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SERVING UP A SUMMER DIET

Although fish are very adaptable and can acclimate to different temperatures over a period of time, there is a temperature range in which they prefer to feed, breed, and swim. In northern states, for example, fish feed less at temperatures of about 78°F and higher. In southern states, where water temperatures remain higher year round, fish will still feed at temperatures of about 82°F.

Remember, as a general rule, feed fish one to three times a day with only as much as they will consume in five minutes. Because fish eat what they need to survive in various conditions, following seasonal guidelines naturally adjusts the amount of food to the temperature and other factors that influence their appetites, such as pollutant levels, stress and disease. As the water temperature rises to 77°F and higher, fish will consume less food in a given time.

Choose a food that is easily digestible and high in protein so fish benefit from fully absorbing the nutrients. To ensure fish have consumed all of their food, feed small amounts at each feeding during the summer. This will prevent uneaten food from decomposing at the high temperatures and polluting the pond water. Additionally, this pond diet will promote vitality and color enhancement.

Fish in hot water temperatures may not show an interest in food. Feed fish in the early morning, at the coolest time of the day.