If you walk out to your fish pond in the next few months and your fish seem unresponsive don’t start CPR! Here’s what to do.

During the colder months pond fish have the ability to go into hibernation if the temperature drops below 10 to 15°C. Here are some simple tips to ensure your goldfish have a positive hibernation experience.

  • Start preparing in autumn. As leaves begin to fall make sure they are cleared from the pond to avoid losing oxygen from the water.  Monitor your pond’s pH levels to ensure the debris landing in the pool isn’t affecting them.
  • Bulk your fish up! In the autumn months feed them food that is high in protein. When the temperatures drop below 10-15°C, goldfish rely on their fat stores.
  • During winter only feed your fish once a day- no more, no less! The cold weather causes a drop in metabolism and activity. If you continue to feed them twice a day it will result in overfeeding and may make your fish sick. If it is a particularly cold winter your fish may not even need to eat. If there is still food floating on the surface after feeding them, stop feeding for a couple of days and try again when it warms up slightly.
  • If it’s a particularly cold winter, consider investing in a small pond heater. Your fish will thank you!
  • Your fish will swim down to the bottom of the pond to find warmer water. If your pond has a water pump, make sure it isn’t pushing cold surface water down to the bottom and is instead circulating water from the bottom to the surface.

When spring comes around, let your fish call the shots! If they are still hibernating and inactive, continue feeding only once a day. When the water is warm enough and they are ready for more food, they’ll let you know!