Koi Food and Goldfish Food for Pond Keepers
Page Summary: "Feeding the koi time" is probably the most enjoyable and rewarding pondkeeping activity. It's a fact of life that most people feed their koi and other pond fish not because the fish need the food but that the owner needs to enjoy the sight of the koi or gold fish eating the food... fish appearing at the surface as if from nowhere to disappear again maybe or in mature ponds to see the "tame" koi milling around the floating pellets of fish meal, fibrous organic materials and minerals.
Pond Food Choices...
It is far from uncommon and also well known that koi are willing to take food from the hand of the owner just as a pet dog would do when offered a morsel from the table. After all pond fish should be seen as pets.
Koi and other pond fish food is not confined to pellets or synthetic flake... many and varied are the koi food menus and in recent times standard koi food pellets have been enhanced with flavours and not wholly fishy ones.... what about fruit flavours?
In summary ALWAYS buy the highest quality food you can afford. It will save you money in long term.
Every koi keeper buys food. All koi foods are not the same. Bradshaws Koi Food (and Wheatgerm) is as good as the best for quality and fantastic value for money in great sensible koi food packaging.
Youll be amazed at how simple it can be to breed fish with the help of spawning brushes. Youll need one mature female and at least two males.
Testing pond water can in itself become an intriguing and interesting hobby. Get a reliable test kit however.
Orange flavoured pellets have certainly been popular... when I sold koifood some years ago here in South Africa I used to import Phoenix high protein orange flavoured floating koi food pellets from the UK and sold it at a premium price.
This latter point brings up an interesting point... are these koi foods made for the koi fish or the koi fish owner? In my mind the answer is... exotic koi foods are for the benefit first and foremost of the fish food suppliers, then the retailer of koi food and then the koi fish owner and coming in at a miserable fourth place the koi or goldfish.
The rest of this article will focus on what you really need to know about koi and other fish foods.
How Much Food Do Koi and Goldfish Need Every Day?
Unless you are breeding koi or growing them into tip top show condition where its necessary to extract as much as possible growth the daily food requirements for pond fish (koi or goldfish) is a tiny fraction of what these fish actually get fed. It is quite possible and maybe preferable that you feed the koi or other pond fish once a week but then that would spoil the fun.
Koi and Goldfish eat all types of midge larvae amongst other aquatic animals and these high protein morsels are often more than enough to satisfy koi. This does not mean the koi will not eat the food thrown at them because they will. But most of it will be completely wasted from a nutritional requirements perspective.
So perhaps we agree... feeding koi and goldfish is not strictly necessary but what the heck that's what we got the fish for... so gp ahead. But like most things in life feed your koi and goldfish in moderation because excess food has a direct and negative impact upon biofilter performance. Why?
Koi and other pond fish, by virtue of their normal metabolic process, liberate ammonia which is a by product of the digestion process stemming from protein materials in food. The fish has to get rid of all that nitrogen in the food source somehow.
The more food koi fish eat then the greater the amount of ammonia produced and that becomes dissolved in the circulating pond water and here's the problem... dissolved ammonia is potentially lethal to pond fish. This is why a biofilter in a garden fish pond is critically important since it is this biofilter which removes the ammonia derived from the food fed to the koi or goldfish.
It follows then that the more food a koi is fed, the more the koi eats the food and the more the level of ammonia expressed and the bigger the load on the biofilter whose bacteria population are there to remove ammonia.
Every time a pond fish is fed the koi or goldfish will produce ammonia. It makes sense then in order to keep stable conditions in a biofilter to feed tiny amounts to the fish often rather than large amounts of koi food once per day say.
The conclusion... if you must feed your koi and goldfish then it is better to feed small amounts often than large amounts at once.
Koi Fish Food Types, Koi Food Properties and What to Look Out for... READ THE LABEL. LOOK AT THE PRODUCT! CHECK THE PACKAGING
The main ingredients of a koi food are nitrogen protein sources such as fish meal or vegetable proteins, carbohydrates and inorganic indigestible compounds. Let's take a look at each in turn so that you can make rational koi food buying decisions
A good koi food will normally have a protein level not less than 30%. It's moisture content will be 10% or less (after all there is enough water in the pond) and its inorganic (ash) components should be as little as possible.... this is where the manufacturer's of koi food can "get" you. The koi food manufacturer saves money if they use vegetable proteins instead of fish proteins, and they certainly save money by allowing high ash levels (indicative of poor quality raw materials) and save even more by allowing say 12% moisture instead of 10% or less.
Click this link to learn more about Bradshaws excellent koi foods more information.
- High protein mid summer koi foods should preferably have higher protein contents.
- On the other hand late summer and autumn koi food should be lower in protein and hence the use and popularity of wheatgerm.
- Always deal with a reputable supplier of koi food and one that sells large quantities. This way you get many benefits
- Lower prices
- Fresher food
- More choice in koi foods.
- Go for value for money... as an example Bradshaws with massive buying power buy high quality fish food from the same source as other branded foods but packaging costs are minimised consistent with high quality and practical rather then glossy packaging... see the transparent bucket above. Motto... see before you buy!
IMPORTANT... beware high quality seductive packaging and extra high priced branded koi foods. Such packaging is no guarantee of real quality and tried and tested performance. Ultimately most well packaged (this is important but not so the gloss and glamour),
Big fish should get big pellets and small fish should get small pellets. Keep all fish food in tightly sealed containers, always to protect infestation. See through buckets are best... becasue you can see what you're buying and also what you've got left.
A complete fish food for all koi carp and other big pond fish,
Bradshaws Koi Pellets form a well balanced diet with all the fats,
carbohydrate, protein, minerals and vitamins needed for healthy
Bradshaws' Koi Pellets are available in 3 sizes:
Click here for more information and ingredients list.
Bradshaws says... "Why not take advantage of our super saver offer? Get 3 bags of Koi Pellets for the price of 2. Just add the Super Saver Offer to your basket to receive... 3 bags of Koi Pellets, but only pay for 2."