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Thread: Fasting in Tropical Weather?

  1. #1
    ppp
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    Fasting in Tropical Weather?

    From what I've read, I've learnt that males may die from exhaustion from chasing the females if the female to male ratio is too high. Conversely, I've also learnt that females may die if too many males are chasing her if the male to female ratio is too high. Even in a case of a more balanced male-female ratio, the spawning process is rigorous one, and may result in damage and sometimes even death.

    Being someone who loves big koi, I have opted to have an all-female pond. At the moment I have 15 female koi, averaging 67cm (just a guesstimate as I haven't measured them in 8 months) in a 100 tonne pond (approx 26,500 US gallons).

    One of the main problems with all-female ponds is susceptibility to egg impaction problems. I've read suggestions that fasting during the "fertile" months has the effect of making the egg-laden females re-absorb their eggs into their body to cover their lack of protein.

    The twist is this. I understand that a koi is a 4 season fish, but I live in the tropics, and water temperatures are normally between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius all year round. I don't have a chiller, but even if I did, I doubt it would feasibly lower my water temperatures significantly below 23 degrees Celsius. Would fasting be detrimental for fish at these temperatures, given that the koi metabolic rate may still be relatively high at these temperatures? Will they lose weight/bulk? Will a reduced feed suffice or must it necessarily be a total fast? Other than fasting, is there any other way to reduce egg impaction problems?

    A secondary question is this - how long does it take for food to pass through the entire gut system of my koi at these water temperatures? I've heard suggestions from 2 hours to 2 days. What is it really?

    Sorry for this being a strange topic given that many of you are going through cold winters at the moment!

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    triple P, you are one of 'more than' a hand full of people around the world having the same issues.

    The basic facts are:
    * carp are a temperate water fish ( not a true cold water fish) that has an evolved metabolism that operates best (meaning most efficiently) between the temperatures of 64- 76 F.
    * modern carp have evolved with their environment over the last 12,000 years so that their endocrine systems, triggered by light, water temperature and diet, dictate to the body how to use energy and for what purpose. This is the internal biological clock of the koi
    * Nishikigoi, an isolated gene pool of common carp, inherits these tendencies and biological imperatives and evolved in a setting of it's own ( Japan) which is also a temperature climate
    * koi and carp are highly adaptable and proven by the fact that they have been moved all over the word and survive well. But in some tropical areas other subspecies of carp do better than our common carp. So 'survival' of the species seems possible everywhere. But 'flourishing' of the individual is not as assured in the extreme cold or the extreme warmth of some areas
    * Being aware of your area's shortcomings can be managed with a little creativity. Whether it is too hot all year round or two cold all year round, a strategy can be adopted.

    In a tropical setting we have a koi in a state of eternal summer due to the fact that the sun hits the ground at pretty much the same angle 12 months of the year. But you do most likely see climate change in terms of precipitation/ dry season. This is how most lower forms of life 'cycle' in areas where temperature change does not occur to the extremes of temperate regions. So reptiles 'hibernate' in dry seasons and so do some species of fish. They fix their cycles to the rainy season and this is re-enforced by the change in diet ( lack of prey resulting in low protein intake and infrequent meals).

    The change needed to get true rest or stasis and thus controlled starvation is complicated. You need a significant change from the daily high temperatures ( I quote 20 degrees). And the low must be below the metabolic optimal range for a carp ( this is 64 F).
    Since true digestion stops at around 46 F, you are in a limbo of sorts between 46 F and 64 F in which a koi is between the ability to eat and gain outside energy and the point where that is just not possible and the koi must derive it's sustenance from internally stored energy. Within that zone the koi experiences no winter stress until it reaches the point of excess 'draining of the swamp' of stored reserves and goes into yet another stressor of true starvation. This is more about the issue of time exposure.

    By the way, the fact that koi are looking to spawn out of their natural biological cycle ( carp are seasonal breeders in their natural setting, breeding once or twice in the Spring) should tell you that 'eternal summer' has the consequence of throwing off the koi's natural internal clock. So this represents as harmful a condition long term as does a fast where the fish is too active and losing too much weight.

