Posted by Faye on March 04, 2015
As the weather warms up your Koi will become more active, and your first instinct may be to feed feed feed!
Koi fish are ectothermic,which means that their internal body temperature is governed strictly by the ambient water temperature they are in.The result is their metabolism lowers when the temperature is colder, and they really do not "come out of hibernation" like hungry bears!
Another potential issue that leads to overfeeding is that Koi are a bit like begging dogs; we condition them to expect food, and then when they see us by the pond they look for food, and so we may be tempted to over feed them!
The reality is, Koi do NOT need to eat every day! Too much food is detrimental to the fish, as it creates more waste in the pond, and creates a nutrient base for algae to feed upon.
As the temperatures rise, the Koi experience an increase in their metabolic rate, so while you may feed them daily, do be sure to only feed what they will consume in 2 to 3 minutes.
Here at Touch of Paradise I take a very small portion of our Pondineer Koi Food, toss it in to the ponds, and watch the Koi eat. I have a range of sizes in the fish, and the smaller Koi nibble on only perhaps 2 or 3 pellets, while the larger fish will eat many more. I enjoy this time observing the Koi, and I have learned the signs that they are done eating, so I do not put more food then is consumed in those few minutes into the pond.
For the Koi in our tanks, they already come to me by swarming to the surface when they see me, so I again add a small bit of food, watch how much they eat, and if I lower my hand to the tank and they come up for more, they get a bit more! If when I lower my hand to the tank they make no move to swim back to the surface, I know they are done and any additional food is simply wasted, and becomes a drain on the balance of the tanks.
I am all about observing the Koi behavior, and I am sure many of you feel the same! Watching your Koi eat is a simple pleasure, which you can enjoy and know you are doing the best for them and the ecological balance of your pond!
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