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Thread: Fats in Koi Food

  1. #21
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Matt can give more detailed information. My experience is that food kept indoors where it is air conditioned to under 26C (around 78F) lasts a year with no problems. Food kept in the garage where temperatures exceed 95F (35C) most days for 6 months of the year will suffer.

    Hi Mike,

    Yes this is accurate. So the key is, if storage is above 78F then buy only what you can feed out in a month.

    Matt

  2. #22
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Matt and Mike, thanks for the advice. As things stand, one 5 kg bag lasts a little over 2 weeks so food won't get stale.

  3. #23
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Saturated Fats - Your Kois Already Eat Them

    I'd like to make a statement regarding saturated fats as it is generally assumed that saturated fats are not good for fish. But that assumption doesn't hold true.

    Fishmeal is the main protein source of koi food. It is made from fish that can be caught in large quantities, such as anchovies, menhaden, pout, capelin, sand eel, mackerel, sauries and sardines. I checked on what I could find on nutritiondata.self.com and came up with these (no info on raw sardines so I used herring instead)

    Percentage Herring
    (Pacific)
    Anchovies
    (European)
    Mackerel
    (atlantic)
    Water 71.5 73.4 63.6
    Protein 16.4 20.4 18.6
    Total Fats 13.9 4.8 13.9
    -saturated fats 3.3 1.3 3.3


    And these are fed to koi. So kois are actually eating saturated fats, along with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

    So, if I had to supplement my koi food with fats, saturated fats (the right kind, which is another topic) isn't verboten.

    However, since saturated fats are the most stable of all the fats, it would be the one type of fat to remain unoxidized after your koi pellets' fats oxidize from heat and exposure to oxygen.

    If I want to supplement my koi pellets with fats, it would be better to add monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats because I am pretty sure the saturated fats coming from fishmeal in the koi pellets are still good.

    I still would not deliberately feed coconut meat to koi in cold weather, as it is not mixed in as a whole food (combined with othere oils protein vitamins and minerals) such as worms, insects, larvae, snails etc. The coconut oil may still freeze.

    But I am open to the idea of feeding coconut meat in warm weather to add more fat to my koi diet as I do not think it will harm the koi, and will actually provide instant energy.

  4. #24
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    ...I'm thinking that you and Loco4koi share a tendency to make things more complex than they need to be, but it is folks like the two of you who make us think about things from different perspectives, and that eventually leads to progress.

  5. #25
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    You're not the first to notice, but thanks that you appreciate it.

    I just finished reading your post on low-level stress in relation to high water temperatures and low oxygenation and can't help but think how the koi food could be modified to assist the koi deal with the low-level stress. For 10 months in a year (and I'm being generous), my kois are living in a constant state of low-level stress, and this definitely impacts its skin quality and beni. Under stress, the last thing a koi can afford spending its energy on is how it looks. It will first use its energy to deal with the stress, and what's remaining will be for maintaining itself, for growing (as it is growing a lot in hot weather), and for digestion. Last priority - beni and shiroji.

    How can food be modified to be optimized for my climate conditions? First, as mentioned in some posts I've seen, is to lower protein levels so growth can be lessened. Secondly, put more medium chain triglycerides (as in coconut oil) as this provides very efficient energy. Third, replace starch with sugar such as molasses, as complex carbs need more digestive energy. This way, digestion won't take up a lot of the koi's energy. There would be energy left for the koi to use on beautifying itself with the beni and shiroji.

    Enzymes could also be added to aid in the digestion, so that the koi will not need to produce digestive enzymes, again conserving energy.

    Hopefully, better food can negate the effects of the low-level stress brought about by high temperatures and allow kois to develop its coloration well.

  6. #26
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Mike, your saying so means a lot. I hope you will take it as a compliment that I add you to the membership rolls of rabble-rousers :0

    I just finished reading your post on low-level stress in relation to high water temperatures and low oxygenation and can't help but think how the koi food could be modified to assist the koi deal with the low-level stress. For 10 months in a year (and I'm being generous), my kois are living in a constant state of such stress, and this definitely impacts its skin quality and beni. Under stress, the last thing a koi can afford spending its energy on is how it looks. It will first use its energy to deal with the stress, and what's remaining will be for maintaining itself, for growing (as it is growing a lot in hot weather), and for digestion. Last priority - beni and shiroji.

