In a large, well-established pool that is amply stocked with plants, there should be little need for supplementary fish feeding. In smaller pools, however, it is important to provide extra food. Skipping feeding for a day or two is alright with a small pool, but make arrangements for a friend or neighbor to do it if you plan to be away for a week or more.
When and how often should I feed fish?
The most important times to provide a food supplement are spring and autumn. Spring brings new vigor to the fish after the winter season,when they do not eat, and autumn feeding helps to ready them for winter. Special food mixes are available for these seasons as well as for the summer months.
When the temperature reaches about 55 degrees in the spring, begin feeding once daily at the same time and place. Use no more food than the fish can consume within five minutes. Overfeeding is not only wasteful but can have a detrimental effect on the water chemistry as the decomposing uneaten food will accumulate and pollute the water.
What type of food should I use?
A high-protein food, such as Aquarium Pharmaceuticals’ spring/autumn blend is ideal. Floating pelletized food allows you to monitor how quickly the fish are eating it. Feeding a little bit more often is a better approach as summer advances and occasional treats, such as live water fleas, are useful if the fish are breeding. Live food is often difficult to obtain, however. Supplements such as Aquarium Pharmaceuticals’ summer blend are suitable substitutes. As the weather cools down again in autumn, gradually reduce the amount of food and use a wheat germ pellet or flake in the cooler water.