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Thread: Fats in Koi Food

  1. #1
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Fats in Koi Food

    Hi everyone. I just logged in today and hope you can bear with me asking about food, and fats in particular. I've enjoyed learning from the discussions here since I started my koi hobby a year and a half ago. I hoped I hadn't missed a discussion on fats, which is the subject of my post here.

    First off, let me rattle off a few numbers and premises. I hope I am not way off:
    -Fats in pellets are usually at 4%, the reason being that the pellets would have a hard time staying intact if the percentage goes higher.
    -The fats in pellets consist of omega-3 fats in the form of fish oil.
    -Koi in nature eat live worm, larvae, and insects, the fat content of which is about equal to its weight in protein. Koi, also eat plants.

    Question 1: Is 4% fat enough for the koi to eat? Would koi benefit from eating food with higher fat contents? If so, how in terms of appearance and health?

    Question 2: If the pellet fat is omega-3 polyunsaturated fat such as fish oil, how can the fat not be stale or even rancid? I take fish oil and flaxseed oil myself, and they always come in dark plastic bottles that are sealed to prevent the oil from being oxidized and rancid. Once opened, they have to be refrigerated. If during pellet manufacture the pellets are subject to heat, wouldn't the oil be oxidized and thus be pretty much useless?

    Question 3: If you have to supplement koi pellets with healthy fats, what would you use?

    Thanks!

    Mike Lim

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    We need Matt Sklar to come along and answer your questions. He can give a real explanation.

    For now, I'll just say that significantly higher fat levels would be better, but pellet food has a shortened shelf life as fat is increased. So, it is a balancing act for the manufacturer. In warm climates like the Phillipines, it becomes even more of an issue than in cool climate areas.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    most put their food in the philippines, on top of the pond chiller....

  4. #4
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    We need Matt Sklar to come along and answer your questions. He can give a real explanation.For now, I'll just say that significantly higher fat levels would be better, but pellet food has a shortened shelf life as fat is increased. So, it is a balancing act for the manufacturer. In warm climates like the Phillipines, it becomes even more of an issue than in cool climate areas.
    I agree Mike. It's more of a challenge keeping fats fresh in warm climates. I'm even thinking that the fats in pellets are already oxidized, assuming there is heat involved in the manufacture of the pellets. Only saturated fats like coconut oil and palm oil can withstand the heat, but then you run up against the idea that saturated fats are not good for fish.I have a list of fresh plant-based food that is high on oil to consider in supplementing with koi pellets: coconut meat, avocado, flax seeds, hemp hearts, and each have their pros and cons, but somehow to my thinking among these avocado is the best. As you know, we don't want to use their oils as they would create a surface slick. Most of us know coconut to be high in saturated fats, but if I'm in a hot climate, these fats wouldn't freeze unless used in the cooler months. Perhaps a small amount of coconut meat wouldn't hurt? I considered hemp hearts in place of hemp seeds because hemp seeds have been infrared-radiated to keep the seeds from germinating as the government fears marijuana sprouting all over the land. Hemp hearts are seeds where the shell has been split, making the seed unable to sprout. It has a nice blend of oils in itself, having both omega-3 and omega-6, and a little sat fat - only it is a lot more expensive. Flax seeds have plenty of omega-3's, but being a seed has many anti-nutrients such as phytic acid that may be counterproductive to digestion. It also has a lot of fiber, which may or may not be good but it sure makes a lot of waste. Lastly, avocado has mostly monounsaturated fats, with some sat fats and omega-6, and a smidgin of omega-3's. However, omega-3 is what koi really needs. So really, it may come down to feeding koi fish oils, in the form of fish.That said, the omega-3 found in fish oils are superior to that found in plants. The smaller the fish (like anchovies), as compared to large fish (like tuna) the higher the percentage of fat as there is a higher percentage of skin surface area and most fish fats reside under the skin.Am also considering feeding freeze-dried anchovies to the koi. Buying freeze-dried is prohibitively expensive, so am trying out making my own by exposing the anchovies for a week in a freezer. Will know in a week if my freeze-drying works. Then I'll have to cajole the kois into eating them. Had put some fermented fruit enzymes to marinate the anchovies both for flavor and to improve digestibility. Will let you know if it works. by the way, fyi, the freeze-drying avoids using heat to dry the anchovies, thus preserving the oils, keeping it from degrading.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dick benbow View Post
    most put their food in the philippines, on top of the pond chiller....
    Haha, with a pond chiller and with the sky high electricity rates in the Philippines, that leaves little for me to feed the koi

    p.s. That means sorry no pond chiller until I'm buddies with Obama and Bernanke

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    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I think you need to contact Michael Hernandez owner of TOMiGAi about Koi nutrition. Contact Michael at TOMiGAi

    Michael is an expert, has judged Koi in Japan, and I hear use to have a TV show on Koi in the Philippines.

    From Koi Bito:


  7. #7
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I think you need to contact Michael Hernandez owner of TOMiGAi about Koi nutrition. Contact Michael at TOMiGAi

    Michael is an expert, has judged Koi in Japan, and I hear use to have a TV show on Koi in the Philippines.

    From Koi Bito:

    Hi Ric (Rick?), I see you're from LA. Used to live there myself. Had a hard time slowing down driving at a crawl here. Manila being a small place (but jampacked) who wouldn't know Mike Hernandez? He knows his stuff. I bought many kois from him. His Tomigai koi pellets have earned their place in show koi ponds. That reminds me to bring up the subject with him next time around. As most might agree, even the best koi pellets have their limitations. Still, I'd love to hear your thoughts as to what to feed koi in addition to koi pellets that would increase their fat intake, on the premise that koi pellets, by nature and not by design, are limited in the amount and quality of fats.

  8. #8
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    but being a seed has many anti-nutrients such as phytic acid that may be counterproductive to digestion. It also has a lot of fiber, which may or may not be good but it sure makes a lot of waste.
    My favorite part. I agree! Well I differ in that I KNOW that phytic acid IS counterproductive to digestion...not a question of 'may be'.

  9. #9
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    Hi Ric (Rick?), I see you're from LA. Used to live there myself. Had a hard time slowing down driving at a crawl here. Manila being a small place (but jampacked) who wouldn't know Mike Hernandez? He knows his stuff. I bought many kois from him. His Tomigai koi pellets have earned their place in show koi ponds. That reminds me to bring up the subject with him next time around. As most might agree, even the best koi pellets have their limitations. Still, I'd love to hear your thoughts as to what to feed koi in addition to koi pellets that would increase their fat intake, on the premise that koi pellets, by nature and not by design, are limited in the amount and quality of fats.
    I am not an expert. I use to supplement Koi food pellets with other food. Not any more. Koi food pellets are better than they were 25 - 30 years ago. I trust people like Mike Hernandez who has talked to Japanese Koi breeders about Koi nutrition. I am not interested in increasing my Koi's fat intake. I think the best practical Koi food IS a good grade Koi pellet. Maybe I am a fool.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I think the best practical Koi food IS a good grade Koi pellet. Maybe I am a fool.
    I have yet to find a "practical" person who is a fool.

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