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Thread: What is the best koi food

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    What is the best koi food

    What is the best koi food or color bod shape healthy active what is the best koi food for that

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    This question is asked all the time. There is no 'best' koi food. If you search this forum, you will find numerous threads discussing food in general, desirable protein levels, the positives of various ingredients and additives, the negatives of various ingredients and additives, and what do feed in the different seasons of the year and in different climates.

    In all of these discussions, you will find there is little uniformity of opinion, but thoughts of experienced koikeepers do coalesce around some basic concepts. Still, those same folks use different foods and over the years I've observed that a person who was pleased with a particular brand has become pleased with a different brand.

    Personally, I use Hikari throughout the year. In some seasons I use the staple pellet. In some seasons I use the high growth pellet. And, throughout the year I use the sinking wheatgerm. But, I always am using other brands as well. Last year I used FD sinking quite a bit, but it is not currently available. This year I am using Tomigai floating wheatgerm, sinking wheatgerm and sinking spirulina, as well as Hikari. I really liked the Saki Hikari, but the pellets were too small for my fish, so I stopped using it. Too much was wasted in the skimmers. I have been pleased thus far with Tomigai, but do not like the 50% protein level. So, I mix it with lower protein Hikari foods to get the overall protein levels approximately where I want them. At my current water temperatures, I like around 40% protein.

    I do not like feeding just one brand. I figure that nothing is perfect, and that whatever one food might have in short supply, another food could make up fot it. In some years I've used as many as 4 different brands mixed around, not counting the occasional bag of an 'odd' brand picked up as a door prize. As long as a food is fish meal and wheat based (no cornmeal), I'll use it in a mix with the brands I favor at the time. There are a couple of new sinking foods coming out. I will want to give each a try when it is available.

    Search the forum and you can make up your own mind.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Mike is spot on here. there is no such thing-- instead there are grades of quality of feeds, just as there are grades of koi!

    Most formulas will keep a koi alive and well. Some will cause a koi to grow well but represent a pollution danger to any pons systems that can't handle such a diet.
    In the end, pelleted foods are a staple. An important staple. But the best diets are fresh diets-- live foods and fresh greens coupled with a good quality pellet.
    Whatever the pellet you feed make sure it jives with the seasons. "July" food is not "Oct" food!
    And in the end, as a last word ( as if! LOLs) it is the FEEDING TECHNIQUE that is most important of all and not the manufacturer label on the package. A word to the wise------ JR

    In the high ranks I'd list Hikari of course and also any of the Japanese imports. But if not reasonably fresh then any local feed will probably be better as viatmins and nutrition deteriorate with age including the best of the best.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Human health is becoming more involved with what we eat and the vast majority of consumers are becoming ingredient lable readers. It means understanding what it is we're putting into our body and can it be justified. This same mentality can be used with our pet foods including fish. It just means we have to begin learning about how our foods are processed and what the Koi actually needs. For example did you know that processing sinking food is easier on the same ingredients then the extruding process for floating?

    What's the difference from fish meal and whitefish meal. what is most available and less expensive. Why is whitefish meal more expensive and because of availability continues to increase in price. Do we have to have it as lead ingredient. Fish meal can be considered catch of the day, which may vary from time to time. Does that matter?

    why does the ingredient feather meal, up the protein % without providing any real nourishment

    if a protein % is low, what is the rest of the percentage made up with? Is that other % what we want?

    what limitations on ash and moisture is acceptable.

    If a product is broken down into numerous parts but all from the same basic ingredient, how does that affect the % of the lead ingredient, when in fact all should be grouped together to become the first on the list. ( and not to our likeing).

    find someone who has koi bito magazine from 2002 (#2) and read up on the article about how safe is your koi food. Will add to some understanding.

    Why is potato starch an important ingredient?

    could herring ever be used as an animal protein in koi food. How about sardines? or Anchovies......

    Why do some koi foods label their product as wheatgerm and the lead ingredient is fishmeal? Is it ok to be #2 on the list? if you intend to feed wheatgerm. Will that cause harm?

    when you can understand some of these things, you can better decide which of the numerous voices to eliminate or listen to when it comes to koi food.

    I have seen many a koi keeper buy the most expensive food and then not store it correctly. exposed to moisture, sun etc. if you don't know how to buy in bulk and then break down into smaller bags that are stored correctly, would you be better off buying smaller amounts to maintain freshness, even tho it may be a few dollars more apound. How imporatnt is freshness?

    If your fish leave behind long stringy wastes that float or end up in the sump
    would that indicate too much food or the wrong food for conditions, or maybe even the wrong mixture of ingredients? Does smaller bits of waste indicate better digestion and better use of the ingredients you just paid for?


