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    Thread: How to know whether you’re overfeeding/under feeding?

    1. #1
      KoiFan84 is offline Senior Member
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      How to know whether you’re overfeeding/under feeding?

      People always say don’t overfeed your koi, but on the other hand they say koi will eat way too much if you let them. So the question is what method do you use to determine how much is the right amount…

    2. #2
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      If they’re skinny they need more food.
      I tend to keep things simple.
      Also I only feed once a day.

    3. #3
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      If the water turns bad you're feeding too much. My water is often too clean. Still, I feed them little. I think they're in great shape, not fat not skinny.
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      coolwon is online now Senior Member
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      Bear in mind Koi do not have a stomach,therefore they should be fed small amounts every couple of hours.

      They should be fed small amounts many times a day.

      The amount of food can be worked out by their age, length and weight.

      They should be able to eat what you feed them in 5 to 10 mins, this will stop it being drawn into the weir and

      fouling up the filter.

      Google images of fish,you will see they are not skinny eels.

      Females start to develop some girth from behind the gills.

      With preferable a thick peduncle.

      Males tend to be more athletic looking ,more than the females,without a fat tummy.

      A hungray fish is supposidly a healthy fish.

      They will move toward the food, when it is offered,ready for some more.
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    5. #5
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      Some don't really care if their koi grow very large. I like them to grow big and wide and feed them a lot and often. I don't measure it or count the feedings (maybe I should). During warmer weather, it's about every time I walk by the pond. If I ever see any food left floating, I back off. I even feed them a little below 45 F if they feel like eating, as suggested by a local koi farmer. Still, only one of the females seems too fat to me, and though some of the males are wide, they don't look fat to me.

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      KoiFan84 is offline Senior Member
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      I’m aware of the body characteristics of koi and temperature feeding etc. it would be great though if someone did enough research to develop a formula based on length, age etc. that would maximize growth without making the koi too fat…

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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiFan84 View Post
      I’m aware of the body characteristics of koi and temperature feeding etc. it would be great though if someone did enough research to develop a formula based on length, age etc. that would maximize growth without making the koi too fat…
      The research has been out in the open for many year's, Andrew Moo wrote a piece and all make it short for the sake of time;
      3% of body weight daily spread out over many feedings throughout the day in that paper he also pointed out why female's and male's shouldn't be housed together, he pointed out the feeding habits differences between male's and female's.

    8. #8
      *Ci*'s Avatar
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      It’s how to weigh the koi and how to ensure that each fish actually eats the proper amount that is the problem, so it still all boils down to estimation…
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      Quote Originally Posted by *Ci* View Post
      It’s how to weigh the koi and how to ensure that each fish actually eats the proper amount that is the problem, so it still all boils down to estimation…
      Koiphen has a weigh by length chart above and I have found it to be pretty accurate under normal conditions.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
      Koiphen has a weigh by length chart above and I have found it to be pretty accurate under normal conditions.
      I forgot about that feeding calculator! Well, there’s the answer to the original question.
      Although it would still be hard to get the correct amount of food to each koi, you can at least feed the whole pond close to the correct amount.
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by *Ci* View Post
      I forgot about that feeding calculator! Well, there’s the answer to the original question.
      Although it would still be hard to get the correct amount of food to each koi, you can at least feed the whole pond close to the correct amount.
      Yes its hard to get the proper amount to each koi. The aggressive ones get big and the shy ones dont. Spreading the food over most of the pond along with sinking food helps even out the feeding. Carp farms have found feeding 4 times a day is the most beneficial for growth and size and not wasting food. No more no less.

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      When we bought our first koi, we were likely be told to feed them as much as they can eat in 2, 3 or 5 minutes, a couple times a day based on water temperature. And then to remove the rest. Most koi food manufacturers have guidance on their web site, or you can google articles with suggested feedings. If you don't want use the calculator, kdh is correct that up to four times a day, depending on water temp, is good koi husbandry. At the lower temps, two, three or even one feeding may be adequate. So if you're feeding to keep your koi happy and healthy, two key things to watch for are:

      Koi Behavior: Koi respond to the sound of food dropping in the pond. (Heck mine get excited when it starts to rain thinking the drops are food.) It's a learned behavior,. Even if not hungry, they will rush over to check it out. If they eat it all in the designated time frame, they are hungry. But if after a few pellets, they wander off, they weren't really hungry. Time to cut back on the amount you're feeding or the number of times a day. My fish will eat 2-3 handfuls of pellets when the water temps are 65 degrees or above. But as water temps drop, they will leave food "on the table" and a second handful winds up in the skimmer.

