One of the best parts about keeping fish as pets is feeding them and seeing them grow. Feeding Koi fish is a unique experience. It turns into a remarkable bonding experience between the pet and its owner. For any fish enthusiast who remotely loves the idea of watching their Koi eat what they give them, the mere experience of connecting on an integral level with their pets will be exhilarating.
Some people believe that koi fish can learn to recognize their feeders, which makes the process of feeding even more meaningful for every fish enthusiast. If you have Koi and you can sense that they recognize you, you can also feel a sense of satisfaction when you feed them. These beautiful, ornamental fish make excellent pets, and to make sure they remain with you for a long time, it is essential to feed them correctly.
Factors that affect how much Koi will eat?
- Koi fish love to eat and can feed several times a day. In their natural habitat, Koi fish are natural foragers, and their diet includes plants, algae, and insects, amongst other things. Keeping koi fish as pets means they need to be looked after and fed manually.
- Since the conditions between a natural and artificial habitat are different, their diets need to be supplemented and closely monitored, especially if you want to get your Koi fish to reach the optimum size and health.
- The appetite of Koi fish is influenced by genetics and the specific species of the fish. The Chagoi and Soragoi in the Kawarimono class are the larger varieties of fish and have a larger meal size. This makes them more likely to eat a greater number of meals per day than smaller fish species.
- Younger Koi consume more food due to a higher growth rate.
- Koi fish, like all fishes, are cold-blooded creatures. Their metabolic rate depends on the temperature of the water. They are hungrier in the spring and summer when their metabolism increases significantly. This is also the time when Koi does most of the growing. Therefore, they need more food during the spring and summer.
- The gender of the fish plays an essential role. The female fish needs to eat more than the male counterparts. The nutrients are passed along to eggs during the spawning season.
What to feed your Koi?
The diet of Koi changes based on their age, size, and season. Koi fish can be fed the same diet as goldfishes and can eat almost anything organic, including specialized pre-made Koi food, vegetables, krill and plankton, breakfast cereal, dead leaves, and other small fishes.
The best food for koi fish will have plenty of proteins, a small number of fats, and a balance of vitamins and minerals. Ready-made fish feed and organic matter like plankton and vegetables are good places to start as these omnivores will feast on anything. If you are unsure what to feed Koi, go for organic foods. Your Koi will love it.
When and how often to feed your Koi?
Koi fish are cold-blooded, and this means that their feeding schedules need to be adjusted as the temperatures drop. Koi are active and have a greater appetite in warmer weather, but their digestive system slows down in cooler climates.
During late summer/early fall, it is recommended that Koi are fed twice a day, and younger Koi can be fed up to four times in one day. However, Koi need less food once the temperature drops below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. From 59 to 68 degrees, Koi need to be fed once or twice a day. At temperatures below 50 degrees, Koi only need to be fed 2-3 times a week. Koi stop feeding at temperatures below 40 degrees as they go into hibernation mode at this point.
Can I hand-feed my Koi?
Koi fish make excellent pets, and probably one of the best parts of keeping Koi as pets is they are one of those fish species that connect with humans through food. Koi will take food directly from your hand. However, Koi is a shy and apprehensive creature. It can get scared easily of new company. They might not be too excited to eat out of your hand right away, but they can be trained to do so by slowly getting them used to the idea.
This process can take weeks or even months, depending on the fish species and their environment. If you want to feed your Koi out of your hand, you need to be patient and learn how to feed Koi by first earning their trust.
Can Koi go without food?
Koi are heavy eaters during the summer, but their diet gradually tapers as the temperature drops. In some cases, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, Koi does not need to be fed at all.
They go into hibernation. Koi can survive for weeks without being fed in the winters as their body goes into hibernation mode, and it uses conserved energy.
Koi feeding tips
Some additional practical tips that can make feeding your Koi easier:
- Observe how much your fish eats within a five-minute period. You Koi needs to feed multiple times in a day and five minutes is all it takes for Koi to finish one meal.
- Koi fish eat human food like cereal, lettuce, shrimp, rice also. Incorporate these foods in Koi’s diet and see how they respond to the change.
- Avoid giving your Koi cheap food. Cheap food may seem like an economical choice, but know that this food will eventually be affecting the new Koi fish that will be born. Choose the food sources wisely.
- Smaller koi fish need flake or small chunks of food, while larger koi fish prefer solid food.
- If you can not be there all the time to feed your favorite Koi fish, invest in an auto-feeder. This machine can be programmed to dispense food multiple times a day and is consistent.
Koi Kompanion is your go-to store for anything Koi. Find the best quality aquatic and fish products at our store. At Koi Kompanion, we are professionals at what we do. Whether you are an enthusiast or have been a Koi fan for years, our services cater to everyone.