If you decide to create a pond for yourself and get fish in it, think about the issue of feeding. Although the fish are able to get their own food on their own, the pond is an artificially created biotype, which means that the food base there is formed in small quantities and cannot serve as the basis for feeding.
Varieties of feed
Forage among themselves is divided into artificial (granular compound feeds and feed mixtures) and live (constitute 25-25% of the fish diet and includes natural live feeds). They are also divided into other criteria, which are described below.
Food should be selected by composition - certain nutrients and microelements must be indicated in it.
- Proteins - occupy an important place in the metabolism. The protein content in the diet should be from 30 to 60% of the total amount of dry food. It is especially important to give the right amount of protein to young animals. It contains essential amino acids and their absence can lead to reduced growth and the appearance of diseases . Protein feed includes beef heart, chicken egg, fresh-frozen and boiled fish, shrimp meat and krill.
- Fats - are the main source of energy, their lack will lead to a decrease in growth rates, causes physiological disorders. The need varies depending on the type of pet (for example, for carp - 1%, for eel and trout - no more than 0.5%). Fat is found in various seeds (flax, for example) and oilcake.
- Carbohydrates - the amount should not exceed 25%, which is a complete source of energy, but the need for different types of fish is different. For example, for carp or eel, a high fiber content threatens to slow down growth and increase the fat content of meat. Also, the amount of carbohydrates should be calculated not only by breed, but also by age of the fish. Contained in plant and grain raw materials.
- Minerals - some minerals (calcium, phosphorus, chlorine) get fish from the water. The rest should be given to them artificially, carefully selecting the elements of the diet. If there are not enough minerals, this affects the growth rate, but if there is a strong deficit, this ends with a decrease in appetite or even death of young animals. Fish get minerals along with plants and algae.
- Vitamins - all vitamins are responsible for certain processes in the body - vitamin A controls the state of metabolism, D is responsible for the formation of bones, E - promotes the formation of eggs. But vitamin B is considered especially important, with the help of which the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates occurs. The source of vitamins is live food - insects, crickets, fly flies.
Depending on the type of fish
Fish have their own eating habits - some eat in the upper layers of the water, others in the lower, and others in the middle. And it is on the basis of such physiological characteristics that feed is selected:
- Fish eat on the surface - use food in the form of chips, sticks and cereal for them, as they are light in weight, which helps them stay afloat.
- Fish in the middle layers of water can also eat cereal and chips, because when wet, they become heavier and sink lower to the bottom. Another solution is granules, as they slowly sink, which allows the fish to have time to eat them.
- Fish at the bottom - eat pellets, tablets and wafers. They are heavier than chips and immediately begin to sink.
When choosing a feed, you should pay attention to high quality feeds that have proven themselves in the market. Some of these feeds have a healing effect:
How to choose the right food for your fish?
If your choice fell on ready-made feed, then you should understand that not all of them are the same and useful, so you should pay attention to some characteristics:
- The purpose of the feed. Take a balanced feed for pond fish, not aquarium;
- Balance. Food should be balanced and include protein, minerals, and vitamins in order to ensure healthy and complete nutrition.
- Digestibility. The diet that you have chosen should be well digested and promote good digestion, as this will help maintain the purity of the water for a longer time.
- Components. They must be selective, so you do not need to buy economy-class feed from low-quality raw materials, as this does not bear any nutritional value for fish and accelerate organic pollution of water and algae growth due to poor digestibility.
- Packaging. Feed should not be purchased by weight or in damaged packaging, as there is no guarantee that such feed remains fresh or of high quality. The packaging should be made of dense material, not to let in light and have a lock;
- Immunity protection. Particularly useful feeds for fish are those that help increase the body's defenses.
During fish growing in the pond, the requirements for feed are slightly reduced, because in natural reservoirs there is a natural feed that needs a little supplement. Typically, fish food is introduced in the form of granules, briquettes or a pasty mass. Pay your attention only to granules or briquettes, as they have high moisture resistance, while the doughy mass will soon lose half of its nutrients.
