Can Pond Fish Survive Without Feeding?

Keeping fish is considered one of the natural parts when having a water garden. Plus, they are a good part of your pond’s ecosystem, and to maintain their health, some precautionary measures need to be observed. They say that a backyard pond is not a natural environment; instead, the responsibility of the pond owner to govern the conditions.

Can pond fish survive without feeding? Yes, fish ponds can survive without feeding for at least two weeks. There’s nothing to worry about if you need to go out of town because they can actually find some natural food in the pond.

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As you read on, you will learn why fish ponds can survive without feeding. And we will also list some helpful tips you can use whenever you go on a vacation.

Most Pond Fishes Can Live Without Feeding

If you’re a first-time fish owner, you might not know this fact yet that a pond fish can survive without feeding for two weeks. But the characteristics of a fish will also depend on the water temperature and their health condition.

Most would say that in the warmer water of 60-85 degrees, the metabolism of the fish is high and they can be fed 2-4 times a day. But if the water rises to 90 degrees and above, that’s the time you should stop feeding them.

In spring and fall, if the water temperature drops at 50-60 degrees, remember to feed them once only for 1-2 days. You can feed them low protein food like the Legacy Cold Weather Food. Pond fish’s slow metabolism slows down during these cold temperatures.

Meaning, if you give them food, it won’t be properly digested by them that it may take 3-4 days for them to digest it. But there is always an exception to this, the baby fish or fry fish because they are too young not to be fed for two weeks.

Helpful Tips You Can Use Whenever You Go On A Vacation

1. Ask A Friend To Feed Your Fish

If you go on a vacation and would last for more than two weeks, then that’s the time that you worry about your pond fishes. But you can always ask for your friends’ assistance to feed the fishes for you.

For example, if you have a goldfish in a pond, they need to eat two or three times a day. Goldfish can survive too for two weeks. You can ask your friend to feed them once a day for two to three days.

2. Automatic Fish Feeder

Another simple way or thing you can use to feed your fish while you’re on vacation is to use a fish feeder. With this device, it’ll be of great help for you to feed your pond fish.

You only need to fill your fish’s favorite fish food and set the timer, and it will automatically dispense food. There automatic fish feeders that can hold fish food for at least six weeks, meaning you can enjoy your vacation more.

3. Use Of Slow-Release Fish Food

It is one of the cheapest options that you can use that will help you feed your fish while on vacation. There are two categories in slow-release fish foods: the weekend feeder blocks and the vacation feeder blocks.

In the weekend feeder block, it will keep your fish fed for three days, perfect if you will go for a weekend vacation. The vacation feeder can keep your fish fed for 14 days, which makes it a perfect match if you’re on a two weeks vacation.

Water Quality Can Affect Your Fish’s Eating Habit

One of the primary wrongdoing of a pond fish owner is that they didn’t know that the water quality would affect their eating habits. It can also affect their health and can give them stress. When a fish is a stress, they are more prone to disease. So to make sure that the pond’s water quality is good, remember these tips:

  • Make sure that toxins aren’t getting into the water from fertilizers or pesticides. Meaning, you shouldn’t spray anything near the pond.

  • Test other factors in water like the pH, ammonia, and nitrates.

  • If a pH level is at 6.6 to 8.6, it’s safe because the ideal range would be 7.0 to 7.8. But you can adjust the pH gradually because a sudden pH can cause severe damage.

  • Ammonia should be zero, meaning any level of ammonia can cause a big problem to you and your pond fishes. Also, remember that ammonia is more toxic than in higher pH ranges.

  • The nitrate level should be zero also. Note that if the ammonia and the nitrate level are high, it tells you that you have too many fishes in the pond. That’s why your filter can’t do its job correctly.

  • If you have a new pond, a filter that has been shut off during the winter needs to mature. It may take several weeks. A partial water change also needs to be performed to dilute the high ammonia or nitrate problem.

  • Make sure that you have set-up a regular water routine testing like once a week.

  • At the same time of the day, test your pond for each test because the pH level may fluctuate throughout the day.

How Many Fishes Should There Be In My Pond?

Experts say that a stocking level of the pond affects your pond fish health. It can decrease the oxygen level, and extra fish waste can lead to a build-up of ammonia and nitrate. Plus, the fish loa can vary too on your filtration level.

Like with an undersized filter,it can’t keep much fish. While with an oversized filter, it allows you to have extra fishes.

With an average-sized filter, the preferred shocking level will always be based on the surface of the pond. For example, you can keep one average size for every 304 square feet surface area.

As for koi fishes, you should limit to one fish for every 10 square feet of the pond’s surface area. If a 10 x 10 pond has a pond surface area of 100 square feet, an average filter can house up to 30 goldfish or ten koi. 


Overall, pond fishes can last up to two weeks of not being fed, but it will also depend on the weather and water condition. If you need to go on a vacation for quite long, you can use some helpful tips we listed above to help you feed the fish. We also learned that one main factor that can affect the pond fish’s eating habit is when they feel stressed.