Koi fish are the Billy Goats of the fish world. They will eat anything. It may tempting to feed your Koi table scraps such as bread or fruit as treats, but this not go very far toward better nutrition. Instead, consider using fresh, live feeder fish or shrimp as treats for Koi fish. Live food will not only provide your Koi with important Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins, but also create a fun, stimulating meal as your fish chase and hunt their food.

    Do not overfeed your Koi. Feeding your Koi can be a lot of fun. They will eat anything you put in front of them. This will tempt you (or your children) to continually feed them. You must avoid this. Koi, like any other animal, will suffer if they overeat. Treats for your Koi fish, as a general rule of thumb, should make up less than half of their diet.

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    Despite usually being seen in a bowl, Goldfish are the most popular fish for a home pond.