As you know Koi are a very active fish, constantly on the move. It is not surprising to learn that Koi are aggressive feeders, will eat almost anything, and it can be fun to watch them at feed time. As with any animal if the fish are healthy they will eat and feed time is as good a time as any to keep an eye on the health of your fish. Learn what makes up good Koi food. If your fish are not eating then you should be concerned for there will be something wrong with their health. But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself for there are times when Koi will not feed and you also should not attempt to feed them at all during these times.
The Issue of Water Temperature
The feeding program for Koi is totally dependent on the water temperature. Koi are a cold water fish which means that their temperature is the same as the water temperature. During winter with the water temperature below 50° Fahrenheit (10° Celsius) Koi almost hibernate and you should not attempt to feed Koi during this time. Their digestive systems slow right down and if there is undigested food in their systems this can present as a real problem. Also if you attempt to feed Koi during these months there is a very high probability that the uneaten food will fall to the bottom of the pond, rot, and be the cause of pollution. With the approach of spring and then summer and with water temperatures rising to between 61° and 75° Fahrenheit (18° 24° Celsius) Koi should be active and energetic feeders and provide a lot of fun.
At these water temperatures Koi can be fed up to three times a day and generally Koi will eat all you give them. However do not feed more than they will eat in five minutes at any one session. Be careful to see that they eat all you feed them, always beware of food rotting on the bottom of the pond. The advantage of pellets is that most float and these should not be left but removed. Also remember that the more you feed your Koi the more pollutants they add to your pond water in their natural excretions. A worse case scenario is over feeding a crowded Koi pond, this can be a recipe for a disaster. Your pump and filter must be capable of handling any and all pollution created by your Koi.
Quality of the Pond Water
This article assumes a pond in good order and condition. If your pond water is polluted, has become too acid, too alkaline, contains an unnatural balance of chemicals and is suffering from a clogged or overworked filter your fish may suffer and not feed as they should. Feeding your Koi demands the appropriate quality of your pond water. In summer be careful your pond water does not get too hot. A Koi pond may require shade and this should be part of your pond design depending on the climate where you live.
What Do You Feed Koi?
While I have already said that Koi will eat almost anything this is not the end of the story. You want your fish to be active and energetic. You want them to grow. You want to get your fish to be as colourful as you can. To achieve all this you need to feed them the right Koi food.
What is a good Koi fish food? The easy way to the right Koi food is to feed them prepared pellets that will be available at most pet stores. These pellets should be a complete Koi fish food and are prepared to provide a complete nutrition for the Koi. If this is your main course of action you need to vary the pellets among a number of different makes to ensure a varied diet just in case one particular preparation is lacking in some essential nutrient. Koi can also be fed foods like lettuce, peas, watermelon and worms which can provide a variety from a diet pellets. A well designed pond should also provide nibble food for your Koi. Unfortunately Koi will attack the plant life in your pond so an additional step may need to be implemented to prevent this. You many need to provide some additional plant life that you know the Koi will destroy as part of their nibble food. Remember also that insects, fresh water snails, blood worms and other small creatures like mosquito larvae found naturally occurring in any pond will also provide food. Daphne and Infusoria can also be introduced to your pond but these live foods are usually reserved for the breeding cycle of Koi.
What Are The Dangers?
Be careful not to feed your Koi foods that have little or no nutritional value. Humans consume too much of this kind of food, please don’t punish your Koi by feeding them these foods, they are not good Koi fish food!. Know the nutrition of each of the foods that you want to be part of your Koi food. As with a human diet just because the Koi eat the food, this is no guarantee that the food is good for them!
Koi are voracious feeders and will attack their food with great gusto. With all this feverish activity it is very easy to get carried away and over feed your Koi. The greatest dangers are uneaten foods sinking to the bottom of your pond and rotting adding to the pollution of the pond. Don’t over feed your Koi their excretions are poison to the Koi and the more you feed the more they excrete. These excretions place a burden on your filtration system. Learn to keep your feeding program in balance with your pond filters. Be very careful when going on holiday, eager volunteers can wreak havoc on both your fish and pond.
Finally enjoy your Koi.In time they will get to know you. Take it easy and over time you can teach them to eat from your hand. Learn what makes good Koi food. Feed them correctly and enjoy the fun at feed time. Get the know each of your fish and always be watchful for danger signs.
For more information visit http://koihowto.com for a whole lot more about Koi.
Frank Rogers started keeping fish in his teens. Since those early days he has kept fish whenever it was possible to do so. While living in the tropics he tried his hand at keeping salt water fish and learnt from his mistakes. He now shares with you the challenge of keeping Koi - perhaps the fish that are the most fun to keep in either a pond or large tank. Pay a visit to http://www.koihowto.com and learn more about these amazing fish.