Once the water temperature of our cold water fish’s home is consistently below 12 to 15 degrees Celsius their digestive systems virtually stop and they are not able to digest the high protein summer foods as effectively as they do during the warmer months.
They may however still feel “hungry” and will eat but the enzymes needed for digestion are lacking. This is why we offer them foods which are easily and quickly digestible and which contain minimal residue which could stall the gut and cause the food to decay in their systems.
When and how much should we feed during the colder months ?
><> When the water temperature is consistently below 5⁰C please stop feeding.
><> Once the water temperature is consistently above 5⁰C but below 12⁰C we can feed wheatgerm foods (their digestive system shuts down at this temperature).
As a general rule, f they are not coming up to the surface to feed please skip the meal!
><> When the water temperature is consistently above 13⁰C we can start feeding animal-protein rich foods again for growth during summer (when their digestive system resumes normal function).
VERY IMPORTANT FEEDING GUIDELINES FOR ALL YEAR ROUND
Please do not exceed the amount your fish will eat within 2 to 3 minutes of feeding. Remove all uneaten food after the feeding time period to avoid over-feeding and the water quality problems which excess food can cause.
Note: During any appetite loss, after sickness or during medicating, your fish’s eating habits may be significantly reduced. Carefully monitor the amount of food you feed to avoid problems during these times.
What is wheatgerm ?
Wheatgerm is the name given to a small part of the wheat seed. It is the part of the seed that germinates (hence the name) and allows the wheat plant to start growing. It is surrounded by the rest of the seed which provides a large food source. To utilize this food, the wheatgerm has to be rich in certain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and proteins.
What are the benefits of wheatgerm ?
The rich and concentrated nutrients contained within wheatgerm have a number of benefits; Vitamin E (protects cell membranes, allows effective use of fats and improves overall health and vigor, also important for the development of reproductive organs and therefore benefits fertility in spring), Vitamin C (essential for the efficient use of other nutrients and for skeletal formation, in combination with vitamin E it helps to overcome problems associated with stress), Fatty Acids (formation of cell walls and improves the digestion of other nutrients as a storable energy source and is particularly rich in linoleic acid which is essential for tissue repair), Amino Acids (contains Lysine, an important component of the diet to allow tissue repair and formation as well as promoting the immune system).
Winter foods vary considerably in the amount of wheatgerm they contain. It is an expensive component of the food as only 5% of the wheat seed is the germ and the rest is discarded. Some of the less expensive “wheatgerm” foods contain as little as 5% wheatgerm whereas a high quality wheatgerm food contains more than six times this quantity.