When you purchase your fish, they’ll leave the store healthy and active. To maintain healthy fish you must follow a few ground rules:
As stated above, this process is all about acclimating your fish to their new habitat. Although it’s impossible to see with the naked eye, the difference between the water in your pond and the water in the bag your fish come home in are worlds apart. Be sure you have set up and will maintain your fish’s new home correctly and follow the care instructions for your particular variety of fish, such as Koi or goldfish (which are the two most popular pond species). Doing a bit of research beforehand can help prepare you. Consider reviewing this beginner’s guide to caring for goldfish as a first step.
Your fish may need some time to settle and may try to hide—this is normal. For varieties such as the goldfish, only feed your fish what they can eat in 5 minutes. Filling your hand’s palm with food is a great place to start, and you can work up/down from there. In a pond that has plants, fish only need to be fed once or twice a week. The more you feed your fish, the more waste they produce. An overabundance of waste could cause problems in the pond environment. Additionally, it is recommended to stop feeding your fish in the fall, when the water temperature falls below 50 degrees, and resume feeding them again in the spring, when the water is above 55 degrees. They may “beg” for food before this happens, but feeding them will cause them more harm than good. Follow these simple steps and you will have healthy, happy fish for years to come!