How to Take Care of Aquatic Pets in Winter
When we talk about taking care of our fish pets during winters, managing the fish tank eco-system, first thing, becomes inevitable. Just like for humans, the home atmosphere plays a crucial role in the well-being of all, for fish pets the tank has to have a healthy arrangement.
It is all the more important to protect these small creatures during harsh chilly winters. The best way to determine the wellbeing of your pet fish is to observe their behavioural pattern. These small guys are too sensitive generally and any change can make them restless. This is especially true in case of temperature variation, space change etc. Winters can be demanding and you got to double the care for your aquatic babies.
Balanced winter feeding
The best care starts off with feeding right and well. One would notice the fishes change their consumption habits from season to season. The difference in their eating is more evident during winters. It all depends on how well you have managed the tank temperature. Here are a few points you must take care of –
1. You can feed them two to three times a day if the water is not too cold and the atmosphere is being taken care of.
2. If you see your fish babies are resting up, which they generally do during winters, feeding them once is sufficient too.
3. Feed them healthy. Frozen food enriched with important nutrition may work. Understand the best fish food for them.
4. Most importantly, do not overfeed them. This is health damaging and may adversely affect you babies.
Winters are for resting
Fish are cold blooded but that doesn’t approve of their comfort during winters. For most this is the time they like to take it slow, rest up and wouldn’t eat as much as they eat during other seasons. You may feel free to feed them just once when you see them relax. Let them slow down and take their time. Nothing to worry about.
However, as erroneously known to people, these guys do not hibernate like turtle. They simply quietly rest. Nonetheless, ensure the water temperature is maintained throughout with the help of a functional heater.
The unsurpassed way to really take care of the all your fish is to keep a check on the tank temperature. If the water gets too cold for the fish to handle you would see them settle at the bottom of the tank motionless. You won’t find them playful, swimming around freely.
There are some factors that may help you deal with the same –
1. Understand that these smallies are more prone to diseases like fungal and other infections during cold. So you got to give your best self to take care of them from harsh winters.
2. Consider using a thermometer to read the water temperature. It shouldn’t be too cold or too hot. Try to balance between 24-28 degrees.
3. Invest in a good heater that can help you manage. At times we get quite a small heater for a large fish tank that doesn’t suffice. A good heater is a size that can perfectly take care of all the water of the fish tank with the required temperature.
4. Your tank needs to be at a certain temperature. Winters may get the water cold and adversely affect the fish babies. Never expose the tank to the outside weather or leave the windows open, especially during chilly night time.
5. Change just half of the total water at once. Any change in the water level or its warmth may stress out your fish pets.
Let’s talk through the wellbeing of pet turtles during winters. A lot of families keep these turtles at home who both, live in waters and outside. The most common pet turtle breed found in India is Red-eared slider. The slider turtles are strong, easily manageable and have a friendly personality. We also have other species like Mississippi map turtle, Yellow-bellied slider, Reeve's turtle, African side-neck turtle and Western painted turtle.
Four necessities of keeping a pet turtle -
Keeping in mind that the aquatic pets’ wellbeing majorly depends on how well the water temperature us maintained. The four things a pet parent must keep in mind are –
1. A well-lit basking area – To have a well-lit lighting on the top tank that can generate the required amount of heat for their survival.
2. Good temperature control – To maintain the right temperature that is in between 15° - 20° is crucial for their health.
3. Shade region in the tank – To give them access to a resting area outside of water but inside of the fish tank by setting up some safe rocks is essential.
4. Water level – The levels of water and everything around it like temperature, cleanliness etc. has to be looked into.
Although, you may want your pet turtle to spend quality time roaming outside of water and also bask in natural sunlight as much as possible, while in waters 15° C is the minimum temperature to be maintained. Most pet parents put them back in the tank when they are to be fed. It is convenient for your turtle to grab its food when in water. Feed them healthy turtle food that is full of nutrition they may need. Take help of health supplements for boosting it better.
While we know the process of hibernating comes naturally with a pet turtle. How do you figure out whether they are hibernating or simply resting up? Winters may lead into them breathing slower than usual. You might have to keep a track and test whether your turtle pet reacts to anything that is brought by you to its face. If it’s hibernating, it wouldn’t react.
A turtle is known to hibernate for as long as 8 months straight. However, this depends on the region you are based out of and the turtle specie you own. As a pet parent, do not stress too much about the hibernation process of your pet turtle. Just relax and let them be enjoying the winters. Ensure you keep them warm and even when they are in waters, set the temperature right. Also, do not worry if they do not show excitement of eating during this period.
The most basic way to ensure absolute health of these turtles is not letting their water get too warm with help of the heater since that may lead to the growth of bacteria in the tank. Encouraging bacteria to thrive can infect your little turtle pet. Most adult turtle species can take up to 25.5 degrees.
If you are an aquatic pet parent and would want to share more winter tips and tricks with us for the wellbeing of these lovely pets, do write back to us.Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and the readers may use or apply the same at their will. We believe in the uniqueness of every pet and its parent. Therefore not every piece of information and idea presented here may be suited to all.