How frequently should I feed my fishes?

There is a lot of conflicting information about how frequently fish should be fed over the course of a day. Generally speaking, the warmer the temperature is, the frequency and amount of food would be increased. However, when there are water temperature is too warm, feeding should be reduced, or even stopped.

 

As a general guide, fish in outdoor ponds can be fed in the following manner:

  • >30 °C: Fish with higher oxygen demand (e.g. kois >40cm) should be fed no more than 2 times a day. Smaller fish may be fed no more than 4 times a day. Ensure there is good, reliable aeration at all times.
  • 21-30 °C: Feed 2-4 times a day (even up to 6 times a day provided that the filtration can handle the loading and that there is sufficient dissolved oxygen).
  • 10-21 °C: Feed 1-2 times a day, what can be consumed within 3-5 minutes.
  • 8-10 °C: Feed alternate days, what can be consumed within 3-5 minutes.
  • 5-8 °C: Feed every 3rd day, what can be consumed within 3-5 minutes.
  • <4.5 °C: Cease feeding entirely. This is so that food will not ferment in the gut when the fish are less metabolically active.

 

The species of fish would also determine the frequency and amount to be fed. Fish without large “stomachs” (e.g. goldfish and koi) tend to be grazers, and so would benefit from more frequent feeding. Fish with distendable stomachs (e.g. many catfishes), can eat larger amounts of food, at reduced frequencies.

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