Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 2 of 21 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 207
Like Tree10Likes

Thread: Cool Water Feeding Philosophy

  1. #11
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    On the question of carp feeding behavior over winter, Matt Sklar has provided me with an article concerning the winter behavior of carp with implanted tracking devices whose movements were observed over periods of several months in eastern Europe where their pond froze over part of the winter. They were in a commercial aquaculture pond, so their behaviors might be different than carp in the wild. Still, there were interesting observations. The following passage is perhaps relevant to the question of feeding protein in cold water [Note: TW means 'temperature of water']:

    Foraging might also play a role in search of a suitable wintering site. Opinions differ
    about foraging of carp in winter; TW at which carp will stop feeding range from 4 to 12 C
    (e.g., Huet, 1986; Michaels, 1988; Schmeller, 1988; Reichle, 1998). However, various
    observations of feeding C1 at low TW (0.5–3 C) have been described (Bohl, 1999;
    Billard, 1999). Moreover, studies within the watershed of a great lake (Powles et al.,
    1983), in a reservoir (Schwartz, 1987) and a stream, and nearby lakes (Ziemiankowski and
    Cristea, 1961) have suggested that foraging of common carp is restricted but not
    completely suspended in winter. Consequently, some authors suggested to feed common
    carp in aquaculture at low TW of 4 C (e.g., Huet, 1986; Schreckenbach, 2002b). In this
    study, carp were caught at TW between 3.1 and 6.5 C, and their intestines contained
    copepods and chironomid larvae besides commercial food. Since it is known that the
    abundance of cladocerans in the open water body (an important food source for common
    carp) is low in winter (e.g., Christoffersen and Bosselmann, 1997; Jeppesen et al,. 1999,
    Schlott et al., 2003), carp might feed on copepods, whilst the bottom of the pond could
    provide another source of food [chironomid larvae, oligochaetes (Tubifex sp.)].

    Chironomid larvae (midges) are over 50% protein and the other foods were animal, not plants, so the protein content would be high. Of course, the quantity would be low in comparison to warmer temperatures. Since it was an aquaculture pond, plant life may have been limited. Since some commercial feed was found in the intestines, it seems the commercial carp farmer was giving some feed when water temperatures were in the low 40sF. (!) Carp farmers are interested in a harvest, not the longevity of the carp. So, I'd not suggest anyone feed at temperatures in the 40sF on the basis of some unknown carp farmer having done so. The studies referenced are undertaken to determine how to maximize the harvest weights for the food fish market.

  2. #12
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    I forgot to give a cite to the article:

    Aquaculture 241 (2004) 301-317

    Overwintering of Farmed Common Carp (Cyprinus
    carpio L.) in the Ponds of a Central European
    Aquaculture Facility—Measurement of Activity
    By Radio Telemetry
    Christian Bauera,*, Gunther Schlott
    University of Veterinary Medicine, Clinic for Avian, Reptile and Fish Medicine,
    Veterina¨rplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
    Bundesamt fu¨r Wasserwirtschaft, O¨ kologische Station Waldviertel, 3943 Gebharts 33, Austria
    Received 19 May 2004; received in revised form 29 July 2004; accepted 2 August 2004

  3. #13
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340
    Over the decades, I try and follow what Toshio Sakai suggests, for females 3 and over a 6-8 week period of no food. Interestingly enough at his last teaching seminar here in the NW, he said that care has to be taken in the fall when it comes to proper feeding to avoid protein being used over and above growth needs for increased egg production. We often think it's winter time when we get our koi into trouble but it starts more in the fall, which makes sense to have things ready in spring to continue the species.

    regarding food I have fed exclusively 49% protein year round the past several years. I find that all the various feed combinations and protein percentage more of a marketing tool and for this retired hobbyist a welcome relief budget wise. In my mind atleast if a wild carp eats say a crayfish in any season, it is still the same % of protein.

