Did you know that you pond water temperature effects your pond fish health? I guess I thought that, being cold-blooded, pond fish could adapt to pretty much any temperature. Well, this is sort of true up to a point, but the fact is that temperature has big effects on the health of your fish, and there are some things that you can do to keep your fish as healthy as possible, depending on what season it is.
- Spring- the fluctuation in temperatures can be very stressful on your fish. (those who have wintered in your pond especially!) Two ways to help with the stress. When your going to have a cold snap, turn your fountain or waterfalls off to slow down how fast your pond water cools. Add pond salt to help develop a healthy slime coat on your fish. This helps the fish naturally fend off any bacterial infections and parasites.
- Summer- The perfect pond water should be in the range of 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Water loses much of its ability to hold oxygen when the temperature is above 85 degrees. Your fish won’t be able to breathe. This is when aerators, fountains and waterfalls help oxygenate the water. (Higher oxygen levels also decreases algae growth!!)
- Winter- Your fish’s metabolism slows when your water cools down. They don’t need to eat when the temperature stays below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. An easy to digest food is suggested if the water is above 39 degrees. If you live in an area the your water freezes, keep part of your pond open so that the toxic gases can be released. A de-icer works well. Don’t break the ice to keep an open hole, the shock waves through the water can hurt your fish.
Water temperatures shouldn’t change more than 5 degrees per day to keep your fish in their best health. To monitor the water, a good thermometer comes in handy.