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Thread: Winter fast

  1. #1
    Jumbo 111whalen's Avatar
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    Winter fast

    Well, here it is, mid Feb and I fed for the first time in two months today. In So Cal, we don't have much of a winter so we guess when the low temps will be. I cut mine off on Dec 12 and the pond reading was about 52 degrees. Despite the air temp averaging about 10 degrees below average, the pond has stay 52-54 since. I have several young two year olds that are only about 12-14 inches and I felt they should be fed. The rest, 13 more could have gone a while longer.
    What are you all doing? Plans to start feeding soon? I guess heated ponds aren't part of this discussion.
    Full Time Koi NUT
    SoCal beats NorCal KOI UNIT
    Mark W
    CKHPA

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    Hi mark, I use heat to create a winter floor temperature and heat no higher than that. I see the temperatures in Niigata right now are in the 35 F range. My current outdoor temperature is 43 F. Both their fish AND my fish are under cover!

    I stopped feeding normally/daily in early Dec and went to a limited calorie intake diet at that point. Mostly fresh food and wheatgerm every other day. As of Dec 31 they were not being fed any thing at all. I will probably go to the end of this month and start limited feeding again. Saint Patrick's day it pond opening day and I will be feeding 2-3 times a week after that.

    In the past I have fasted the mature adults for as long as 14-16 weeks. But those where the days when I kept them below 46 F. I now aim for 6- 8 weeks in the upper 40s, with a max low of 54, as conditions allow during warm up periods ( solar effect in sunny winters or for the gals indoors in the fish room off of the garage). JR

  3. #3
    Meg
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    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    JR what should you do if there are temp swings and it warms up and the koi get active?
    I don't know weather to follow the koi's lead and feed as they get active or have them tough it out.
    we usually have a false spring and one more cold snap the end of Feb or begining of March

  4. #4
    Tategoi The Pond Digger's Avatar
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    New Pond Considerations...............

    I have a new pond consideration to toss into the mix. The pond that I just built for my Trio of Shiros in the Grow Out Contest is two foot above ground, two foot in ground, has a black frame, is in full sun and is brand spanking new.

    The Pond Digger Grow Out Stats

    6 Tosai are swimming freely in this 3000 gallon feature with low time water temperature hanging at 55 and today at 2 p.m. the water temp was sitting at 59 to 60 degress, even though my shaded eco-system ponds on the property, are sitting at 50 degrees. A couple days ago, I tossed a small protion of wheat germ based fish food that I soaked for ten minutes in water into the new pond. The fish of course showed a hearty appitite. At that time the water was 55 degrees.

    When I picked them up at Mystic Koi the water temp at the facility was sitting at 50 degrees because most all of the ponds are under heavy shade cloth. I doubt the fish were being fed at that temperature but would need to ask to crew at Mystic to validate that statement. At 9pm I will speculate.

    My pond is too new to have a healthy layer of algae or any type of bio-film for the fish to even graze on should the weather inspire them to do so. Considering the circumstances and considering these fish are TOSAI; I feel if the water temp in my new pond hangs in the 55 to 60 degree range, I should be feeding the koi three times a week or so and not wait for the day we drink GREEN BEER to get into a feeding routine.

    Looking forward to suggestions, comments, & concerns.

    Respectfully,

    The Pond Digger
    Last edited by jnorth; 02-08-2008 at 08:54 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Pond Digger: With recently imported tosai, I think it is important to go slow with everything, particularly in a new pond. Tosai can be fragile. They've gone through a lot of changes over the past 90 days. I'll defer to those with experience with tosai at your temps. I would tend toward daily feeding in very moderate/light amounts, assuming there is no real risk of temps suddenly dropping below 55F. Need for biofilter to kick-in and be able to keep pace. When the biofilter is producing nitrate with no detectable ammonia or nitrite, I'd very gradually increase feeding. Hope others with experience at your temps jump in.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    I'm leaning toward Mike's approach. The balancing act of maturing your filter while feeding moderately is important. Their metabolism isn't running at full steam but they are still burning more calories than they would if water temps were sub-50. They are immature and likely have minimal fat reserves, but you don't want your water going south on you either.
    Once again that old adage for virgin ponds comes in to play. You aren't feeding the fish, you're feeding the filter...

  7. #7
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    When I picked them up at Mystic Koi the water temp at the facility was sitting at 50 degrees because most all of the ponds are under heavy shade cloth. I doubt the fish were being fed at that temperature but would need to ask to crew at Mystic to validate that statement. At 9pm I will speculate.

    Tosai will live at 40f but if you want them to amount to anything or even live they should be kept at a minimum tem of 68f the first winter . If you really want to grow them then 75f would be better . Growth is largely determined by genetics but health wise I would not go below 68f
    new tosai should be kept at 68f for at least the first 6 weeks in your care or you could be asking for problems . Wish it was otherwise as it is costing me and main reason why I only get tosai every few years .
    Regards
    Eugene

  8. #8
    Jumbo 111whalen's Avatar
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    What's everyone using when they start feeding? I currently like to use paste food. I doctor a little with vitamin C and tomato juice. Makes me hungry just writing this.

  9. #9
    Tategoi Louie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 111whalen View Post
    What's everyone using when they start feeding? I currently like to use paste food. I doctor a little with vitamin C and tomato juice. Makes me hungry just writing this.
    Hi Mark,
    I started feeding about 2 weeks ago. One hand full when the temp is around 52 degree`s . I have skiped a few days on the side of caution. In my main pond I am feeding E A ONE from Mystic It is promoted as a staple diet of carp in the wild. No fish meal . just Vegetable protein, polychaete worms ,crustacea, honey[ I add that to my fish food in the spring ] just to name a few. 43 % protein last year I fed in winter and spring very sparely Miracle koi food that is sold by Gene Bunch from Oregon 66 % protein a lot of little critters in that food it sinks. It is sold in 1 lb bags $8 ea. [ small hand full 3 times a week] I use V-8 juice sometimes a little for them and most for me
    My holding tank I have kept at 66 degree`s and have fed them everything but the kichen sink. Medicarp, Ogata wheat germ , fruit, krill, small portions twice a day. Crazy Huh
    changeing foods all the time IMO is much better for them who wants to eat steak and potatoes all the time ?
    Louie

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