With few exceptions, your fishy friends don’t enjoy Winter any more than you do. Their metabolisms will slow down because of the colder temperatures and their immune systems can become compromised. You will also find that many species will become far less active during these months as they are doing their best to conserve their energy until the warmer weather returns. This generally isn’t anything to worry about but if your fish look particularly lethargic, or if you think some of them may be sick, it’s better to be safe than sorry so feel free to have a closer look, they shouldn’t particularly mind.
The best way to ensure that your fish make it through the Winter is to get your seasonal maintenance out of the way early on so that all available nutrients can be absorbed by your healthy plants and little friends. Refer to our Preparing Your Pond For Winter blog for specifics, but essentially, this entails checking all equipment, removing any debris and dying plants and adding in some helpful bacteria. This will boost the overall health of your aquatic ecosystem and make it easier for your fish to do what they need to to survive the colder season.
During this time, you will also want to make sure that you aren’t overfeeding your little friends. Because it’s harder for them to digest what they eat at the moment, you want to make sure that you’re feeding them a little less and that all meals are high in what your specific fish need to thrive. Overfeeding is a real danger in Winter so make sure you check whether all the food you’re giving is being eaten, otherwise you’ll end up with a breeding ground for algae and other nasties come Spring which can deprive your fish of the oxygen they need.
Because we don’t get as cold in Australia as many other parts of the world, you won’t necessarily need to do much else to protect your fish, but if you’re worried, feel free to get in touch and one of our friendly experts will be able to offer any advice you need.