    I would therefore experiment with the normal wet/dry cycle and what you know to be the normal shady ( cloud cover/rain) time of year and that will typically coincide with your lowest temperatures. I would then use that change to shift diet to a low protein mix ( say 16-18&#37 and reduce calorie intake by half or more. I suggested, on another board, that every other day feeding or one week on and one week off might be a place to start.
    This should be enough to effect the liver and brain and cause a shift in insulin, stored glycogen and excess stored or exhausted protein to be used internally. This will also likely effect GH ( growth hormone ) levels and bring out compensatory growth patterns again.

    You will need to experiment and be patient as it will take a full cycle for you to know if you are doing any good. The 'good' will be seen in a slowing in aging stress ( pitted skulls, deformed larger than normal heads, over grown fins etc) . loss of color intensity and luster loss. You should also see no 'chicken breast' or mis-shapened bodies which typically occurs over four years or so in an eternal summer setting. And of course, the incidence of ovarian tumors, cysts and infections should subside. Best of Luck, JR

  3. #3
    ppp
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    Thanks JR

    for your most informative reply, and I will certainly try this "spring".

    Btw, how long does it take for food to pass through the entire gut system of a koi in tropical temperatures?

    Input from others most welcome!

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppp View Post
    for your most informative reply, and I will certainly try this "spring".

    Btw, how long does it take for food to pass through the entire gut system of a koi in tropical temperatures?

    Input from others most welcome!
    From my understanding it should take 36-48 hrs tops.

  5. #5
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
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    Thomas Blischok just started a thread on this on NI board. Go read Thom's post.. The man is a genious. He has broken down the time frame for water temps and food.

    Nishikigoi International: Gastrointestinal Emptying Times in Koi

  6. #6
    ppp
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    Yes, I read that on NI, but his temperature range went up to only 23 degrees Celsius. Mine is way higher! That's why I asked.

  7. #7
    Nisai
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    I, as many people have this Winter not had much cold weather. I live in S. Florida and have only had a few days of low water temp. This is the time of the year when my water temps are optimal for growth. In the Summer, my fish barely want to eat. I am wondering if putting a pool chiller on the pond would be a benefit. It would allow me to cool the water enough in the Winter to support fasting and moderate the Summer temps to encourage growth. Is this a far fetched idea?

  8. #8
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
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    I suspect our good friend, Brother David from Singapore has some thought on the subject. I am sure he uses chillers.

  9. #9
    Jumbo DavidSoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbysuzanna View Post
    I suspect our good friend, Brother David from Singapore has some thought on the subject. I am sure he uses chillers.
    Good Day Brother Bobby and KatieVL

    PPP is one of my good Brother in Koi from Malaysia , moderator of the current Koianswers.com . Over the years since he lasted started this thread , he had did some changes to his 100 tonne pond . It was reduced to 60 tonne when he reduced his pond depth to 4 feet . He added Sail Shades to provide more shading for his pond , as well as installed 2 units x 2HP Artica Pond Chiller . Currently he's running his pond with a constant temperature of 25 deg celsius .

    Artica Pond Chiller , which is specifically designed for pond use cost a few thousand each , depending on the capcity of the compressor . Titanium coiled and made to last I presumed . Mine had been running for 3 years and still in good working conditions .

    The 2Hp unit is good enough to churn out 4 tonnes of water an hour at a chilling temperature of 18 deg , while a 3 HP Artica Chiller is good enough to produce 6 tonnes of chilled water at 16 deg celsius , but consume more power for such performance .

    It would be good to consider Pond Chiller if you know what they can do and what they can't . Very much would depend on your water temperature and atmospheric . Not sure about the summer temperature in Southern Florida , as well as the winter temperature . Singapore , like Malaysia , is warm throughout the whole year and the installation of Pond Chiller here is popular but expensive because of the high tarrifs imposed on electricity ..... so is water .

    Metabolical changes due temperature swing or extreme high and low water temp is quite common , but water quality and oxygenation level is another factor we look at , or health of fishes that can determine the immunity level as well as appetite .

    What is the temperature like during summer , and what's the temperature like for winter ( duration ) ?? ... and size of pond would be another factor to consider a different mode of chilling ???

    David

    p.s - heat source is another thing we look out for ..... pipings , direct sunlight , hi-blows ...etc .. etc .
    Last edited by DavidSoon; 02-07-2012 at 02:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
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    As of 2/7 S Florida ground water temp F 72.....C 22 Open system so no fasting here.
    Last edited by kingkong; 02-07-2012 at 06:49 AM.

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