Winter Fish Feeding

What to feed your fish during colder winter months

With air and water temperatures dropping in most parts of the country, now is the time to greatly reduce the amount of food you are feeding your fish.

When your water temperature starts falling below 65 degrees, you should consider switching your fish food to a more digestible wheat germ food. At lower temperatures, the good bacteria in your fish's digestive tract become less active, and have harder time digesting their normal high-protein diet.

In colder water temperatures, below say 50 - 55 degrees, then you should stop feeding your fish altogether. Even though they may eat, and seem hungry, you can actually harm them by feeding the fish their regular diet.

In some cases, undigested food can cause health problems in fish and trouble with their digestive tract. So don't feel bad that they are going hungry! Pond fish and KOI can be like little underwater pigs with fins - they will continue to eat because they dont know any better...

About The Author

Brett Fogle is the owner of MacArthur Water Gardens and several pond-related websites including and He also publishes a free monthly newsletter called PondStuff! with a reader circulation of over 9,000 pond owners. To sign up for the free newsletter and receive a complimentary 'New Pond Owners Guide' for joining, just visit MacArthur Water Gardens at

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"Thanks so much for the information on feeding your pond fish in the winter months. I was so unsure what to do in the cold season about feeding my pond fish. And thanks to this site I am now aware that you STOP feeding in the cold months.Again I Thank You! Alex in Pa."

Alex S.

"thank you for your comments. I have recently moved to a house with a pomd full of fish which I know nothing about. The previous owners had told me not to feed them until the spring and I was feeling bad about this as they come up to the surface for food. Reading your page has given me a much better understanding of how to feed them in the colder months. Thank you!"