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Thread: "winter fasting" is over...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    "winter fasting" is over...

    I ain't a big fan of Winter-fasting but it makes enough sense to try some sort of "fasting". So what did you do?
    I just ended my Koi's "winter"..it was about 5 weeks long and I didn't STOP feeding them. I cut back to just shrimp and oranges. about six ounces for fifty 6-20 inch koi. And 2-4 oranges on the days i wanted some OJ by the Lake.

    Some of you feed NOTHING. Others think " carbohydrates are easily assimilated" but I believe that the carbo mantra is illogical...the koi do not need to assimilate anything. They need their organs maintained and their immune system intact, which REQUIRES protein....good solid complete protein.
    Andas far as I can figure out in the Winter Carp only get a little animal based food to subsist on...All the plants are g-o-n-e.
    And if shrimp was tough to use in the Winter then koi wouldn't work to get the snails and crayfish they try for.

    EDIT: additional note. MY Winter water temps were in the sisxties the whole time and mainly around 64-68 degrees. So 5 weeks of fasting at that high a metabolism is probably much more taxing than a "fasting done around 50 degrees.
    Plus while my koi didn't get as skinny as I'd like they sure did trim down and look as healthy as I've ever seen...

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    I fasted mine for 5 weeks, during which 59F was the lowest pond temp. Most days the pond was in the low 60sF. Algae on the pond walls has never been grazed any shorter. I cannot say there was much weight loss, but some slimming occurred. After about 10 days the fish stopped coming up to me for food. They learned there would be none. They were gradually fed increasing amounts over the past two weeks, primarily Hikari sinking wheatgerm. They are now on full rations, with some Hikari staple floating food beginning to be introduced.

    BTW, the cold front that came through early this week brought the lowest pond temperature of the winter. Down to 56F on the morning when air temp was 35F. I left the Bakki uncovered to see what would happen. There was only a 4F 12-hour drop. This morning at 7am, the pond was 64F.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    I do not get this shrimp diet plan. They are costly treats you only see at the best weddings. Having koi in a coma sulking around, pumped full of tryptophan is crazy in my opinion, and what about all the purines....they are probably suffering from 'gout'.
    Down here in zone never freezes, it's Purina Ogata blend all twelve, no let up.
    We poured it on more this mild winter.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    Mine haven't been fed by me in months, but they've had plenty of algae growth under the clear tarp to munch on so they are all fat and sassy anyway. Our winter temps have been all over the map so letting them go native has really been the only logical route to take. Last week we had temperatures in the 60's and 70's, but this morning we have 2" of fresh snow/sleet on the ground.

    As far as the shrimp go, mine all love it and get it regularly when I'm feeding. I think it does wonders for their body development and color quality.
    Larry Iles

  5. #5
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    The only thing mine are eating is algae and thats only on days when the sun is out and the air temp is up over 50. Mostly though they sit at the bottom and survive .
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  6. #6
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Southern California

    One SoCal version . . .

    a light feeding of mixed pellets (mostly hikari WG) every two-three days in a gunite pond with no plants. We're in week 5 of 6 weeks planned. Water temps have ranged from 52 to 59 degrees; median of 56. Yes, koi are slimmer and algae is shorter.

    Didn't feel water temps would be low enough to justify implementing a strict winter fast (a la JR). Plus we have some tosai in the pond and they need extra rations, anyway.

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