    I think there is a direct comparison here with home made and turn key filtration. The person that understands their system before building it can easily tweak it to get what the system needs to produce, as opposed to someone who has to call the turnkey reps to know what to do when there is a problem. If you know about koi food and what goes into it and why, you can better decide which food will work best for you. So know what ingredients are used and what they provide.
    Dick Benbow

  5. #5
    MCA
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    Dick points out an important topic. How much food/protein can your pond system handle? Some of that food hopefully goes into building larger, healthier koi. But much becomes organic waste. So if your pond system was near its limit for handing the a certain amount of grams of good with X protein, you could be in trouble increasing the feeding rate in grams and/or changing to another food with higher protein levels that are not adsorbed as well.

    Remember, it is a system. Where is Steve Childers when you need him?

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Well with Steve M.I.A. these days, I will fill in as this all comes back to one person-- Nigel Caddock, who in his magazine Nishikigoi International began what was perhaps the most important series of koi articles since Dr Kuroki and his influence, Masayuki Amano, wrote about the koi as living art, so many years ago now.
    In the article series, " The Big Picture" , Nigel coined the terms and concepts of a koi pond as a system. He evolved this from the work of Andrew worthington, and other early pioneers of vortexes and chamber filters and their intimate link to the pond itself. I later added the word 'synergy' to the articles I wrote as an extension to his original thoughts.
    Indeed it was Nigel when visiting my home back in 1990 that the final piece of his puzzle was completed. He had the concept of vortex down better than this American. But I had the plumbing coming thru the sides of my pond ( rather than over a water fall or from an outlet) in a series of three rows -- one set of three along the bottom and one row at mid depth and a third row breaking the surface.
    Later in the 90s Nigel rolled out his pond in the pages of the magazine. It was like nothing seen before. prepared from the excavation outward, this was a system rather than a pond with a filter. Every detail was working with an overall goal to move water and deliver it to the biochambers. The prefilter concept was replaced with a zone to settle, spin out and dispose of organics ( the key to a working koi pond).

    yet no matter how sophisticated that first Caddock system and its 1990 NI series presentation was, it really comes back to stocking and feeding technique or feeding skills.
    No system, as it turns out can ;
    1) over come the seasonal nature of a biofilter
    2) can take unlimited amounts of protein decay and partially digested amino acid chains or fatty amino chains. This will defeat any system and encourage a negative synergy.
    3) can do without a water change to bring base ambient pollution levels and depletetion levels back to 'ideal'

    If a good pond is 'system' as Nigel and Steve state, then a great pond is a combination of science and skill. JR

  7. #7
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Well with Steve M.I.A. these days, I will fill in as this all comes back to one person-- Nigel Caddock, who in his magazine Nishikigoi International began what was perhaps the most important series of koi articles since Dr Kuroki and his influence, Masayuki Amano, wrote about the koi as living art, so many years ago now.
    In the article series, " The Big Picture" , Nigel coined the terms and concepts of a koi pond as a system. He evolved this from the work of Andrew worthington, and other early pioneers of vortexes and chamber filters and their intimate link to the pond itself. I later added the word 'synergy' to the articles I wrote as an extension to his original thoughts.
    Indeed it was Nigel when visiting my home back in 1990 that the final piece of his puzzle was completed. He had the concept of vortex down better than this American. But I had the plumbing coming thru the sides of my pond ( rather than over a water fall or from an outlet) in a series of three rows -- one set of three along the bottom and one row at mid depth and a third row breaking the surface.
    Later in the 90s Nigel rolled out his pond in the pages of the magazine. It was like nothing seen before. prepared from the excavation outward, this was a system rather than a pond with a filter. Every detail was working with an overall goal to move water and deliver it to the biochambers. The prefilter concept was replaced with a zone to settle, spin out and dispose of organics ( the key to a working koi pond).
    yet no matter how sophisticated that first Caddock system and its 1990 NI series presentation was, it really comes back to stocking and feeding technique or feeding skills.
    No system, as it turns out can ;
    1) over come the seasonal nature of a biofilter
    2) can take unlimited amounts of protein decay and partially digested amino acid chains or fatty amino chains. This will defeat any system and encourage a negative synergy.
    3) can do without a water change to bring base ambient pollution levels and depletetion levels back to 'ideal'
    If a good pond is 'system' as Nigel and Steve state, then a great pond is a combination of science and skill. JR
    Is there any way to see pictures of Nigel's pond besides an issue of Nishikigoi International?

  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    Hi, no I don't think so? But I can scan some pics from the magazine if that works for you? JR

  9. #9
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Hi, no I don't think so? But I can scan some pics from the magazine if that works for you? JR
    Thanks, that would be appreciated.

  10. #10
    MCA
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    As I remember Nigel's pond was in the KOI Living Jewels video series from New Vison. Later in the KOI Keepers video series from New Vision there was a followup to Nigel's pond showing the mature trees surrounding a great collection of gosanke...mostly kohaku.

    Nigel's pond was done in those early days (late 90s) when folks where just starting to figure out how to do air lines to bottom drain diffusers. So the air tubes ran inside the drain pipes and gave him problems with debris collection inside the pipe. Makes me wonder if he ever attempted a correction.

    Those wonderful old koi videos from New Vision might still be available to purchase. There are very educational and entertaining.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

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