    During my entire feeding regiment, I don't heavy hand the food with the idea that I must grow my koi to 80 cm in 4.8 years in order to be socially Kool. I feed what is needed for each season and only really feed with any intent at growth during 4 months of the year. In years past where I experimented with pushing tosai and nisei with warmth and
    extra feed after 5 years groups from the same breeder fed and not fed ended up with those experiencing winter with no food actually bigger than those that were coddled.
    I also am carful about what genetics i like to purchase. ever notice how some lines of showa and shiro utsuri tend to get egg impaction quicker then other lines. I really prefer sensuke in kohaku and matsunosuke in sanke because they tend not to get out of shape . I like those lines of koi that had some recent magoi bloodlines worked into them.

    there are lots of things to consider when planning, and climate and location has lots to do with it. To simply follow what they do in japan doesn't make sense if conditions are not exactly the same. So while i like to learn the rules, I'm not afraid to use my own observations and common sense to come up with a program that works for me. I find this holds true in my hobby of bonsai.
    learn basics from japan and then adapt to things that work better here in the northwest. I find out local trees seem to do better in this climate then many imported from japan. nothing brilliant there, just common sense.

    I know I kinda rambled here, but like most things it's not black and white but interpreting the various shades of grey.
    ricshaw likes this.
    Dick Benbow

  4. #14
    Nisai Scrmnkg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, Ca.
    Posts
    109
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    On the question of carp feeding behavior over winter, Matt Sklar has provided me with an article concerning the winter behavior of carp with implanted tracking devices whose movements were observed over periods of several months in eastern Europe where their pond froze over part of the winter. They were in a commercial aquaculture pond, so their behaviors might be different than carp in the wild. Still, there were interesting observations. The following passage is perhaps relevant to the question of feeding protein in cold water [Note: TW means 'temperature of water']:

    Foraging might also play a role in search of a suitable wintering site. Opinions differ
    about foraging of carp in winter; TW at which carp will stop feeding range from 4 to 12 C
    (e.g., Huet, 1986; Michaels, 1988; Schmeller, 1988; Reichle, 1998). However, various
    observations of feeding C1 at low TW (0.5–3 C) have been described (Bohl, 1999;
    Billard, 1999). Moreover, studies within the watershed of a great lake (Powles et al.,
    1983), in a reservoir (Schwartz, 1987) and a stream, and nearby lakes (Ziemiankowski and
    Cristea, 1961) have suggested that foraging of common carp is restricted but not
    completely suspended in winter. Consequently, some authors suggested to feed common
    carp in aquaculture at low TW of 4 C (e.g., Huet, 1986; Schreckenbach, 2002b). In this
    study, carp were caught at TW between 3.1 and 6.5 C, and their intestines contained
    copepods and chironomid larvae besides commercial food. Since it is known that the
    abundance of cladocerans in the open water body (an important food source for common
    carp) is low in winter (e.g., Christoffersen and Bosselmann, 1997; Jeppesen et al,. 1999,
    Schlott et al., 2003), carp might feed on copepods, whilst the bottom of the pond could
    provide another source of food [chironomid larvae, oligochaetes (Tubifex sp.)].

    Chironomid larvae (midges) are over 50% protein and the other foods were animal, not plants, so the protein content would be high. Of course, the quantity would be low in comparison to warmer temperatures. Since it was an aquaculture pond, plant life may have been limited. Since some commercial feed was found in the intestines, it seems the commercial carp farmer was giving some feed when water temperatures were in the low 40sF. (!) Carp farmers are interested in a harvest, not the longevity of the carp. So, I'd not suggest anyone feed at temperatures in the 40sF on the basis of some unknown carp farmer having done so. The studies referenced are undertaken to determine how to maximize the harvest weights for the food fish market.
    Similarly, "Koi Breeders" are interested in the harvest and what will be profitable and marketable. Given their objective, as Hobbyist's should we be following their lead?

    More importantly, this study was conducted to develop ways to reduce loses during the overwintering process, rather then create an addition growing period.

  5. #15
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    LOL...It's not. That's why I call it 'cool water'... not cold. I think of 'cold' as water temperatures in the 50sF and lower (15C and lower).
    My koi don't experience cold. They do know about cool. They are showing the signs of the changing season with appetite being a little less. They would eat the same quantity of food, but not as quickly. I reduce feed somewhat more than necessary to match their appetite to simulate a winter experience. So, instead of the approx. 1.25 pounds per day thay were getting in late September/early October, they are gradually being taken down to about 0.8 pounds per day, and around mid-December will be taken down to about 0.5 pounds per day leading up to the start of their fast. (There are 14 koi over 27 inches, and 3 youngsters in the 20-inch or smaller range. One will be going to get down to my limit of 16 fish. No new koi without one getting re-homed.) The schedule will be shortened if we get a strong cold front that drops pond temperatures close to 60F. [My idea of a perfect 'winter' is enough cold for the pond to be 60-62F, but no freeze that burns the camellia blooms or requires hauling staghorns to the garage.]
    I have similar pond water temperatures only I under feed and plan to cut back less (percentage).