In early spring, when the fish wakes up, feed it more satisfying than in summer. In the heat, the fish do not eat so much, as they can find food in the pond itself. And in the fall, when the water temperature drops below 10 degrees, stop feeding the fish at all, since in winter most species fall into a dormant state.
How to feed the fish?
While the feeding process is going on, you need to watch how the fish eats the feed. The amount of food should be such that there are no leftovers. If the fact that the fish could not finish eating accumulates, then the feeders and the pond must be cleaned, otherwise the residues will begin to decompose and contribute to the development of pathogenic microorganisms.
The appetite is estimated somewhere 40-60 minutes after the feed has been distributed.
In order for the fish to give the desired result, it is necessary to adhere to the following rules:
- Do not just throw dry food along the bottom of the pond. Add a little water to it and make a thick dough, and only then add it to the pond.
- Feed the fish at the same time to work out their reflex.
- When feeding in the evening, add lighting so that the fish begins to reflexively respond to this light, which will further simplify the capture process.
- Equip the feeding area with a galvanized iron metal tray and equip it with a lifting device. This is necessary in order to raise and lower the pallet into the pond at any time and monitor the process of eating feed. You can also adjust the amount of food given out and make sure that the food does not begin to rot or sour, which will help maintain the purity of the water.
More about feeding pond fish is written here .
Feeding fish in a pond depends on a large number of factors, which include:
- Water temperature - in the summer months, in the presence of a large natural forage base, feeding occurs 2-3 hours after the sun rises. Water temperature should be from 12-15 degrees and above;
- Age - Fledglings need to be fed twice a day - in the morning and in the evening, in small portions. Two-year-olds are fed once a day, in the morning.
- Eatability - in order not to overfeed the fish, you need to monitor the rate of disappearance of food. If the food is eaten too quickly, then the fish do not receive the required food norm. If the feed remains intact for three hours, then it is worth to reduce the rate.
The feeding mode of different fish
In the efficiency of feeding, an important role is played by the differentiation of fish by species, since each feed has certain nutrient requirements.
The daily feed rate for carp breeding is determined by the weight of the fish and the temperature of the water. If the weight of the carp is up to 0.5 g, then the daily norm is 100% of the weight, if 500 or more, then 2.8% of the total weight.
Youngsters and two-year-olds are fed with granules, which are placed in special feeders. Young people are fed every hour, reducing the amount of feed given as they gain weight. Also, the number of feeds decreases when the temperature of the water drops. Carps can be fed with protein feed (worms, bloodworms, snails and shells), potatoes, oilcake and bread, as well as finely chopped soft grass and special compound feed (which it is advisable to pre-knead in a bucket until a doughy mass forms).
If the water in the pond is very warm - 23-26 degrees, then the appetite of the fish grows and they need to be fed more often. Feed the young almost every hour. Carps weighing from half a kilo to 2 kg are enough to feed 4-5 times a day. If the water temperature is 22-24 degrees, then the number of feedings reaches 5-6 times a day, if 14-20 degrees, then 4 times a day, and at a temperature less than 14 degrees - 2-3 times a day.
Crucian carp is a fish that is considered almost omnivorous. Nothing will happen to her, even if you forget to feed her, because in the ponds she will always find the necessary minimum food, especially if an ecosystem has already formed in the pond.
Algae, steamed beans and cereals, worms, insect larvae, bloodworms eat best crucians. It is not advisable to feed bread.
The amount of feed introduced should be no more than 5% of the weight of the fish. The rate is calculated simply - if about 30 individuals of 200 grams each live in the pond, then the total weight of the fish is 6 kg, which means a one-time feed rate should not exceed 300 grams.
Feed the crucian carp 1-2 times a day, at the same time.
Read about breeding crucians, including feeding them here .
