Feeding Koi Properly Depends On The Season
The key to feeding Koi properly is that feeding Koi depends on the season. Actually, to be more specific, feeding Koi depends on the water temperature.
If you are feeding Koi in heated ponds then they can have a regular, year-round diet. Koi kept in heated ponds do not have to adjust to changes in water temperature.
Feeding Koi properly during the summer months encourages growth, helps in tissue maintenance and repair as well as helping lay down fat deposits and providing nutients that the fish can store for use during the winter months.
When water temperatures are between 64-68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 degrees Celcius) feeding Koi should incorporate a high protein diet that will promote growth. Conversely, feeding Koi in cooler temperatures involves less protein as it becomes more difficult to digest then. Instead it is excreted into the water, which not only makes feeding Koi more protein a bad feeding plan, but also pollutes the pond water.
You need to assess feeding Koi in the cooler months of fall and spring when Koi appetites are subdued. During this time feeding Koi should involve a change from a high protein feed to a wheat germ based diet that is easier to digest in the cooler temperatures.
Feeding Koi at temperatures below 46-50 degrees Fahrenheit should stop altogether. In these twater temperatures Koi won’t feed at all and will rely on the nutrients that it’s already stored to get it through the winter.
When the weather begins to warm up again and your fish begin seeking out food you can start feeding Koi the wheat germ based diet again. Then begin feeding Koi by gradually mixing in the higher protein summer food as the water warms up.
Amounts for feeding Koi depend on their age and body temperature. Feeding Koi fry is different from feeding Koi adults. When water temperature is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit Koi up to 1 year old eat 5-10% of their body weight, Koi between 1 and 3 years of age consume 5% of their body weight daily and adult Koi (3 years and older) consume 2% of their body weight daily.