There’s no doubt about it. Feeding is the most fun part of owning a koi. It’s when you get the chance to interact with and train them to recognize you. However, as exciting as it is, fish feeding also comes with danger. Overfeeding is a common mistake when caring for koi. This happens when you give your koi more than what they can consume.
Amount of Food
To estimate how much food your koi can take in, feed them for only five minutes. If you notice that there are several food left, then that’s a sign five minutes is way too much. When fish eat more than what they need, it results to more waste, which in turn can hurt water quality. Observe if food you have given are all eaten up.
Another factor to look into to avoid overfeeding is the weather. During cold climate, a fish can be fed once per day and thrice a day in warmer water temperature. If you notice that your fish do not come up the surface, then chances are they’re not hungry. Fish do not have a stomach. They instead have intestinal tracts where food they eat get digested. This makes them capable of processing small amount of food continuously.
Underfeeding is another issue especially for koi owners who are often away. However, if your pond has plants, then your koi fish can help themselves to nature’s bounty and be less dependent of you for their dietary needs. Don’t make up for missed feeding, though. Your fish is likely to find food in the pond.
When feeding your fish by hand, be patient. Don’t rush as it will probably take some time for your fish to remember you. Make it a point to feed them from the same spot every time. And don’t just leave the food on the water. Let them see you. Soon, the koi will be able to associate you with food.
Keeping Food Fresh
Don’t buy too much food especially if your fish is likely to hibernate during the season. You’d want to make sure that the food is stored properly otherwise its potency decreases. Refrigerate fish food, but don’t freeze them. If the food is already old, it will no longer smell nice either. Don’t give it to your fish anymore. This might only cause them health problems.
Maintaining Balanced Diet
Koi starve faster than goldfish so they are also likely to go hungry faster. Also, unlike goldfish, koi will not go after smaller fish for food. Fish food can be a combination of their staple diet along with other food that you can feed them such as grapefruit, peas, and orange slices. While your fish would love these treats, don’t forget their staple diet.
Koi and goldfish are both omnivores and would eat almost anything you give them. And because they seem to be always enjoying everything that’s given to them, they’re also likely to suffer from poor nutrition. Protein is very important for your fish especially for the young ones, as they go through the growth stages.
Proper nutrition is important to keep your koi healthy and what they eat impacts their health a lot. Make sure to buy only quality food. Look out for food that helps reduce waste. But what do koi fish really need? Just as how humans try to maintain a healthy diet, fish also need sufficient nutrient content in their food.
No single food will have all nutrients your fish need so try to come up with a varied diet. Avoid stocking too much, though, so you can ensure that your fish only enjoys fresh food. Food should as well be stored in air and light tight containers.