Salmon fish are fed meat waste, low-fat milk powder, as well as meat and bone, fish and krill flour. These components can be mixed with each other or you can buy ready-made compound feeds that differ by age groups: for example, for fry weighing up to 5 grams, RGM-6M and S-112-Lat are taken, and for young animals - LK-5P.
Som is a special fish, because by the time it starts to eat properly, it already has a stomach and intestines, which makes it possible to form special enzymes for digesting food. This feature makes the fish less demanding on the composition of the compound feed - for catfish they usually use SB-1 and SB-3, supplementing them with calcium if the cultivation takes place in soft water.
Feed the catfish fry 8 times a day, gradually reducing the number of meals to 4 times. The volume of a single dose of food depends on the temperature of the water - the warmer the water, the more food you need to give.
For successful rearing of young animals, it is necessary to monitor the amount of animal proteins in the eel food, the more it is, the more intensive is the growth of fish. Young animals are fed up to 10 times a day in the shaded parts of the pond and mainly animal feed is used for food. For fish weighing up to 2 grams, the daily norm is 16%, weighing 2-4 grams - 12%, 4-8 grams - 10% and 8-25 grams - 8%.
Sturgeons need to be fed with a high fat content, this is especially important for juvenile bester. The number of times of feeding depends on age: larvae and fry are fed up to 12 times a day, and adult fish - from 4 to 8 times a day.
Foods of plant and animal origin are excellent for tilapia, and protein food is a priority.
Grain waste, meal and mixed feed are suitable for feeding tilapia. Larvae begin to consume artificial food as soon as they switch to active external nutrition and therefore they are excellent for breeding in pools and ponds.
For juveniles weighing up to 50 grams, feed VBS-RZH-81, RZGK-1, and weighing 50 grams and above, take PK-VR, RGM-2Ke, etc. The feed base per day is determined based on the weight of the fish.
What determines the effectiveness of feeding?
The conditions under which fish are grown have a direct impact on the growth rate and quality of fish meat. An important point is the temperature of the water - a large number of species increases the growth rate when the temperature of the water in the pond rises. If the indicators drop to 0 degrees, then the digestion of the food slows down first, and a little later the process stops altogether.
The quality of the feed also matters (protein production accelerates fish growth) and the amount of oxygen in the water (the value of 1 mg / l is too low for the fish, and it stops growing and eating). A big minus of the low oxygen level is the increase in the concentration of ammonia and nitrates, which also negatively affects the growth.
Take care of daylight hours. Since daylight tends to decrease with the approaching cold seasons, it makes sense to use artificial lighting to stimulate the production of growth hormone and improve digestion of food.
Keep an eye on the level of salt in the water, because some types of fish can only be found in fresh water or in salt water. An exception is tilapia, as it can grow in any kind of water body.
Use special feeders that you can make yourself to dispense feed. You will find detailed instructions on how to make such a feeder in this video:
There are situations when it is not possible to purchase ready-made feed. In such cases, you can always cook it yourself.
For example, you can make a feed mixture of long-term storage, which will include such components:
- fishmeal - 15 parts;
- shrimp - 5 parts;
- dried bloodworm - 5-10 parts;
- boiled egg - 5 parts;
- dry daphnia, cyclops and hamarus - 5-10 parts;
- milk powder - 5-10 parts;
- bread crumbs;
- red bell pepper (for coloring) - 5 parts;
- underwater plants;
- yeast - 6-10 parts;
- sprouts of nettle, dandelion and plantain scalded with boiling water - 10-14 parts.
All ingredients need to be grinded and supplemented with multivitamins, then mix in boiling water until a pasty state and boil for another 2-3 minutes. Arrange in cookie cutters and freeze. The dish is given to fish in frozen and melted form. As a side dish, freshly cut greens or ground green peas are used.
Eating fish is an important issue if you want them to live a long time and please your eye (with decorative breeding of koi carps, for example). Therefore, you should be very careful when choosing food, read the compositions of finished feeds and do not be shy to ask questions to more knowledgeable people who will help you figure it out.