    How can food be modified to be optimized for my climate conditions? First, as mentioned in some posts I've seen, is to lower protein levels so growth can be lessened. Secondly, put more medium chain triglycerides (as in coconut oil) as this provides very efficient energy as it metabolizes quickly. Third, replace starch with sugar such as molasses, as complex carbs need more digestive energy. This way, digestion won't take up a lot of the koi's energy. There would be energy left for the koi to use on beautifying itself with the beni and shiroji.

    Enzymes could also be added to aid in the digestion, so that the koi will not need to produce digestive enzymes, again conserving energy.

    The downside is that the formulation may have to be in another form - a paste, as not having starch will take away binders for a solid dry pellet.

    Hopefully, better food can negate the effects of the low-level stress brought about by high temperatures and allow kois to develop its coloration well.

  7. #27
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    You're not the first to notice, but thanks that you appreciate it.

    I just finished reading your post on low-level stress in relation to high water temperatures and low oxygenation and can't help but think how the koi food could be modified to assist the koi deal with the low-level stress. For 10 months in a year (and I'm being generous), my kois are living in a constant state of low-level stress, and this definitely impacts its skin quality and beni. Under stress, the last thing a koi can afford spending its energy on is how it looks. It will first use its energy to deal with the stress, and what's remaining will be for maintaining itself, for growing (as it is growing a lot in hot weather), and for digestion. Last priority - beni and shiroji.

    How can food be modified to be optimized for my climate conditions? First, as mentioned in some posts I've seen, is to lower protein levels so growth can be lessened. Secondly, put more medium chain triglycerides (as in coconut oil) as this provides very efficient energy. Third, replace starch with sugar such as molasses, as complex carbs need more digestive energy. This way, digestion won't take up a lot of the koi's energy. There would be energy left for the koi to use on beautifying itself with the beni and shiroji.

    Enzymes could also be added to aid in the digestion, so that the koi will not need to produce digestive enzymes, again conserving energy.

    Hopefully, better food can negate the effects of the low-level stress brought about by high temperatures and allow kois to develop its coloration well.
    1) Stress management

    Wheat ingredient has a chemical called Dihydroxyphenylalanine or L-dopa, see attached file. L-dopa doesn't cause stress but it does not help the koi during stress.

    2) Grow vs. Protein

    If you lower the protein in a food then carbohydrates go up (protein, carbs, fat, ash, moisture, fiber must add up to 100%). Higher carbohydrates are not good for body conformation. High protein, and high quality protein builds bone and muscle, hence proper confirmation. So the best way to maintain good confirmation and slow growth is to use high quality protein (ie:herring meal, or menhaden) 40% or more, and lower the feed volume.

    3)Adding Enzymes and digestion

    Koi feeds with plant proteins show lower digestibility than do koi feeds that rely on fishmeal for protein. Enzyme supplement is just shooting in the dark. Enzymes must match the feed input in order to work. If enzyme supplement was effective we would already see it in feed pellets.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fats in Koi Food-dihydroxyphenylalanine-anti.pdf  
    Matt Sklar

  8. #28
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Hi Matt,

    I'm not a big fan of wheat because I associate it with fattening cattle, pigs, and chicken for food. But as a fattener for koi to finish them, it has its use. But i looked at the file and didn't say L-dopa is a part of wheat. But it's still good to know to stay away from anti-nutrients as they don't help with stress. I even think anti-nutrients cause skin allergy in people, and can't help koi with their skin.

    On the use of protein for developing body conformation, I will follow your advice and feed my koi less food, but maintain the protein content in order to help them deal with the high temperature environment they're in. This is where I am starting to understand how rapid growth and excellent koi coloration can't come together, especially in hot climates. I'll choose koi with good coloration over jumbo-ness anyday.

