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Thread: Feeding Styles - Males vs female

  1. #1
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Feeding Styles - Males vs female

    While making daily feeding rituals I've noticed a few nuances that appear to be consistent with male and females feeding. I'm sure my observations are not finite and are probably just a matter of fact for the koi that I have now. Just wondering if others have noticed and or know why there are these very noticeable differences in feeding styles of male and female koi. Observation 1: When feeding, my female koi are very veracious popping their heads out of the water while continuously sucking done loads of floating pellets. Observations 2: My males when feeding, come to the surface and hit a couple pellets and then dive to the bottom, swim around for a 10 seconds and then come back to surface and hit a couple more pellets and again dive back down. Obviously the females chow down a bunch more food then the males. I throw in more to make sure the males get to eat their fill, but the females are always there at the surface chowing away as fast as they can. I am thinking of trying out the sinking type food to get the males more involved in the feeding. Does anyone think this will make a difference?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    In general, my observations of nisai and older koi are similar to yours, but with occasional exceptions. Among tosai, I see no difference. Don't worry about the males. They are getting all they want. They're just more rambunctious.

    With sinking food, the feeding behaviors inherently change, but I think you'll find that the females become slow moving vacuum cleaners who swim off and return only after consuming a significant quantity. The males take in just a few pellets then swim off and return.

    The females have a lot more growing to do to reach full size... length and girth, so it is understandable that they consume more. BTW, see if you observe a difference between female Sanke and female Showa in how long they stay at the surface eating.

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    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    I've used the male's quick up and back down feeding nature over the decades to help me sex fish when rolling them over and examining their vent wasn't conclusive.

    after working with sinking food exclusively the past two years I can confirm with my own experience that both sexes as well as bold and timid feeders do better with sinking for consumption and growth.

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    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Thanks for your feedback. I have been reading the threads on sinking food and will probably start off with a mixture of sinking and floating. I did stocked up on a couple bags of the growth food that I came across for bargain pricing so I'm currently going through that right now. They all eat well and growth has been good (growing all year long). I do get worried that the female may grow a pot belly with so much eating, but so far the bodies still appear long and bulky. I'll plan on getting them some variety as soon as I can get the sinking type ordered and shipped to Hawaii. The local pet shops that I frequently visit do not carry sinking type.

  5. #5
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    All of my fish are lazy, slow eaters. They hardly notice when I put food in the pond. They take up to an hour to eat it. I've never experienced a "feeding frenzy." Not even when coming off a fast. I mix up different foods, switching brands all the time. It's always the same. No matter what food or time of year, they eat slow. What I have noticed is females eating vertically and males eating horizontally.

  6. #6
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dick benbow View Post
    after working with sinking food exclusively the past two years I can confirm with my own experience that both sexes as well as bold and timid feeders do better with sinking for consumption and growth.
    I experienced the same thing feeding sinking food.

  7. #7
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vipertom View Post
    I experienced the same thing feeding sinking food.
    How do you keep it from going down the BD? Every time I feed sinking food it ends up on my sieve screen. At least with floating my aerator keeps it out of my skimmer and I can net uneaten food.
    What would be cool is neutrally bouyant food. I would like a mix at least so my tosai don't have to compete with 26+" fish.

  8. #8
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    I program the air for the two BDs to turn off 1 minute before the Koi Café drops the sinking food and back on 15 minutes later. Keep the feeder far from the BD as possible. My herd usually finishes 6 oz of sinking food in a bout five minutes vs floating food 45 minutes and this year I fed from 4 am to 10 Pm every three hours.

  9. #9
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vipertom View Post
    ...... this year I fed from 4 am to 10 Pm every three hours.
    Wow! You must have some super happy koi. I only get to feed at 6am and later when I get home between 6-7pm. They are always waiting for me, hungry as can be. I try and make up for it and feed them four times a day on weekends Splashing water everywhere!

  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Following up on Dick's comment. I've found that with sinking food all of my koi are docile when eating. There's nothing to fear on the bottom.
    Last edited by MikeM; 10-19-2013 at 05:28 PM.

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