Home Made Food for the Koi Fishes

We kept 10 Koi fishes in our indoor pond; 8 of them survive for more than 10 years. We rear them from about 2 inches to more than 22 inches today. When they were tiny, we feed them with pellets. As their appetites grow, we prepare home cook meals. This article describes the few methods we used to feed these fishes.

Nutrition and Vitamins
Fish needs nutrition and vitamins to grow and survive; so, there is a need to feed the fishes with several different kinds of food.

Types of Food
At different occasions, we feed them with different food:
a) When we are in hurry, we feed them with pellets or just plain slide of bread; sometimes, we feed them with dried small fishes or shrimps we bought from the market;
b) When we have a little more time, we feed them with hard boiled egg or we just mix the raw egg with some dried small fishes or shrimps or sometimes, the pellets and fry them into a pancake, then cool it with water before feeding;
c) When we have more time, we prepare cookies. In here, we mix pellets, any leftover biscuits and other dry foods such as dried small fishes or shrimps and then blend them into powder. Finally, we mix the ingredients with raw eggs and hand mix them until they can be made into nice small balls for refrigeration. Make the balls large enough so that each ball is enough for one feeding.

Things to Observe When preparing the Food
a) There is no single nutrient that is capable of satisfying all the nutrient requirements of Koi. These nutrient requirements can only be completely met by blending various raw materials;
b) Test the food each time in small quantities when you mix and prepare new formulas. The food should be consumed within 10 minutes for each feeding. The fish may not like the new ingredients. Left over, if any, will quickly degrade the water quality;
c) The filtration system must be good enough to take all the food that you have just thrown into the water.

Important Observations
Koi fishes, like any other animal, are always:
a) Hungry at food feeding time; they would respond actively and swim faster than normal when one approaches the pond. They would take no more food when they are full. Feed them once or twice a day, and;
b) Actively swimming around, except during the night when they would stay quietly; if they are not active, it is time to investigate as they may be sick, requiring medical treatment;

The Koi fishes will always tell you when they are uncomfortable. They will be nervous and keep jumping out of the water often; at times, they may even jump out of the pond. It will then be the time to investigate the causes. The water quality would be the first to be suspected; there may be other causes that might have threatened the living condition. Check the water pump for reduced water flow or stoppage. Reduce the food consumption or increase the filtration capacity to suit the size and number of the fishes in the pond or the aquarium.

Other Observations
a) Kois can learn. They are timid at first when we have them. Always grouped and stayed away from us even when they are hungry. They would only take the food when we are away. This lasted few months until they started to take food away from our palms.
b) Kois are cleaners. They would clean up every bit of food they can find and the water in their area will always be cleaned. Dirt, if any, will be pushed away to one corner for easy siphoning. When we give them the right mix of food, we could hardly find any dropping. They would chew every bit until it is fine enough to be cleaned up by the filters.

End Note
With sufficient and effective biological wet and dry filtration system, we only clean our filters once every two years or when we need to repair the filtration system. We top up the water through a small dripping feed pipe and we provide an overflow drain pipe to maintain constant water level. We have never change the water since we set up the indoor pond 10 years ago.

We used simple and cheap materials for the construction of the filtration system and made the water to clean itself over and over again before returning back to the pond. We will write about the filtration system and the indoor pond construction if there are interests.

Note: Sorry about the picture quality... will update when I got another good camera,

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