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  1. #1
    Member Rank = Tosai GSDPenny's Avatar
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    What food - and how muich?

    I know this will probably garner lots of different opinions, but you're all far more knowledgable than I am so it will all aid my research.

    Background - moved into a house with Koi pond in August last year with the following fish.

    • 4 x Koi between 45 - 60cm
    • 2 x golden carp (possibly!) approx 30cm
    • 2 x golden carp (possibly!) approx 20cm
    • 4 x large goldfish


    Previous owners left rough feeding instructions to throw in a large coffee mug full of Tetra variety sticks once a day between April and October, and nothing between those months apart from the occasional bit of wheatgerm bread. The pond is unheated.

    So that's what we did - most of the food was eaten within about 10 mins and the rest disappeared over the rest of the day.

    With the weather warming up, and me doing a fair amount of trawling the forum, in an attempt to cut down on the amount of waste I bought a tub of Queni Koi Ultimate Mix.

    Having read about the ammonia - nitrite - nitrate cycle, we knew not to go straight in with the mugful of food daily from the 1st day the water warmed up, but had started with a pinch or 2 of the Tetra variety sticks before the Ultimate Mix arrived. I'm testing the water regularly and am getting no discernible ammonia or nitrite - and no nitrate either, so I think I could increase the food slowly. There are a LOT of plants in the pond for the size of it - so as I've never seen any nitrate on tests, I think they take care of it well.

    As I bought the 6mm pellets, initially the smaller fish seemed to struggle and were spitting it out, although the Koi scoffed it down. So I've been feeding a 50/50 mix of the Ultimate Mix/Tetra.

    But my problem is I'm still only feeding a tiny amount across 2 or 3 feeds a day. Probably no more than about a total of about a 10th of what they were getting every day before - and I'm getting a huge amount of foam appearing in the filter. I've read that this is probably excess protein due to overfeeding, but I really can't feed any less and there's practically a frenzy breaking out whenever it looks like food is arriving. ALL the fish now come up and grab food immediately, it's gone in about 60 seconds and it looks like they continue to desperately search for more for ages afterwards.

    I also have a tub of QK Japan mix, which I think is a little lower protein that I could try, but I don't want to open another tub as I know the food won't keep forever.

    Any suggestions on how much or what to feed? Should I give the QK Health & Vitality a go at 33% protein? Or should I stick with the Tetra Variety sticks until the water is proper warm?

    I'm not worried about improving colour, or growing the fish (they're big enough already, I certainly don't need them pooing any more). All we want is happy, healthy fish and am not concerned about perceived quality of the fish. They're just pets.

    Any opinions?



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  3. #2
    I feed mine Orchard Fisheries premium and they seem to like it.

    This is the stuff -

    https://www.orchardfisheries.co.uk/k...m-food-pellets

    I think they may be out of stock at the moment so it must be popular stuff and it's not a silly price either. It's stays floating for ages apparently but mine eat it with in a couple of minutes so I can't say how long it does float for

    I was told for feeding it was little and often as if you feed too much you will have uneaten food floating on the surface which will start to break down and potentially raise your Ammonia levels? So I just put in enough so they clear it within a couple of minutes each time I feed them.

    Also the better the quality of food the less waste there will be. But the more they eat the more waste they will produce so the harder your filters have to work to keep up with the Ammonia produced so as long as your filters are big enough and matured enough they should be able to handle a reasonable amount of food. So keep an eye on your water parameters and go from there feeding wise. Increase the amount slowly and if you have any problems stop feeding and go back to an amount you know didn't cause you any problems or stop until your water parameters are all OK and go from there.

    These are just my thoughts others may have different ideas.

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  5. #3
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Mature Champion Trace's Avatar
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    You'll get to know how much they want ... I feed mine what they can scoff completely in about 2-3mins usually feed 3x a day but will feed more as the weather warms and they are ravenous .. some people feed an enormous amount but it's not necessary (they are just going for maximum growth).

    Yeah Orchard Fisheries or Queni Koi are both good value places I think for food.

    If you aim for what they can clear in 2 or 3 mins each time ... then it's up to you ... minimum 2x a day up to however many times a day you think your filters can handle.

    I feed all year round ... higher protein in warm weather and wheatgerm in winter (also reducing the amount to a sprinkling ever other day under 10oc ...
    About me: Back by popular demand ...

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  7. #4
    Member Rank = Tosai GSDPenny's Avatar
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    Thanks both - I'm a bit more relaxed about not feeding enough now.

