Important Koi Food Mistakes
Even though Koi are a hardy breed of fish there are several Koi food mistakes you will want to avoid.
A big mistake is overfeeding. Many people think if some Koi food is good then more must be better. Rather than feeding too much food at once it is better to feed smaller amounts less frequently. You should offer more food only if it is eaten very quickly.
Excess Koi food won’t necessarily harm your fish, but if they overeat they don’t digest it as efficiently, and simply release it into the pond as a waste product. This extra waste pollutes the water and causes your filter to to work harder.
If you spot any uneaten food in your pond remove it as soon as possible, before it decomposes in the water and produces toxins that can harm your fish!
Another Koi food mistake is to feed your Koi too often or not often enough. The frequency of Koi feedings will vary according to the temperature. When temperatures are around 68 degreesF (20degreesC) Koi food should be offered 2 – 3 times per day. In cooler temperatures (50-59 degreesF or 10-15 degreesC) you need only offer Koi food once per day. If your Koi are kept in a heated pond then feed them according to the temperature the pond is kept at.
Making sudden changes to new brands or types of food is another mistake you should take care to avoid. This will frequently result in your Koi refusing to eat. If you do decide to make a Koi food change you need to do it gradually. Start by mixing a little of the new food in with the old. Over a span of 7 – 10 days gradually increase the amount of the new food in proportion to the old until you have completed the switch.
While it is a great idea to feed your Koi some live insects, another mistake you should not make is to offer any stinging or biting insects as Koi food. Fireflies also make dangerous Koi food since the chemicals that cause them to glow are toxic and can kill your fish.
Additionally there are particular foods that can be fed to other pond fish that should not be used as Koi food. These include birdseed, corn, peanuts, bread, rice and peas. The reason that bread based foods and rice make poor Koi food is because they swell when exposed to water and can cause intestinal obstructions. Seeds, corn and peanuts are poor Koi food as well because they can also cause blockages because Koi can’t digest them. Peas and other carbohydrate laden foods make poor Koi food because they can lead to obesity in your fish.
One last Koi food mistake you may want to avoid is over-supplementation. Many Koi fish enthusiasts choose to supplement their regime with extra nutrients. There is nothing wrong with this BUT make sure to check with your veterinarian before making any dietary supplement an additional staple in your Koi food plan. Just like too little of a nutrient can be a detriment to your Koi’s health, so can too much of a nutrient.
All things considered feeding Koi is not an overly difficult task. With a little information and planning you can avoid making mistakes with Koi food.