    Last week Southern California skipped Fall and went from Summer to Winter.

    A week ago my front pond was 68°F... yesterday it was 57°F. Last Winter the pond temperature did not get down to below 55°F.

    I too later will start a fast (shorter). A perfect Winter would be a constant cold spell for the fast period and not an up-and-down temperature shift like last year.

  6. #16
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,574
    We follow the same pattern we learned when we lived in Plano TX. We shift from high protein to wheatgerm during the fall. During November and December we feed only wheatgerm with lesser and lesser amounts. Much depends on the water temp and projected weather patterns. No later than New Years Day, the showers are by passed, the feeding stops and the cover goes over the pond. I will continue to do weekly filter backwashes and water changes. Depending on the weather, by April 1st the cover comes off the pond and I resume small feedings, usually the pellets will have some OJ or liquid vitamins added. No later than March 1st I will stop the shower bypass; again, much depends on the water temp, air temp, and weather forecasts.

    You can get liquid vitamins at Costco or Sams.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  7. #17
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    The use of wheatgerm feed during low temperature periods has been advocated on the basis that it is more digestible. I've followed that teaching for many years. Based on what I've been reading lately, I do believe wheat is more easily digested by koi than many other grains. But, it seems that vegetable-based protein is not as easily (or thoroughly) digested as animal-based protein derived from aquatic life. So, I'm no longer confident in what I was taught about the benefits of using a wheatgerm food. The promotion of wheatgerm foods came out of Japan, I believe, so I'm not ready to discard what I was taught. The Japanese experience is very much about what works in practice. But, I'm left in doubt, which has led to me taking a different approach this year.

  8. #18
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I have similar pond water temperatures only I under feed and plan to cut back less (percentage).

    Last week Southern California skipped Fall and went from Summer to Winter.

    A week ago my front pond was 68°F... yesterday it was 57°F. Last Winter the pond temperature did not get down to below 55°F.

    I too later will start a fast (shorter). A perfect Winter would be a constant cold spell for the fast period and not an up-and-down temperature shift like last year.
    It is a rare year when my pond dips below 60F, and then for only a couple of days. A few years ago we had very chilly winter and I thought the pond had gotten into the 'cold water' zone. Turned out my thermometer was broken. I finally figured it out when it was reading 50F after laying in the sun on a 80F day.

  9. #19
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    We follow the same pattern we learned when we lived in Plano TX. We shift from high protein to wheatgerm during the fall. During November and December we feed only wheatgerm with lesser and lesser amounts. Much depends on the water temp and projected weather patterns. No later than New Years Day, the showers are by passed, the feeding stops and the cover goes over the pond. I will continue to do weekly filter backwashes and water changes. Depending on the weather, by April 1st the cover comes off the pond and I resume small feedings, usually the pellets will have some OJ or liquid vitamins added. No later than March 1st I will stop the shower bypass; again, much depends on the water temp, air temp, and weather forecasts.
    You can get liquid vitamins at Costco or Sams.
    Some people in Southern California do what you learned in Texas and some cut back on feeding, but do not fast their Koi.

    Fasting from January 1st - April 1st (above 55°F water) may be better for large female Koi, but may not be best for biological filtration.

  10. #20
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post

    Fasting from January 1st - April 1st (above 55°F water) may be better for large female Koi, but may not be best for biological filtration.
    Yes, in some circumstances. The biofilm is still present, and in cool conditions the bacterial community is not as robust in any event. In my experience, if feeding is resumed gradually, and temperatures are otherwise appropriate, the nitrifiers will keep up. If feeding is resumed too abruptly, the system can be 'overloaded'. I think this is a factor in Spring algal blooms, with algae filling the void until the nitrifier population rebounds. It is, of course, a greater issue in climes with 'cold water' winters where the bacterial community goes through its own form of stasis.

Page 2 of 21 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-12-2013, 10:50 AM
  2. ZNA philosophy
    By JasPR in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-27-2012, 07:01 PM
  3. Feeding frequency, growth, & water quality
    By Lam Nguyen in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-04-2009, 11:35 AM
  4. Koi Raising Philosophy
    By MikeM in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-24-2005, 06:40 PM
  5. Cool Water Effects
    By MikeM in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-01-2004, 03:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com