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Thread: Approaching winter differently...

  1. #1
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Approaching winter differently...

    Eric brought up Spirulina as a potential "ideal food" candidate which was dealt with pretty well, but it got me thinking a bit about some of the other nutritional information, winter feeding/fasting threads we've had in the past, and the way we approach winter.

    Chris Neaves has written some excellent posts on nutrition, digestibility, low protein/high carb winter diets, etc... that I thought very valuable. Long story short, low protein/high carb diets provide no real benefit in cool water since Koi utilize protein for energy anyway.
    JR has written excellent info on the way Koi not only utilize stored fats and undeveloped eggs to carry them through winter fasting, but also the long term health and polishing benefits to the Koi in terms of fatty disease prevention and color cell consolidation and skin cleansing.
    Taking this information together it would draw one to the conclusion that higher protein foods in appropriate quantities are fine at all temperatures where feeding is called for AND that the fasting period allows shiroji to clean itself up and build greater depth to sumi and beni cells.

    So why bring this up?

    Many ponders tend to modify their feeding regime as cool weather approaches as though we are switching our goals from a body builders diet to a "grapefruit and cheese" weight loss program followed by strictly enforced anorexia... Seems a bit off kilter and counter productive to me.
    My winter feeding/fasting is aimed toward IMPROVEMENT over winter so that when the fast is broken they have obtained the maximum benefit from a fast. With that goal in mind, would it make sense to use high protein, color rich foods like spirulina and crustaceans during the fall season. My thoughts are that the natural color enhancement would be packed into the fatty tissues immediately before the fast, making it available to build color depth in the hi plates during the fasting period. If a Kohaku were fed in this fashion before the fast began, would it not emerge in spring with cleansed shiroji and stronger beni?
    What are your thoughts on my logic (or illogic) as the case may be...?
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    even the breeders in Niigata share thoughts in winter

    So, It only seems natural that we'd look more in depth at some questions we've hung on to in the slowing of our active role in the hobby.

    In my studies of the vulnerability of spirulina to shelf life and processing, I think an awful lot of us are not getting what we pay for. i ALSO believe that
    most fish that are still developing color are not aided by being fed this food.
    Breeders don't use color enhancing foods on koi that are still developing under their care. I believe it's use should be for those koi that have maxed their ability to progress and who in fact may be sliding backwards and need the assist. My understanding is that there is a measurable difference between the beni coloring of a natural fed koi and a different tint to the one that has been influence by spirulina, even damaging to an developing one.

    One of the things i've learned since starting 3 decades ago is that so much of our hobby demands special conditions for different age/different sex/ different conditioned koi. The day you could have one pond ( gee it was simpler back then! ) is gone. Tosai and nissei have differnt needs then sexually mature koi. I quess to do it "right", you need all 3 year and older females, who have peaked, and need to be fed color enhancing at some point
    to assist in their continued show life. Then we would know if your plan you've worked out mentally will actually work in application.

    This year instead of slowly winding my koi down, I've cranked the temps back up and feeding EA One food that I got from Bill at Mystic because I wanted to learn this year instead of next what I saw in their improvement. I have been seeing an improvement in the whites, especially with my female asagi.
    While I haven't finished feeding yet, I've seen enough to know that I'll want to use it just prior to a show to help with the whites. That said I hope you'll put your plan to work and see for yourself if you believe it will work!
    Dick Benbow

  3. #3
    Jumbo Steve Nguyen's Avatar
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    sounded like an unproven theory so maybe you can try it out on one fish first. From science perspective, fatty tissue only store extra energy that body doesn't consume. Unless color enhancement is part of the enery, which I don't think it is, color enhancement should be process and used up.

    I have a different problem when it comes to fasting. I want to put the overweight gals in a couple months fasting during winter and keep light feeding of wheat germ on the rest of the gang but I have only one pond. as you guess it, the overweight gals eat more than any other fish... any suggestion on how to achieve my goals?

    Steve

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback, and keep it coming please.

    My thoughts on the matter revolve around replicating as closely as possible to the diet they would encounter in and idealized mud pond, which would likely include bugs, worms, crustaceans, spirulina and the tasty critters that thrive in it.
    Part of my thinking connects to the fact that in a typically mature pond, even during winter Koi will graze on an ever increasing % of carpet algae as they move into and through winter unfed, yet they come out of cold waters with brighter colors and no yellow shiroji if it was any good to begin with. Clean skin even though they have self-supplemented their diet with chlorophyll rich feedstuff going in and coming out.
    Another observation is that last winter I got to see Koi come out of an extra deep mud pond just about one month prior to show time. They really couldn't have looked much better, even though they were munching on whatever natural foods may have been in the deep water, most of which I would at least assume would be naturally color rich.

  5. #5
    Tategoi smithvillemike's Avatar
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    fat girl fasting

    Is it practical to put a seine net across your pond dividing it into two separate areas?

    Mike

  6. #6
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithvillemike View Post
    Is it practical to put a seine net across your pond dividing it into two separate areas?

    Mike
    I've never met Steve's fish, but if I tried that it would have to be a TALL net 'cause my girls JUMP when food is involved...

  7. #7
    Jumbo Steve Nguyen's Avatar
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    Larry,

    for my fish, they are liner pond so no natural food to munch on during winter. the green carpet algae is pretty gone after fall season kicks in. in general, I thought the fish look better in colder water than in during summer months. colors look much more sharp and bright. I think showing fish during the cold months would be best but we human like sunshine.

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, and keep it coming please.

    My thoughts on the matter revolve around replicating as closely as possible to the diet they would encounter in and idealized mud pond, which would likely include bugs, worms, crustaceans, spirulina and the tasty critters that thrive in it.
    Part of my thinking connects to the fact that in a typically mature pond, even during winter Koi will graze on an ever increasing % of carpet algae as they move into and through winter unfed, yet they come out of cold waters with brighter colors and no yellow shiroji if it was any good to begin with. Clean skin even though they have self-supplemented their diet with chlorophyll rich feedstuff going in and coming out.
    Another observation is that last winter I got to see Koi come out of an extra deep mud pond just about one month prior to show time. They really couldn't have looked much better, even though they were munching on whatever natural foods may have been in the deep water, most of which I would at least assume would be naturally color rich.

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