      Feeding Rings One way to easily see their consumption is to use a feeding ring. The pellets stay mostly within the ring. If there's some left over after 2-5 minutes, they are done for the moment. If you leave the food, they will continue to come back and graze on it. But it deteriorates and pollutes the water.

      Filters If there is left over food that's been swept into the skimmer net or other filters, it may be due to over feeding. It can also be due to the circulation pattern sweeping the food away before the koi can consume it all. Some folks stop their skimmers, or use feeding rings to get around this issue.

      So, if you watch your koi, they'll give you clues. Yes, they will always beg for food, but watch carefully to see how much they really eat at each meal.
      Last edited by KingstonKoi; 2 Days Ago at 11:01 PM.

    13. #13
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      I really believe this comes down to what you want out of your koi and your pond filtration. Remember breeders feed 9 times a day. There are formulas on youtube about fish length/water temp/fish weight to get the max growth. Always remember your pond health is most important. I'm on a few different koi facebook sites. Once in a while someone will post a pic of a sick or dead fish. 90% of the time the fish is so far gone and so under nourished. I have to wonder what their feeding schedule is, if any at all. I'm also a stickler for good quality koi food. Not to knock Tetra, but this is where I seen the difference years ago. I had a bin filled with Tetra food and a same size bin filled with Saki Hakari food. I couldnt believe the weight difference. I think that was when it first occurred to me the importance of high quality food

    14. #14
      coolwon is online now Senior Member
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      Is the weight of a Koi food really anything to go by?

      More undigested food to foul up the filter?

      I think Tetra would stand by the quality of their foods.
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      Tetra is good quality food. I’d feed it if were not so expensive around here. The fact they are very light in weight could help if you’re worried about over feeding. When guests come around and I’ve already fed the koi, tetra is what I give them to feed my koi as a treat.
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    16. #16
      Craigger7's Avatar
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      Again, not knocking Tetra, I was given a large bag of Tetra color food. To me it seemed like cheese curls, it was a very light food that even when you threw the food. The pellets seem like they are air packed. A strong breeze would catch the food and at times take it out of the pond. I'm sorry I don't consider Tetra a good quality food. Again, this is my personal opinion, Tetra is better than other food out there. If your worried about over feeding, just feed less. Also if your worried about the affects of overfeeding on your pond. You should soak your food before feeding. Do it once to see what goes directly into your pond each time you feed. When I feed my koi I want them to get the most out of the feeding.

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      SimonW is offline Senior Member
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      I think that my koi are made of different material. They are never so hungry that they finish food within 30 minutes, not mention 2-5 minutes. More often 2-3 hours. Even after a half day without food and the water temperature is 20 centigrade.

      Maybe because most of them are male? But the few female I have also have very gentle table manners.

    18. #18
      kdh is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Craigger7 View Post
      Again, not knocking Tetra, I was given a large bag of Tetra color food. To me it seemed like cheese curls, it was a very light food that even when you threw the food. The pellets seem like they are air packed. A strong breeze would catch the food and at times take it out of the pond. I'm sorry I don't consider Tetra a good quality food. Again, this is my personal opinion, Tetra is better than other food out there. If your worried about over feeding, just feed less. Also if your worried about the affects of overfeeding on your pond. You should soak your food before feeding. Do it once to see what goes directly into your pond each time you feed. When I feed my koi I want them to get the most out of the feeding.
      Pre-soaking washes out vitamins and other nutrients lowers the performance of the food.

    19. #19
      coolwon is online now Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      I think that my koi are made of different material. They are never so hungry that they finish food within 30 minutes, not mention 2-5 minutes. More often 2-3 hours. Even after a half day without food and the water temperature is 20 centigrade.

      Maybe because most of them are male? But the few female I have also have very gentle table manners.

      Difficult to judge how much you are feeding with your answer, and the number of fish and size.

      Cat pellets at one time if I recall.
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      Quote Originally Posted by kdh View Post
      Pre-soaking washes out vitamins and other nutrients lowers the performance of the food.
      This is why I love this hobby, always something to learn. So do you ever purposely soak your food? EX: add calcium or liquid vitamins. I can never see myself taking a koi to a show. My pond design is horrible for catching koi. I wouldnt want to stress them out just for a show. However, I am always amazed at the work that goes into getting a koi show ready and keeping show quality koi.

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