Balancing the diet of your Koi Fish
Koi fish just like people like to eat (A lot).
Very much like people, they consume diets high in fat or crammed with carbohydrates without a real concern for how they affect their waste line.
Some of the foods that koi love to eat, include white bread and cooked rice. These foods provide plenty of carbohydrates but don’t go near covering the foundations of a great Koi fish diet. Koi tend to stack on weight with no real nutritional benefit.
The real difference between Koi and people is that you can actually control what goes into your koi’s mouth meaning that your Koi can easily maintain that great summer figure all year round.
In addition to this you can provide a healthful diet through commercial foods, and you don’t have to pick up a single earthworm or cook up a batch of greens unless you want to.
So where or how can you find commercial fish food to fill those dietary requirements, and how you can supplement those commercial foods with foods from your garden or
We can take it one step further and guide you through making your own koi food cakes, that is of course if you feel like cooking.
Ensuring That Koi are Eating Right
Variety is the spice of life? Right?
When feeding your Koi it is important to understand that no single food provides total nutrition for koi, which is why it is important to ensure they enjoy a variety.
Whether the food items are fresh worms, fish, plants or part of a dried or frozen commercial mix doesn’t seem to matter. The important factor is the variety of ingredients.
A wide variety of plant and animal based foods should be provided.
The specifics of the koi’s natural diet are not completely known and vary from location to location throughout the world and the different breeds of koi.
The commercial koi food options also vary in their ingredients, such as fish meal, shrimp meal, krill, soybeans, oats, wheat, dried insects, rose hips, spirulina, corn, alfalfa, and rice.
The great thing about combining these foods with various vitamins and minerals, several formulas have been devised that provide all the nutrients needed to keep your koi family happy and healthy.
Now the thing to remember is that you could always feed a wholly fresh diet to your koi.
This would mean having no other life of your own and just feeding your koi…
Or you could make like serious and somewhat sane koi keeper and take advantage of plenty of high quality commercial koi diets.
What Is The Best Bulk Food For My Koi
The great thing to know is that the vast majority of Koi food companies have your Koi’s health and happiness as their main focus and priority.
They have generally spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop bulk food that not only appeal to koi but offer complete nutrition in a packaged, dry form.
So how can you tell whether the food you’re buying is really a complete diet?
Unlike baby food there are no federal standards!
Generally speaking, you get what you pay for with koi food.
So when you go shopping for your koi food it can be hard to tell what is going to be best for your Koi family.
How can you which food is the best?
Our plan in this next section is to walk you through how to make that choice.
First things first, how do you get past the fancy packaging.
All koi food manufacturers have to spend a lot of money on package design so they can get your attention.
If you like the label you are more likely to pick it up and check it out.
A well produced package can also influence you to spend more than you planned or budgeted for and potentially distracted you from your real goal, buying great quality koi food for your koi family.
So what should you look for in koi food?
Believe it or not size matters when purchasing koi food.
Select pellets that are easy for your koi to eat.
What does a koi fish pellet that is easy to eat mean?
Well as an example baby koi those that are 3-4 inches or less in length need a pellet small enough to eat in one bite, you don’t want your fry to have to wait for it to fall apart.
When feeding your little fry look for pellets about an eighth of an inch across for small koi.
Quarter inch pellets are perfect for your adult koi.
It can be confusing which size food to select, but, now that you know the right size food.
Time to make your next choice.
Now you have to check out what is in the food.
What ingredients and the levels of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat.
This is similar to reading the contents list on food you buy from the store.
Read the contents list on the container/bag to ensure that the important nutrients are at appropriate levels, and that these nutrients have been gathered from a variety of different sources.
A couple of things to note about koi food products:
The list that you’ll be reading will include ingredients like ground corn and then vitamins and even rose hips.
Now it becomes even more fun as the actual value of each ingredient may be lacking.
Some ingredients fit into a couple of different categories.
As an example wheatgerm provides not only vitamins but also protein and carbohydrates.
While others like oil will also provide energy and vitamins.
The thing to note at this point is that koi food is not an exact science.
You’ll notice ingredients that seem to overlap, don’t worry too much about it.
Most reputable koi food companies use formulas that they have developed over time and have been shown to provide koi with fairly complete nutrition.
As fair as creatures go koi are pretty simple.
Which also means that they aren’t all that fussy, which also means you don’t need to buy 13 different kinds of koi food.
Don’t go and complicate things too much just stick with diets that meet the guidelines set out here.
Also from time to time add a few extra items..
Over the next couple of minutes we’ll attempt to lay out the essentials for your koi’s diet.
Protein For Your Koi
Protein is one of the most essential components fish need it for energy, growth, and repair.
Generally speaking, the best sources of protein for a koi’s diet are fish meal and soy beans.
As a side note animal protein like that from chicken is not as digestible as those mentioned above.
Sources of fish protein may include whitefish meal, herring meal, shrimp meal, and anchovy meal.
The protein content of your koi’s food may be between 25 to 36 percent of your koi’s diet, but this all depends on the season and the age of your koi.
The following information is more of a guide:
During summer months: Protein intake for Koi should be about 30 to 36 percent of their diet this is mostly because of the energy needs of your koi being higher.
During winter months: Protein intake should be nearer the 25 percent mark of their diet when koi are less active and their metabolism slows down.
In those parts of the world where the weather remains warm all year round, your koi will not enter a dormant stage, so plan to feed them a higher protein diet all year round.
When your koi are young under 3 years of age: Their protein should be 30 to 36 percent of the diet.
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