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  • #16

    Originally posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    IMO, pellets contain nothing more than ingredients most hobbyists can obtain. For me the real issue is the inconvenience in not only preparing but feeding as well. Basically any non-pelletized food has to be hand delivered and not by way of an auto feeder. To me this is the big issue, how do I get enough to the koi? That is where pellets excell.
    Pellets are very convenient for us to use. To make pellets, binders are needed, which are a necessary evil. The choice of binders impacts digestion, absorbability of nutrients, and solid waste production. If it's practical, I wouldn't want to use pellets. But as you said, it is hard to use an auto feeder with foods other pellets. But I think if you feed dehydrated food, you may be able to get away with. Dehydration can be done using vacuum (with much less heat involved), or using a heat-based dryer where temperatures are set such that enzymes are preserved. I would prefer vacuum as there is less degradation of food quality, but vacuum drying is an expensive process.

    I hope beginning koi keepers don't tune out as this kind of talk makes this hobby more complicated. But people customize. Stock cars and trucks are customized, with a lot of extra effort, for those who wants more acceleration, tighter turns, to be able to drift, and for trucks, to be able to handle deserts, mountains, and fords.

    Others may disagree, but the less excipients we put into food and nutrients, the more we let the food do the work in developing the individual specimen, human or not.

    When pushing boundaries, we don't rely on cookie cutter inputs.

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    • #17

      Originally posted by yerrag View Post
      *** Dehydration can be done using vacuum (with much less heat involved), or using a heat-based dryer where temperatures are set such that enzymes are preserved. I would prefer vacuum as there is less degradation of food quality, but vacuum drying is an expensive process.
      It may be way off topic, but the idea of using dehydration for koi foods is something I have wondered about in the past. Several freeze-dried foods are available in the tropical fish market and have proved very useful. Freeze-dried tubifex worms which have been irradiated are free of the pathogens carried by live tubifex while maintaining nutritional levels. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a mainstay for many aquarists. Still, these are not generally considered complete foods. Most users also use a nutritionally complete dry food to assure nutritional health. For koi, the volume of food required makes any freeze-dried food prohibitively expensive. Feeding farmed earthworms would be much cheaper, but still too costly for koi hobbyists... even if farming the earthworms themselves.

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      • #18

        The problem I see so often when people decide to "cook for their pets" (I am not talking about Tim), is even though they "think" they are making healthy choices, they often do not provide a complete diet for their pets. Most often their food choices are good "people food" and not foods that are pet species specific.

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        • #19

          Originally posted by MikeM View Post
          It may be way off topic, but the idea of using dehydration for koi foods is something I have wondered about in the past. Several freeze-dried foods are available in the tropical fish market and have proved very useful. Freeze-dried tubifex worms which have been irradiated are free of the pathogens carried by live tubifex while maintaining nutritional levels. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a mainstay for many aquarists. Still, these are not generally considered complete foods. Most users also use a nutritionally complete dry food to assure nutritional health. For koi, the volume of food required makes any freeze-dried food prohibitively expensive. Feeding farmed earthworms would be much cheaper, but still too costly for koi hobbyists... even if farming the earthworms themselves.
          Getting a "trail mix" of dehydrated food would provide complete nutrition with the advantage of not having excipients. And yes, I imagine it would be more expensive. But you never know. High end koi food are pretty expensive too, but people are willing to pay for them. Why are there no high-end "trail mixes" for koi being sold? Is there no market?

          Originally posted by ricshaw View Post
          The problem I see so often when people decide to "cook for their pets" (I am not talking about Tim), is even though they "think" they are making healthy choices, they often do not provide a complete diet for their pets. Most often their food choices are good "people food" and not foods that are pet species specific.
          I agree Ricshaw. We cook for ourselves, and we can't do a half-decent job already nutrition-wise. Otherwise, why would we worry about not having health insurance? OTOH, why don't we ask koi food makers to branch out and serve a larger market - balanced pellets for homo sapiens.

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          • #20

            Tim,

            Here's a Shiro that really got me believing in Shiroji Enhancing Foods about five years ago. Caught myself around late summer/early fall with only that type food left. So not to have to order more food (Cheap Ass) that late in the season I fed 100% Shiroji Enhancing Food for about 45 to 60 days. One day it hit me how two Shiro Utsuri of mine improved, this is one of them. Nothing else was different (Pond Maintenance, Etc.).

            I've also noticed that Shiroji Enhancing Foods seem to help Hikari Varieties, well, at least Kujakus.


            Please keep us posted, I hope what you're doing works.
            Attached Files
            President : GLK&GS
            Officer : NMZNA
            Certified Judge : AKJA

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            • #21

              Whether this "works" or not, it's not something I would do often. It sure is a pain in the ass to administer. I'm already over it, but want to continue to see if any worthwhile results.

              It's also hard to qualify improvement, as I have been extra viligilant on water quality, having performed water changes at least every other day. So any improvement could be a result of that....
              Tim

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              • #22

                I gave up. Way too much of a pain in the ass for me. Back to auto feeder pellets. Lesson learned. And yes, Troy, Bobby, Michael and Richard- you guys tried to tell me, but I had to learn for myself. Luckily this little experiment cost me less than $20 and a week of time! Cheapest lesson in koi I've ever had.
                Tim

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                • #23

                  Minus the Pain in the Rear, did you see any change in Skin or Water Quality?
                  President : GLK&GS
                  Officer : NMZNA
                  Certified Judge : AKJA

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                  • #24

                    Originally posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
                    Minus the Pain in the Rear, did you see any change in Skin or Water Quality?
                    Not that I can qualify by the food. I was doing daily or every other day water changes, plus system is in top shape. So any 'improvement' could be attributed to that.
                    Tim

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