Taking Care Of Koi Fish In Winter

If you have pond fish and need to know how to care for them during winter, this is the article for you! We frequently get asked about winter care for water features and, more importantly, the inhabitants.

Like with every other animal, including us, cold weather has a slowing effect on fish. They don’t move around as much, their metabolism slows down, and they enter a state of hibernation. Unlike bears, they don’t sleep for the entire winter. This being said, koi fish need certain care during winter to ensure they survive.


Making A Hole In Ice

Do not break a hole in the ice! Breaking a hole in the ice will send shockwaves through the water that can injure your fish. Instead, try using a floating de-icer or aerator to keep ice from forming on your pond.

These devices will allow noxious gases to escape, keeping your fish happy and healthy until the warmer weather returns. The gases come from, well, the fish for one, and decomposing matter on the bottom of your pond. Fall pond maintenance can help reduce the amount of organic matter in your pond before winter.

If you have a waterfall it is less likely that you will need an aerator or de-icer. Waterfalls will, more often than not, keep a hole in the ice for your fish.


Should You Feed Koi Fish During Winter?

Winter care for koi fish does not include feeding them. Giving koi fish food in temperatures below 50°F can actually end up hurting them more than helping. This is because of their slow metabolisms. Since koi fish can’t digest food easily in cold temperatures the food can get stuck in them for a long period of time and end up injuring them.


Winter Care For Koi Fish Is Easy

Since they are basically dozing for the winter season, as long as there is a hole in the ice your koi fish will take care of themselves. The only thing you’ll have to think about is spring maintenance.

You can learn more about spring maintenance in this video >>