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  • First post on this board

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first time posting on this site. From what I have seen a lot of the upper end hobbyist are on this one.

    We finish up are pond earlier this year and we are starting to buy some nicer koi for it. I would like to know your thoughts on feeding. I know this time of the year feeding isn't the main topic, but I would like to be set for next year. I here people talk about this food or that food. Some say the store bought pellets are not good enough and other only use them. For the last few years I have been using Hikari wheat germ all year around when I am able to feed because of water temp. As the water temp comes up I do add other foods to the wheat germ. This year I was adding Hikari Hi Growth to it. My thoughts for this year is to feed the wheat germ in the early spring and if in the fall. Then in the later part of spring and summer feed them High-Silk and Ogata Performance. They will also get foods like shrimp. What's you thought on this? Should I be feeding some home made paste foods also? If so what would you use for ingredients in it?

    I know we are going to have a hard time keeping the number of koi down in the pond. The pond is 9,000 US gallons and I would like to have no more than 9 to 10 koi in it. But my wife has to have a few she wants also. This might bring the count up to 13 max on it. I will not be going over that. I think at 13 koi in a 9,000 gallon pond we will still be OK and get some great growth out of them.



    Keep it simple, keep it straight
  • #2


    This is a great place to share information. IMHO, there are many passionate koi keepers and breeders on this board. Everything I've learned so far has been either sparked or reinforced by members on this board.

    I noticed you have a new pond approx 9000 gal US. I am planning and designing my first pond to be approximately the same size as your pond. Would you mind sharing your pond set-up. My plans (at least at this moment) are to incorporate 3 bottom drains that lead to 3 separate 42" vortex to separate solids and then through micro seives for the fines before sending water to Trickle Towers (BAKKI Type) for filtration. At the same time, I'm also still thinking of incorporating another filter for filtration of mid level pond water. I'm hoping to help increase the quantity of filterred pond water. I guess the down side to that is that I will need to run two pumps. What kind of pump(s) are you using? Hows the energy consumption? How deep is the pond? Any lessons learned? Sorry for so many questions, being a newbie to this awesome hobby, I get really hyped just talking shop. Thanks...


    • #3

      Welcome to the board...Feeding is different for each hobbyist. Since it has been cold here in California the last couple of weeks I have been feeding once a day in the mid-afternoon. I am feeding Hikari Wheatgrem since it is a proven product. I would use the other brands but I tend to get alot of secondary hi on my kohakus and shiros. Well, you dont really want to put alot of stress on feeding if the weather is cold, once a day is good. Some people dont feeding during the winter months depending on where you live. Usually for me I start mixing Hi-Silk or high protein in May when the temp starts to get into the 80 and 90's, because it will be digested easily. As for home made paste food it's up to you what you want to mix up. I am sure you will find a special mix that works great.

      9,000gals is a pretty good size pond. Depending on how big you want to grow your fish I would limit the amount of stock. If you could get around 800-1000gals per fish that would be perfect in my opinion.

      Well, happy koi keeping and keep posting more questions.
      The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


      • #4

        Welcome Tom,
        I feed mostly homemade paste and suppliment with Hikari breeders choice all seasons in the summer. I resent all the wheat filler in most commercial koi feed. Prawns, fruit and the occasional bit of veg are a welcome treat and in my opinion make a nice change to the standard pellets-from-the-sack that most fish endure. Sound's like you have handle on things!

        Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


        • #5

          I have been in this hobby for sometime now, but haven't been into the higher end koi part of it. Like most we started out with a small water garden and fell in love with the hobby. Now that we are starting to buy some nicer koi, I want to do what I can to keep them this way. I was just looking for opinions on foods and what some of you feed your koi. I'm in sunny (well not today) California so we don't see the real cold winters. Right how we are not feeding the koi because the pond is 51 degrees. But in the spring they will be feed a lot to get these koi to be monsters. LOL Almost all the koi in the pond will find new homes. The plan is to buy some nicer ones for the pond. I did buy 4 koi this fall that will go into the pond in the spring. One of them might not, because I think it might be a male. But my wife wanted it at the time because they were not 100% sure of the sex on it.

