Feeding Your Koi
Feeding your Koi and other pond life is important
- just as it is important and vital that we feed ourselves ... if
we feed too much then this is just as bad for us and not feeding
enough .. and this should be born in mind when considering the
feeding of your Koi ..
Again as with most feeding .. the quality of the
food is important and the growth rate and well being of the Koi
will largely depend on the type of food... feed rubbish and
the quality of the fish may suffer, feed a good quality food, and
there are many such foods on today's market, and your Koi will
show this quality in both body weight and colour they produce ...
The temperature of the water will also affect how
much and how often your Koi wish to eat ... and this is a
consideration that should not be overlooked - and trying to feed
Koi during the winter when the pond temperatures are low, at the
same rate you would during the warmer summer months would be wrong
and can only lead to harm to the Koi themselves whose digestive
system more or less shuts down during the cold water temperatures
One of the most frequent asked questions we
'How do I get my Koi to come to
me and eat out of my fingers'
My answer to that question is 'Patience'
.... but to enlarge on that ... All Koi
will come to the owner to feed once they get used to that
particular person initially .. and probably one of the worst
things you can do to prevent such, is to simply throw food on to
the top of the water and then walk away ... and if you are one
that does that, then believe me you will never tame your Koi ..
they need to know that you are not going to hurt them and this is
the first thing that you have to teach them, just as you would any
Be patience with them and if you are in a hurry to
get to work or go off somewhere - then it is perhaps better to
delay that feeding until later and you have the time to spend with
your Koi - and when you have the time .. sit with the Koi and with
the bag of food at the side of you take a few pellets at a time
and then lower your hand into the water and gently allow a few of
the pellets to escape and to float out .. the Koi will then start
to gather those few loose pellets of food and eventually they will
begin to realise where the food is coming from and may very
gradually start to get closer to your hand ... This may not
happen on day 1 - day 2 - or even day 3 - but I can assure you
that it will happen and once one single Koi has tapped the back of
your hand, or perhaps an outstretched finger .. the battle is
almost won .. other Koi will gather as they will be afraid to be
left out of the food that is available .. It is basically
the instinct to survive and the greed they have that plays a great
part in the taming of your Koi ..
So to sum up .. be patient - be gentle and the
rest will happen for you .. good luck to you all as nothing
in the world is quite like the enjoyment you will get from being
able to feed your Koi by hand ..
quality affects the rate of growth because Koi lose their
appetites and may even stop eating if their environment is
poor. Poor water quality can also affect the fish's
metabolism, thus hindering digestion of food.
That the stocking levels (amount of fish in the pond) will
also have a bearing on the way your fish behave and as the
fish grow, as they will, then the filtration system you have
must still be able to cope with the ever growing amounts of
waste products that will be produced the more your fish eat
and grow ... and this will also affect the quality of
the water which has to be maintained if you are to be
successful in keeping Koi ..
It should be noted that not all Koi will grow at the same rate
as each other .. some will shoot on and others will more or less
stay the same size for months ... this does not mean that you have
purchased wrongly ... this is in the genetic background of the
fish themselves - just as you will see so many different shapes
and sizes in the Human race ... some of the people we pass in the
street every day are extremely tall and well built for their age
.. others, like myself, are always going to be small .. and there
is not a lot we can do about that .. but remember that
diamonds only come in small packets as well ...
Koi will normally welcome a variety of live foods, including
worms etc. Earthworms can be fed to the fish all year round and are high in protein and soon become a favourite treat - and
this is another way to gain the affection of your Koi.
Koi will accept many foods thrown to them in their pond, but many
of these are of little or no nutritional value and may even harm
the fish. Brown bread is acceptable, but white bread contains a
mild form of bleach, which does the Koi no good at all. Be aware
that foods such as beans, peas or corn do have a shell like skin
which can cause an irritation to the Koi which may not be able to
digest those shells - but many Koi keepers do feed such foods and
of course the Koi will show much enthusiasm for them when they are
fed such foods... Koi will take lettuce leaves and may
also eat duckweed and other plants around their pond (with the
exception of blanket weed, which is too coarse for them to pull
off the sides).
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