For the Love of Koi
Koi are stunningly beautiful creatures. Living jewels, really. Between the peaceful sound of the waterfall and their graceful movements, a Koi pond is pure tranquility. A perfect oasis from the hustle-bustle of daily life. Whether you already have Koi or are thinking of enhancing your property with a Koi pond, what you feed those beauties is very important! For more information on Koi in general, click here.
As with all pet food, not all Koi food is created equal. It is very important that Koi receive the best quality of food with the correct ratio of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.
Koi need a high protein diet. Between 35 -38% protein is the recommend percentage. As important as protein levels are, the amount of amino acid is equally important. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Their bodies cannot absorb protein directly and must be are broken down through enzymes into amino acids which are then absorbed. Many high quality foods use fishmeal as the major protein source because many of the nutrients needed (amino acids, lipids, vitamins, minerals) are present in fishmeal.
A lipid is an organic compound that include fats, waxes, oils, hormones. They are essential to the Koi diet and function as energy-storage molecules. Together with proteins and carbohydrates, lipids are one of the principal structural components of living cells. As protein is used by the body for energy, the addition of lipids is very important for sustained energy. Koi food should have approximately 12% lipid content.
In order to arrive at a nutritionally balanced koi food formula, the ingredients have to be in appropriate proportions. In order to achieve that balance, carbohydrates are added. Carbohydrates are an energy source and contain nutritional value and are easily digested. Carbohydrates are the medium in which the nutrients are delivered. High quality carbohydrates include wheat germ, brewers yeast and oatmeal.
Feed your Koi high quality food, free from empty fillers and artificial coloring. Make sure the food has a balance of protein, lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids and vitamin/minerals. Please stop into Goodness for Pets to discuss the different options available.
Once you have decided upon the best diet for your Koi, the next question is how often much and how often to feed? The answer is , it depends. The number and size of fish are a factor. So is temperature. The general rule of thumb is to feed them an amount that they will consume in 5-10 minutes. As to frequency, in warmer weather, feed them 2-3 times a day. In colder temperatures, feed them once a day. Monitor your Koi’s feeding habits continuously. As the temperature drops, they may eat less. If you see food floating on the surface, scoop it out and feed the them less the next. In warmer weather, if the Koi are consuming all the food in a frenzy in under 3 minutes, feed them more. Other contributing factors in achieving growth, health and longevity are quality water, filtration and oxygen level. More on those in a subsequent blog! Now to close with a teaser from one of very own Koi ponds!
Goodness for Pets is an all-natural pet store and pet boutique catering to animals and those who love them. Since 2004, we have been providing unparalleled service to our community in Naples, FL. Our goal is to be a valuable and dependable resource for our customers, offering products and services that are distinguished by quality, safety, excellence, and creativity. We specialize in holistic solutions with an emphasis on nutrition while acknowledging that each pet and pet owner has unique needs and requirements.