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Big Pellets or Small Pellets.. Or does it matter?

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  • Big Pellets or Small Pellets.. Or does it matter?

    Big Pellets or small... Does it make a differnence?

    To me big koi have to do more work to catch small pellets... But does it make it easier for them to digest. Also have you see sinking food how ieasy it is for a koi to snatch it mid level in a pond. Pretty easy to me if you watch it.

    Small koi on big pellets harder to digest?

    In the winter I can see this perhaps being a concern as the fish are trying to preserve all energy and try not to swim around so much.


    Just thought this was interesting for me and maybe for some...


    Joe
    It's a living creature (chit happens)
  • #2

    Originally posted by keokoi
    Big Pellets or small... Does it make a differnence?

    To me big koi have to do more work to catch small pellets... But does it make it easier for them to digest. Also have you see sinking food how ieasy it is for a koi to snatch it mid level in a pond. Pretty easy to me if you watch it.

    Small koi on big pellets harder to digest?

    In the winter I can see this perhaps being a concern as the fish are trying to preserve all energy and try not to swim around so much.


    Just thought this was interesting for me and maybe for some...


    Joe
    Well there are alot of theories to big pellets and small pellets...Right now I use medium pellets with a feeding ring in the pond so it is much easier for my fish to eat. The pellets medium size is alot more easier to digest than large. To me I would rather have my fish spend the time gulping the medium food up instead of breaking down large pellets staying at the bottom munching on them.
    The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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    • #3

      My fish hate the small pellets and prefer big pellets to medium. The small ones seem to get caught in their gills more, or at least they seem to blow air out their gills when eating them But their real preference is crab meat or worms!

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      • #4

        Welcome to the board Jackie, would you like to tell us about your pond...
        The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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        • #5

          Although I have lurked here for sometime I have not joined before. I wanted to see some of Joe's pics so I signed on.

          I have some pond mutts I call pets in a 5,000 pond.
          Attached Files

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          • #6

            Originally posted by Jackie Ramo
            Although I have lurked here for sometime I have not joined before. I wanted to see some of Joe's pics so I signed on.

            I have some pond mutts I call pets in a 5,000 pond.

            Thanks, Jackie here is a recent pic I took on shipment day...


            Joe
            It's a living creature (chit happens)

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            • #7

              Hi Jackie, welcome to the board. In later posts you'll have to relate your experiences with keeping koi in a cooler climate. I wanted to see the "blue" pond mutt in the picture but alas it was not pictured in it's entirety.

              re: pellets I have used medium on my bigger koi to encourage better digestion.
              I do have a mix of sinking and floating which seems to be a nice blend for those few individuals in the pond that aren't much for surface feeding.
              Dick Benbow

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              • #8

                A month ago I would have said: "small pellets for small fish, etc., etc."

                I recently got some very high protein "very small" pellets. So tiny that, although supposed to be sinking, a third float unless you dampen them first. Well, the bigger gals just hover in the cloud of little pellets as they slowly sink, gulping in as many as they can. The smallest koi swim through, like filter feeding manta rays.

                I've decided that its what is in the pellet that matters. ....Just have to careful that they are not sucked into bottom drains or skimmers before the fish can get to them, whatever the size.

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                • #9

                  Now all my fishes are above 25 cm, so I use only medium size pellets. I have a kikokuryu who seems to have difficulty to take the pellets, small or large, he open the mouth too soon and sometimes does'nt take any food. Maybe he can't see very well ..
                  With the small pellets, all the others stay on the surface and it is a chalange for him to take food, but with the medium pellets he has all his time while the others are diving with food in their mouth.
                  So maybe in a case like this, it is better to use medium or big pellets.

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    Joe, thanks for the picture, you put my poor mutts to shame.

                    Dick the 'blue' koi is a bad example of a doitsu assagi, also camera shy, had to go back over a year to find this bad pic of him for you.

                    Please its summer, no talk about cold weather or winter until at least October
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11

                      Koi have molar-style teeth that are well suited for grinding. They grind the food against a hard-ribbed skin opposite them. In the wild carp use these to grind everyting they pick up from the bottom. These things are wet and/or tender and grind easily.

                      Dry pellets are hard comparatively. Koi "munching" in mid-water or the bottom of the pond grind them slowly as the pellets absorb water. As they do they also swell. The largest pellets used in Japan are 6mm or about 20% smaller than the large pellets made in the USA. The Japanese use the 6mm pellets only for very large / jumbo koi (there must be some learned wisdom there).

                      Teeth in tosai koi are VERY small. Even US small pellets (~2mm) are BIG for them (methink). I feed baby size pellets to tosai (pellets ~1mm) and they seem to benefit from these more than larger-sized pellets, in behavior and growth.

                      I never feed pellets larger than the US "medium" (4-5mm). The big fish (nisai and above) will take several at a time and dive to "munch". The larger koi will loose some through the gills as they try to position too large a mouthful on the grinding teeth. This is normal: they'll come back for them or some faster swimming younger fish will pick them up. All part of the koi natural behavior in captivity (and carp in the wild).

                      Hope this helps,
                      Arthur

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                      • #12

                        I was advised in Japan that small pellets for big koi was dangerous as they can get wrongly routed and pass over and through the gill's, which would likely cause damage to them.
                        Andrew

                        "Gentlemen prefer ponds"

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                        • #13

                          I am also wondering about sinking food for fingerlings. It seems like once fingerlings get over 2", their behavior changes to that of "Im big enough for a bird to spot", so they do the mad dash to grab a pellet at the surface, then dive down and eat it. Sometimes missing the pellet altogether.

                          I would think that a sinking pellet would allow them to eat more when the pellets are available. When they are relaxed at eating, I can see them gobble up pellets until they get a mouthful. Then swim away, taking time to swallow them. Once they have their fill, they come back for seconds.

                          Definetly have to feed food of a correct size. I was feeding fry powdered flakes, then switch to the mini-pellets. They can eat the mini-pellets, but only after the pellet has soaked enough, and then they peck and peck at it. This has caused the fry who can eat a whole pellet to grow even faster leaving the others behind and stealing all their food.

                          I have since switched to feeding both crushed flakes and the mini-pellets, and have seen some improvments in growth.

                          Some of my floating mini-pellets do sink, and the koi gobble those up alot faster than they would attempt the floating onces. less risk.

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                          • #14

                            Has anyone noticed when feeding the smaller pellets to larger fish that they are not digested as well. I'm quite a light feeder for the fish but feed many times a day so there shouldn't be pellets in the poop but I see this now and again when I feed the smaller pellets. By poop size I'd say it was a larger fish and the air gaps make it float...

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                            • #15

                              Keo, good to hear from you. I do believe part of the larger pellets sometimes get spit out when they get crunched when eaten unless they are dampened first. I now try to feed medium size and/or dampen them first.


                              Finally got the pond done. Pics at www.Woollum.com.

                              See ya
                              Thanks, Dennis
                              (pond pics at www.Woollum.com)

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