4 simple ways to keep pond fish happy and healthy

Remember that fish are like people: the most important things are good food and happy homes. Here's how to give them both.

4 simple ways to keep pond fish happy and healthy

1. Keep your pond disease-free

  • Newly purchased fish may have preexisting problems, so closely examine them before their release. Fish that have badly frayed fins, difficulty breathing or mucus-covered bodies should be sent back to the hatchery.
  • White-spot disease is a common problem among fingerlings. Look for white spots about the size of a pinhead on the fins or body. If only a few spots are visible and the fish are to be released into a dam, treatment is not necessary.
  • If fish are intended for the more restricted area of a pond, treat the whole pond with a suitable medication. Consult aquarium shops for the most appropriate remedy.

2. Take care of parasites and infections

  • Minor injuries usually heal without treatment. To prevent infections with cotton-like fungus growths, dab them with Mercurochrome or formalin.
  • Sometimes parasites, such as fish lice and hookworms, may be found attached to fish.
  • Don't pull off parasites. Their mouthparts can be left behind and cause infections. Just dab the parasites thoroughly with formalin before releasing the fish.

3. Food fit for a fish

  • Natural food sources should be sufficient to supply the needs of fish and crayfish in a properly stocked dam. Growth rates should increase if extra food is given.
  • Supplementary feeding will probably be necessary in small dams, ponds and pools.
  • Commercial foods are economical only if bought in bulk. Use them quickly or else the nutrients inside deteriorate.
  • Most small-scale growers make their own foods, or experiment with chicken or livestock pellets as supplements.
  • The particular ingredients used should reflect the needs of the species being raised.
  • Whatever type of supplement is used, feed fish moderately in response to changing needs.
  • Don't overfeed your fish because uneaten food will eventually foul the water.

4. Make your own fish food

  1. Homemade foods may include chopped prawns, various forms of algae, eggshell or non-oily fish. Gather ingredients according to your fish's needs.
  2. Mix the ingredients with a few eggs and bake without oil.
  3. As soon as the "omelet" has cooled, cut it into sizes convenient for feeding. Store in the freezer.

As long as your dam or pond is not overstocked, the fish should be generally trouble-free. Keep them happy and healthy with the right food and environment for a much better harvest.

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