Did you know Koi eat fish? Well, okay, maybe they don’t outright run around hunting down small koi or mosquito fish like a coyote eats rabbits….or do they?
“DUDE!!!! I just watched *Skeletor EAT Happy!” This was the panicked phone call I got from Joey Moss the other day after he watched his big Koi, Skeletor, eat his baby Koi, Happy, who was born in the pond.
Apparently, Skeletor was overly excited at feeding time, and sucked in Happy along with some pellets of Koi food.
This nearly tragic tale, had a happy ending since Skeletor spit Happy back out after deciding he wasn’t the right flavor, but it doesn’t always end this way.
Koi WILL eat fish. I have had clients watch their koi eat mosquito fish, small goldfish, small koi, frogs, and more.
NOTE: Koi are NOT carnivorous but they an are opportunistic feeders better know as omnivores. If you watch them for a few hours, you may see that they pick nearly everything up in the pond with their mouth, to test and see if it is edible.
If they like the flavor or consistency, they swallow it. Much like a troublesome 2 year old, they are always looking to see what they can put in there mouth.
People may be slightly at fault here, as one of the most abundant protein sources is fish, and any quality koi food you look at will have fish as the number one or two ingredient.
We’ve trained them to like the flavor. Weird, right? Not really. We just learned what to feed fish by watching what fish eat in the wild. Fish eat fish.
When koi are young and growing, they need more protein for making new cells.
A growth formula is the way to go. It provides a higher protein level to promote correct growth.
As they mature, they will need less protein, so they can be switched to an all season diet.
If you are trying to brighten color on your koi, there are color enhancing foods that can help. COLOR ENHANCING FOODS are often a higher protein level even than GROWTH FORMULAS, so please don’t feed this diet straight up. Mix it with an ALL SEASON or Growth Formula.
Too much protein for too long can cause kidney damage in your koi and shorten their life. ):
When the seasons change, the temperature fluctuations between night and day dropping the pond’s water temperature can cause problems with a koi’s digestive tract.
A quality COLD TEMPERATURE FORMULA fish food has wheat germ as the first ingredient because it digests easily. It is designed to be digested quickly, so by the time the cooler night time temps come, the morning meal is already digested, and not sitting heavy in their belly like Thanksgiving dinner.
A fun treat to try with your koi is watermelon. Cut the melon into discs like wagon wheels and then take a small 2″ diameter ring out of the center. Float the wheel in the pond, and put some pellets of food in that small open space at the center.
We do this because the koi sometimes don’t recognize watermelon as food. As the koi are eating the pellets they will end up tasting the watermelon, and then the fun begins!
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, except for Joey Moss. Joey’s name is real!
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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal
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