During the summer months you will be feeding your pond fish a protein rich fish diet, but as the weather starts to cool down and winter approaches you need to change their diet to a low protein wheatgerm diet.
The reason why you need to feed your fish wheatgerm is because of the cold weather, as the temperature drops your fishes metabolism will slow down, and they will become more dormant.
As your fish start to go into this semi-hibernation mode they will eat less, but they still need to eat something for a while.
The problem is your fishes digestion system and gut bacteria also slows down, so they can’t digest a high protein food, it will sit in their gut longer which could cause a bacterial infection.
This is where wheatgerm comes in, it’s a lot lower in protein which means it’s very easy for your fish to digest.
We would suggest you start feeding your fish wheatgerm when the temperature of the pond water gets down to 15°C/60°F and stop feeding your fish completely when the temperature drops below 10°C/50°F, use a temperature gauge in the pond water to get an accurate reading.
As we emerge from winter and the temperature of your pond starts to rise you can start feeding your fish again, wait until the water is consistently above 10°C/50°F and use wheatgerm to start with.
The reason why you should feed wheatgerm as you pond warms up is because the good bacteria in your pond and filter have also been dormant over the winter months, they need time to recover and get back to work, it will take a while before the bacteria is able to breakdown high protein waste from your fish, so keep to wheatgerm for now.
You can continue using wheatgerm until the water temperature rises above 15°C/60°F and then you can go back to the higher protein food, if you have wheatgerm left use it alongside the high protein food.
You should always use fresh wheatgerm as it does deteriorate over time, this is why you should use it all up at the end of winter and get fresh in the following winter, try to buy the amount you need for one season as if it’s not used up it will be wasted.
To sum up
Start feeding wheatgem to your pond fish when the water in your pond drops to about 15°C/60°F before winter and when the temperature rises above 10°C/50°F as you come out of winter.