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 -singking vs floating vs color enhancer vs feeding times vs feeding handling-

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PostSubject: -singking vs floating vs color enhancer vs feeding times vs feeding handling-   Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:14 am

Sinking versus floating food

Koi foods are either floating or sinking. Sinking foods do just that, making them seem like a good choice for fish that are usually bottom feeders (fish that swim along the bottom of a pond or stream, taking up mouthfuls of this and that and spitting out what doesn’t taste like food). But pond koi are another matter entirely. Because display-quality koi can cost hundred of dollars, you most likely want to see these living jewels. So, feeding your fish floating food simply increases your opportunity to enjoy your treasure chest. Floating food is also practical for three reasons:

 It helps you keep track of how much food you actually drop into your pond.
 The food disperses over the surface of your pond, giving each fish a chance to feed.
 It gives you a chance to interact with your fish, to see who’s feeding and who isn’t, and to check out who may have scale or other health issues


Avoiding Foods that Do No Good

Koi have extremely hearty appetites, and it therefore comes as no surprise that they will consume foods that are not necessarily good for them. The foods discussed in this section are tempting to use because they are quite easy to come by and relished by koi. However, they serve little purpose in the diet and should be avoided. Most of us can remember going to a goldfish or koi pond sometime in the not-so-distant past and maybe tossing cubes of white bread to the gaping mouths. White bread provides very little nutrition and lots of carbohydrates — not good for your koi.

Whole meal bread is slightly better than white bread, but it may cause eye protrusion (exophthalmia), an ugly sight and one that can leave even experienced koi-keepers clueless as to the cause.


Color-enhancing diets
Color-enhancing diets are foods with supplements — like carotene (the stuff that makes carrots orange and flamingo feathers pink) or spirulina (green algae that boost red and yellow coloration). People like to feed these enhancers because they think their fish will be brighter and hence easier to spot in the pond.

Both of these additives enhance red coloration. If you select a food with spirulina, remember that most koi-keepers only give their koi spirulina supplements in September because this plant-based food is readily digested when the water temperature drops. (Don’t feed it when the pond temperature drops below 40 degrees F
because your koi won’t feed at such temperatures.) Just to confuse the issue, other keepers use spirulina to brighten up their koi a month before they enter their koi in a show.

Although brighter fish colors may sound attractive, think for a moment about your fish before you go that route. Color enhancers add a pink blush to a koi’s white skin — not what you want, for instance, when you’ve spent big bucks for a Shiro Bekko, a black and white koi. On the other hand, if your prize koi are all Hi Utsuri (red and black koi), feeding a color enhancer may turn those fish into knockouts. Use color enhancers just once daily.

If you feed them, they will grow, one of the interesting facts about koi is that they never stop growing. The growth rate slows as the fish reach sexual maturity at 10 to 12 inches, but koi continue to grow throughout their lives unless something intervenes (like the pond becomes crowded or the water quality deteriorates). This fact explains why the 1-meter koi looms out there like a big juicy tempting plum. Because koi generally grow less during the winter and more during the summer, you can actually figure out how old a koi is. They add growth rings to their scales. Alas, if koi are in warm ponds year-round and fed year-round, the rings are harder to count.


Feeding times

Most koi-keepers feed their koi in the morning, using the theory that filter can pull the waste from the pond before the fish submerge to the bottom of the pond at night. In actuality, any daylight hour is a good time to feed your koi, but try to stick to a schedule. You’ll soon find your fish gathering near the feeding station just
before feeding time, getting very excited as you approach. Keep in mind that smaller amounts of food given more frequently put less strain on your filter.

Even during the warmer months you may have a reason not to feed your koi every day. Koi that are going to be shipped or exhibited in a show are not fed for several days before the ship or show date. The lack of food ensures the koi don’t excrete while in their shipping container so they don’t have to breathe contaminated water.


Hand feeding

Many koi-keepers enjoy feeding their koi by hand. They put the pellets in their hand, sit by the pond, and lower their hand into the water until the pellets are floating a few inches above their hand.

Koi will shove each other out of the way as they suck in the food, and occasionally they’ll sample — and discard — your hand. Don’t worry, it just tickles.

Coutesy: Koi for Dummies- Koi Nutrition 101

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