Feeding Koi too little?

DramaQueen1(9)May 16, 2014

I have six Koi fish all of them about 7 inches long. I feed them about 1/3 cup of pellets- HIKARI GOLD medium pellets - once per day. Is that enough? Just wondering... they seem to be doing okay but I read where most people feed their Koi fish 2 to 3 times per day. That seems like a lot of food. I supplement with dried brine shrimp and sometimes some veggies that I give them during the day.
I also have another question that I'm concerned about. I have a bag of Blue Ridge Growth pellets that I've kept in my refrigerator for about nine months. Are they still good? I prefer to feed them HIKARI GOLD but don't want to waste the Blue Ridge pellets.

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Hi Drama, this is a loaded question. The question of how much to feed koi has been going on since koi keeping began.
Let me give you a little background first. I know really, such a simple question. Koi growth and water quality are the two biggest areas. People will skip feeding their koi to retain good water quality, Also, people who want big koi will feed their fish more often. There was just an article in my local koi club magazine (MAKC) asking, are we starving our koi. Now people will say that a fish will only grow to its surrounding. However, if water quality is perfect and the fish has the genetics, it will grow big.
So how is your water quality? How big is your pond? How big do you want your fish to grow? Also, with good water quality, expect your six fish to multiply.
Now I believe in feeding my koi more than once per day. However I'm a R.N. and sometimes my schedule does not permit. I have yet to buy an auto feeder. There's a great series of Youtube videos by Andrewkoi. He touches on how you should mix your koi food. For instance, as the water warms I wont just switch my fish from wheat germ to a protein food. I will slowly introduce it. I have a zip lock bag, and slowly mix more protein into the mix as the weather warms. I never completely take out the wheat germ. As the weather cool, I mix more wheat germ into the mix until its all wheat germ. Now I mix other types of food in as well, silkworm pellets, freeze dried krill, etc..
As far as the Blue Ridge pellets go, I don't believe they are bad. However, if you see floating poop on the water stop feeding them it.

Sorry for the long response...I hope this helps..

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Craig, thank you for your quick response. To answer some of your questions my pond is 1000 gallons, 3 feet deep. I don't want my fish to grow more than nine or 10 inches so that answers that question. The water quality seems excellent, crystal clear but I have ordered a water test kit and its on its way so I can check the pH level. I'm going to take a look at the YouTube videos you mentioned. When you talk about wheat germ are you referring to the same wheat germ that you buy in the cereal section of the supermarket, or is there a different type of wheat germ for fish? I'm not familiar with feeding fish wheat germ.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Yes getting a test kit is essential, Check out Tetra pond test kit, I think you can find it at Petsmart. It has all the essentials. On the test strips you will see "Total Alkalinity" Make sure that is between 80 and 200. The higher the better. You can raise that by adding a cup of Baking Soda a day.
If you look at your cold weather koi food, it will say a wheat germ product. Wheat germ fattens them up and is easier on their digestive system. So mix your cold weather food in with your summer food.
I do have a few videos on youtube "Craiggers Koi Garden Ponds". I'm just a consumer who likes talking about ponds.

I hope this helps...


    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 1:48PM
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Thanks again Craig. The test kit that I ordered from Amazon is the one you recommended. Still waiting for it to arrive. I took a look at the video from Andrewskoi on YouTube and have to admit it is one fascinating and informative video. Along with the test kit I ordered a bag of Hikari Spirulina to see if that will boost their appetite. I appreciate your help.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 3:09PM
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Anytime...Happy Ponding!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:43PM
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