          Akai-san if you want I could start another post about our pond. I have to say I am very happy with it.


          Keep it simple, keep it straight


          • #6

            I feed all year round with the exception of a 6 to 8 week winter fast that I instate to help the girls reabsorb the eggs. Mind you I don't bung them full of food in the winter but a rather a little snack of what they are willing to eat every couple of days but never when a cold spell is about to hit. Depending on the winter tempertures this can be paste or whole shrimp. Paste they will eat down to about 50°F (10°C) and prawns to about 44°F (7°C).

            Now-a-days I manage to keep my water at a higher temperature that that so lack of appitite is never a problem. Winters here at 51°N tend to last a long time and I feel that if I stopped feeding for the entire time the water was under 55°F they would most likely fast for 3-4 months. I bit too long in my opinion

            Strange enough, our ponds are both at about the same temperature right now. What part of Calif. are you in?
            Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


            • #7

              Hi Tom,

              Seasons greetings! I think the most important aspect of feeding is temperature.

              In dramatic weather change climates you need to be mindful to not feed when you might anticipate a weather change and drop in temperature.

              After temperatures get to the lower 50's it's best to stop feeding. Don't resume until the weather is stablized with lows at 55F. here in the northwest for non heated ponds people stop in early november (52-53 F) and don't feed again until the end of april when temps get back to 55F. There is a period which varies among keepers for duration but most agree it's best to alow several months of non feeding.

              Feeding at ending and start up time should be vegetable protein like wheat germ. CAREFUL THO! some of ther REALLY nice folks who produce koi food label theirs as wheatgerm and then you read the ingredients list and find that
              other animal protein is listed prior.

              I think in California you could let your pond rest for two months in the dead of winter. then start up with wheatgerm and then once the temps stabilize at
              65-68 go to the higher protein fish meal foods mentioned in this thread. I think the secret is small amounts more frequently. Like some of our contributors who would rather mix their own food and augment it with various others, there is a place in this world for pellets. probably a good concept would be a varied diet to cover all the bases as opposed to just one food type. variety is the spice of life even in a koi's life!

              we look forward to your thoughts and contributions to this board!
              Dick Benbow


              • #8

                B scott, fruit? A natural food? When do koi get 'fruit' in their diet?


                PS please-- I'm trying to take your response seriously so please take that stupid picture off your post in your response.


                • #9

                  You twist my words old son... Where did you EVER see me use the word "natural". Tell me what is natural about a koi pond? You never give fruit to your fish? A bit of orange perhaps?
                  Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


                  • #10

                    My koi love oranges!!!


                    • #11

                      ha! Just teasing you a little Scott-- ( But getting rid of that stupid picture was a helpful suggestion! )

                      No harm, vitamin C is probably the rational. I use orange juice myself when mixing Izeki paste foods.
                      As far as koi liking fruit-- they like anything they can taste! Koi can taste sweet, sour and bitter. They also can become easily conditioned to food types.
                      The unique thing about koi, a sign of intelligence I think, is the fact that if koi have a favorite pellet type/brand, and you mix several other pellets with it, all the koi will eat slower as they attempt to find ( taste and smell) the pellet type they like the most.
                      This trick can be used to help less aggressive individuals get some food from the vacuum cleaner type feeders.
                      Best, JR

                      PS get rid of that stupid picture, halloween is over and you're 37 years old for heaven's sake! LOL


                      • #12

                        PS get rid of that stupid picture, halloween is over and you're 37 years old for heaven's sake! LOL
                        37? Don't I wish! I'd settle for 47
                        Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


                        • #13

                          47! you look great then! You must have signed a pact with the devil! LOL JR


                          • #14

                            What can I say? He plays a mean fiddle! @ 47 he gives me an extra 2 years!
                            Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


                            • #15

                              Ahh, much better! What a good looking guy, you must have to beat the Dutch girls off with a large stick! LOL JR

                              Now about that beard-----


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