Feeding Bass, Perch, and Sunfish in cold weather? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding Bass, Perch, and Sunfish in cold weather?

I'm gonna have Bass Perch And Sunfish in a small outdoor pond and I know with koi and goldfish you don't feed them when the water temp is under 55 but I've caught native fish under 55 degrees so I was wondering if it's the same with these as with koi and goldfish or if you feed them all the time no matter the temp or if it's a different temp where you stop feeding them. Also if it changes anything I'll be feeding them Rosy Red Minnows, Cherry Red Shrimp, and Worms.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 03:50 AM
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Like alligators, when wild fish get cold, the metabolism slows and they don't feed much.
Any live "bait" you put in cold water will die and rot the water.

I would keep minnows in the pond and let the sunnies pick and choose when to eat during this time.

I don't know where in the US you are, but worms and Cherry Red Shrimp would die and pollute your water when added during winter.

When I was in PA, I knew someone who had a rather large channel cat he threw in an unused above ground swimming pool during the fall. He did nothing to it. No food, filtration, nada.
Come Spring thaw, that thing was swimming around and appeared to have grown quite a few inches.
(I am not encouraging this behavior, I thought it was kinda cruel, and he did end up eating it.)

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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I live in kent washington (so for one GO HAWKS!!! we killed the Broncos and the secondary ate manning for lunch now back on topic) and the winters here really aren't that tough like usually there will be about 30 total of days where water freezes spread out from november to april and we usually get 2 inches of snow once or twice a year that's gone by the next day and even when it freezes the outdoor temp usually gets back up to 45 or 50. So I don't think the Cherry Red Shrimp would die but if you think many will die with the temps I said earlier I won't put them in and I'll just feed minnows to the fish and put excess shrimp in some other fish tanks to kind of test what fish would work well with them.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 09:22 AM
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A lot depends on what size pond, too.
You could always experiment with a small outside "bait" hatchery or something, and see how they fare.

I'm in Louisiana, and the weather is even more balmy than WA, and I wouldn't risk cherry shrimp outside, although ghost shrimp are common in some fresh waters, and of course, gulf shrimp (yum).

When I lived in PA, I had an outside pond I dug and dropped a liner. It was and irregular 8 ft. x 4 ft, 24" at the deepest. It had koi, assorted goldfish, turtles, frogs, etc.
Come October, it got so cold I basically shut everything down-turned off filter and floated a ball to prevent it icing over. I could see the fish thru the ice-motionless. The turtles would burrow underground and hibernate. (I know because I almost cut one putting in Spring flower bulbs.) Everything would "come alive" around April, and I would start everything up again. Had it for 7 years, then sold the house, and couldn't take it with me.

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Oh, I was always an Eagles fan, and in Pa, it was always Eagles vs Steeler fans.
The first year I move down here, however, it snowed 2 inches and lasted all day.
And...the Saints won the Superbowl. I don't know which one was more miraculous
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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oh sorry I forgot the pond is going to be a 10ft diameter circular pond that's 4 ft deep all over with tons of hornwort and anacharis and lily pads covering about a fourth of the pond and I'm gonna put about 30 2-3 inch Bluegilll in, 15 3-4" Smallmouth Bass, and 3 or 4 5-8" Yellow Perch (they're larger because I can't get them very small)
How did you protect your pond? Usually when there're ponds only 2 ft deep it's easy for raccoons and herons to pick off the fish
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 01:50 PM
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It was a residential area, so the only real larger wild life I had to worry about was the neighbor's lab occasional visits. I would find him sprawled out in it, with a lily pad on his head, and my dobe gazing down at him with worship in his eyes. (My dog knew better)

Only other problem was bullfrogs. They grew big and would try to eat anything, even birds that came down for a drink. I put them in a sack and relocated them to the river.

I hand picked and trucked in large rock surrounding the pond, so it was kind of hard for coons to pick the fish off-gave them more of a sporting chance, and my dog was a deterrent.

Be aware and keep in mind that bass are cichild-like (Think same family) in that they stake out territories for spawning and such, when stocking.

Be sure to take plenty of pics from start to finish. I wish I would of taken more of mine at the time. Somewhere packed away is a pic of the dog with the lily pad on his head.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'll take tons of pics and will make a thread about it but I'm hoping I have it all planned out in time for my mid-winter break from the 15th-23rd but my parents probably won't let me until my spring break in april so it might be a while


And I'm counting on 6 or less SMB making it to maturity so wcs I have more than 6 SMB Hit maturity and I get a nice meal
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 01:58 PM
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Gives you plenty of time to get some good information, and Spring is best for breaking ground
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