    It's funny but I used to think that I should feed koi more during summer, but that summer is the temperate summer and not the tropical summer I have in Manila. Turns out I should feed koi less in my summer, and feed koi more during the cool months, which lasts from mid-january to mid-march. During the cool months, our water hits the sweet spot of temperature for koi's optimum metabolism.

    As for enzymes, I believe it is very important to have them. In the natural environment, koi eat fresh raw food. Since they are not cooked, enzymes that come with the food stay intact and help with the digestion. Thus, koi need not use their pancreas to produce enzymes for digestion. The energy saved is energy directed towards growth and coloration development, given a stress-free environment. As to why koi feed makers don't include enzymes, one reason is additional cost. I don't know for sure but if premium labels include enzymes, they may not tell you to keep it a secret. But enzymes are generally lost during processing, as enzymes die when subject to high temperatures. Generally, the pellets are sterile and heat is used.

    But adding enzymes to koi food won't hurt, even if it doesn't match. It's just wasted. It won't harm the koi. But if koi is given enzymes for protein, for fat, and for carbs, then chances are it will be used to help digestion. Enzymes do the opposite of anti-nutrients. Avoid the anti-nutrients. Welcome enzymes. My experience with koi is nil, but with people, I see enzymes at work. My dad, in his old age, was having recurring skin allergies and doctors were prescribing medication left and right. I stopped their use, and started giving him digestive enzymes. Predictably, his allergies went away. The reason was his pancreas were not what they used to be, and his kidney wasn't what they used to be. Food don't digest well and undigested food particles enter the blood stream. His kidneys were supposed to filter these foreign particles, but they didn't and so they had to be eliminated thru another pathway- the skin. And that's why he was having skin allergies.

    We don't deal with old kois so much as we deal with kois that can benefit from enzyme supplementation. They're not having skin allergies, but I think we can help their skin develop with enzymes. That's part of owning a koi - to help them develop to their full potential. I'm only mentioning skin, but it's actually general koi health that translates into beautiful koi that can also be big. Well, in my case I have to choose - beautiful or big

  9. #29
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    yerrag,

    Here is a list of anti nutrient factors associated with plant proteins:
    Nutritional fish pathology

    You will notice that wheat has L-dopa, as well as protease inhibitors, and phytic acid among others.

  10. #30
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    I see it now, listed as dihy----. Wow, seeing how wheat has so many anti-nutrients, it makes me wonder why wheat use is so pervasive, even in koi foods.

    On the subject of fats again, I also question the efficacy of the fats in koi food, even with antioxidants. If the formulation does not include the lipase enzyme, which splits fat for digestion, then the kois would have to provide lipase from its pancreas. This added work on the koi's part would be unnecessary if lipase came with the oil/fat in the food. With processed koi food, that isn't happening because enzymes have been destroyed by heat during processing.

    In nature, koi don't have this problem because they eat fresh live food which contains lipase, among other enzymes. We know it isn't practical to provide live food or even freeze-dried food (where enzymes are preserved), so the question now becomes how do we supplement koi pellets with fat that has the enzyme lipase.

    Once again, it makes the more sense to add coconut meat and fresh avocado. Not so much flax seed, because of anti-nutrients (sprouting goes rid of anti-nutrients but it's complicated). These are whole foods that contain oils as well as lipase. They are easily converted to energy because of the available enzyme.

    Should these oils provide for the basal metabolism of koi, the protein ingested from eating koi food can be focused on growth.

    If however the focus is not on growth but on coloration, I am speculating that by increasing fat content and lessening protein content in the formulation, koi can have energy focused more on coloration development, as long as stress is minimized by good water management.

    Koi in the tropical climate suffer stress from high water temperature, and therefore should not be eating koi food meant for colder climates. The koi food should focus on correcting the weakness in color development and lessening emphasis on growth. By providing better oil supplementation without omitting inclusion of lipase, and by increasing fat content while reducing protein content, a tropical formulation of koi food can be made. Less growth but more color development is the objective.

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