How to Keep Your Fish Food From Floating Away on Your Pond

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One of the joys of having a pond is to watch the fish feed, but unless the pond is small, this is often difficult to do because the food quickly spreads over the entire surface of the water and the fish scatter. A feeding ring is a device that confines the fish food to a small area, allowing pond owners to watch their fish feed. Feeding rings also help with other aspects of pond management. Wind and small waves push food toward the edges of the pond where the water is shallow, leaving the feeding fish unprotected from predators. A feeding ring can be placed in deeper water, keeping the fish out of reach of the predators. Larger fish in the pond are sometimes unable to feed because they can't get close enough to the food caught in the shallow waters of the bank. A feeding ring placed in deeper water prevents this problem. Pond filters can clog with unused food, but a feeding ring reduces the amount of food needed and leaves less waste.

Things You'll Need

  • For large feeding rings:
  • Black, flexible PVC pipe, 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter
  • Black coupler the diameter of the PVC pipe
  • 1/8- to 3/16-inch mesh, 4 to 6 inches wide by the length of the PVC pipe
  • Black nylon cable ties long enough to reach around the circumference of the PVC pipe
  • Two lengths of rebar, 8 feet each
  • For small feeding rings, 9 inches in diameter:
  • Silicone aquarium tubing, approximately 14.5 inches long
  • Silicone sealant
  • Small link chain, the depth of the pond plus 4 inches in length, or the length of the distance the feeding ring will be from the pond side if a side mount is desired
  • Suction cup with a loop to attach the chain
  • 2 nylon cable ties
  • Scissors (optional)

Large Feeding Rings

  • Determine the desired size of the finished ring. At least one 12-foot diameter feeding ring would be appropriate for a large pond with large fish. A 9-inch diameter ring would suit smaller ponds, such as koi ponds.

  • Calculate the number of feeding rings needed. Use one ring per acre of pond water.

  • Divide the diameter of the desired size ring by two to find the radius of the ring. Multiply the radius by 3.14 to calculate the length of PVC pipe needed. If you are making a 12-foot diameter ring, your calculations would be 12 ÷ 2 = 6-foot radius x 3.14 = 18.84 feet of PVC pipe per feeding ring.

  • Attach the coupler to both ends of the PVC pipe, forming a ring.

  • Add 4 to 6 inches of 1/8- to 3/16-inch mesh the length of the PVC pipe used so the ring reaches approximately 6 inches below the pond's surface. Use black nylon cable ties to attach the mesh to the PVC pipe.

  • Stabilize large feeding rings in water about 4 feet deep, in a location close enough to the bank to reach with the food and near a submerged brush pile. Place the two pieces of rebar the diameter of the ring apart and anchor them into the pond bed. The rebar should protrude several inches above the pond's surface. Arrange the feeding ring so both pieces of rebar fall within feeding ring.

Small Feeding Rings (9-inch Diameter)

  • Bend the aquarium tubing into a ring. Apply silicone sealant to join the ends together. Allow the sealant to dry according to manufacturer's directions.

  • Attach the chain to the suction cup using a nylon cable tie. Use the other cable tie to attach the chain to the feeding ring. Cut off any excess cable tie, if desired.

  • Stick the suction cup to the bottom or side of the pond liner. The extra inches on the length of chain will accommodate a rise in the water level because of rain.

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References

  • Photo Credit fish in the pond image by alri from Fotolia.com
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