    But I'm concerned about the volume of white froth in the filters when I feed the 'better quality' food. I've just fed the Tetra Variety sticks today and there's no foam in the filters now. Would I be better off with a lower protein food such as the QK Health & Vitality until the weather warms up? I must say they seem to prefer the QK Ultimate Mix judging by the speed it disappears.

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  9. #5
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Mature Champion Trace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSDPenny View Post
    Thanks both - I'm a bit more relaxed about not feeding enough now.

    But I'm concerned about the volume of white froth in the filters when I feed the 'better quality' food. I've just fed the Tetra Variety sticks today and there's no foam in the filters now. Would I be better off with a lower protein food such as the QK Health & Vitality until the weather warms up? I must say they seem to prefer the QK Ultimate Mix judging by the speed it disappears.
    It depends what you want from your pond ...

    If you want to get maximum size from koi in the shortest time .. then the fish are getting literally stuffed all day with high protein or some people have demand feeders where the fish can trigger the feed themselves when hungry so they just graze all the time but this needs more maintenance and high performance filter systems.

    Or if you just want healthy fish in a nice hobby pond and are not bent on maximum growth then you don't have to feed anything like that amount or use super high protein any of the time ... you can literally use any of the lowest protein foods from Orchard or QK all the time and your fish will be perfectly fine.

    I'm using QK multi season wheatgerm just now (which is still quite high protein @ 37%) and have some other stuff for the warmer weather to come hopefully ... but if I only had the multi season I'd just feed that all year round (I'm not a hardcore koihead just enjoy having a pond with a healthy variety of fish in it) ... I've never had any foam probs with the amount I feed of multi season ...
    About me: Back by popular demand ...

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  11. #6
    Member Rank = Tosai GSDPenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trace View Post

    Or if you just want healthy fish in a nice hobby pond and are not bent on maximum growth then you don't have to feed anything like that amount or use super high protein any of the time ... you can literally use any of the lowest protein foods from Orchard or QK all the time and your fish will be perfectly fine.

    This! 100% this.

    Thank you. I'll look at a couple of other options then and see how they do.

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  13. #7
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Mature Champion Trace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSDPenny View Post
    This! 100% this.

    Thank you. I'll look at a couple of other options then and see how they do.
    Yes don't stress about it ... even the amount you would give them just feeding a couple of times a day for 2 or 3 mins ... would take them ages of grazing to find in the wild ... remember they'll still be grazing all the time on the bottom of the pond too ...
    About me: Back by popular demand ...

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  15. #8
    Nice explanations there Trace

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  17. #9
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    For what you want out of your fish you wont go far wrong with Jap mix,as you have some I would be feeding that and mix some ultimate in it,or just feed both at the same time.
    The jap mix has some sinking in it and I found it a great food.
    Ultimate is very good and as you say they love it but I had some water colour problems with it but funnily no one else did.

    Feed little and often as said what they scoff in a minute or two,in summer I feed maybe 12 times a day but not too much at once and if any is left floating that is too much,you will get used to how much they want.
    John

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  19. #10
    Morning and evening tend to be when mine are most up for food and it's gone in a minute or two but during the day and when it's very sunny and hot they seem to take a bit longer to clear the same amount of food.

    It's a bit of see how they respond and go from there. Some people set their skimmer up to switch off for a few minutes when the food goes in so what's left gets removed anyway

  20. #11
    Member Rank = Tosai GSDPenny's Avatar
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    No problem with switching the skimmer off. We don't have one - yet!

    Anyway, I ordered a 2kg tub each of the QK Wheatgerm and the Health & Vitality to try as the Orchard Fisheries was out of stock, and cautiously threw a tiny handful of the Wheatgerm in this afternoon as it's been cold these last couple of days and the pond temp is about 14-15 at the moment.

    I thought they would turn their noses up at it as they definitely prefer the Ultimate Mix to the Tetra pellets.

    Well - I wish I'd filmed it. They've been acting really hungry anyway, but I've not seen anything like this before. For those of you old enough to remember PacMan, the 4 koi were ALL doing a good impression along the surface of the water. Even the one that's generally a little shy and slower to start feeding.

    At least I ordered the 3mm pellets so they couldn't hoover it all before the other little guys could grab some!

    I now have a good mixture to try - and add in during the warmer months knowing they look like they'll be happy with the all season stuff.

    Thanks everyone for contributing on this thread - It's a very steep learning curve when you first get into this pond malarkey.

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  22. #12
    We've all been there before lol

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