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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Saki Hikari Winter Feeding Strategy

    I've been looking at what i'm going to feed my fish when my temps drop down for winter...

    i do like a nice wheatgerm in small amounts for digestability,
    but i think they need to be limited because of the high carbohydrate ratio as a lot of carbs can cause big bellys in humans, as well as fish

    i was looking at the hikari website earlier this year and though most foods are labelled up for minimum temps like 20C for growth,
    thier own charts shows much smaller amounts can be fed down to much lower temperatures.

    It has made me think about making a winter 'blend' the same as i did for my summer GBC growth balance colour mix.
    where i started off with a high proportion of balance until temps were above 20C then adding a higher ratio of growth and colour to the mix.

    i wouldn't be feeding any ratio of growth much below 18C,
    but i think i will mix what ever low temperature staple food i decide go with, blending out balance and colour down to about 11C.

    i'm still deciding whether to go with saki multi season, hikari sinking or floating wheatgerm, as the main part of my winter mix.
    as i'm still not 100% what temp i'm going to be able to hold, but hope to keep it around 10C at least....






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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    The whole winter feeding thing is a minefield of disinformation and contradictions.

    If mine are hungry they get fed. Admittedly I don't go balls out with growth food in the colder Months, but quite happy to feed Saki Balance and similar.

    Before temps increased slightly after putting covers on over the weekend my pond was as low as 12C and I was still chucking in 100 grams of Saki Balance a day across 3 feeds and it was being gobbled up.

    Gradually working towards reducing to 2 feeds a day, then 1 feed a day after the first touch down to 10C, then play it by ear below that.

    Below 8C no pellets, just mussels / earthworms etc.

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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai g mac's Avatar
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    Think I'll stick with Balance, just less of it until temp gets down to 8 or thereabouts. After that, Aqua Source wheatgerm. I can't justify the big spend on SH Multi Season.

    Hope it goes well Dave
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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    The whole winter feeding thing is a minefield of disinformation and contradictions.

    If mine are hungry they get fed. Admittedly I don't go balls out with growth food in the colder Months, but quite happy to feed Saki Balance and similar.

    Before temps increased slightly after putting covers on over the weekend my pond was as low as 12C and I was still chucking in 100 grams of Saki Balance a day across 3 feeds and it was being gobbled up.

    Gradually working towards reducing to 2 feeds a day, then 1 feed a day after the first touch down to 10C, then play it by ear below that.

    Below 8C no pellets, just mussels / earthworms etc.
    that's typical of all koi keeping though...
    when anyone asks a question...they get 20 different answers...and none of them are exactly 'wrong'

    i do agree with most of the things i read about aquatic origin food, as land based foods have a different amino acid profile to aquatic foods.
    so koi haven't evolved to digest them well, even though they eat them.
    having looked at the different ingredients there isn't a single 'winter' food that doesn't have like a 60% cereal base...
    even probites that demonise the use of cereal based food,
    have the first and largest constituent listed ingredient on thier 'winter food' as grain and grain by products...aka wheat and wheat germ...

    i'm doing 250g a day, so have dropped by 50g from 300g
    but temps are barely staying above 20C now the nights are getting colder...
    so i'll start reducing more that in the next few weeks, and slowly blend out the growth.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    I just have balance although as it's still 16.2 they are getting 4 feeds a day for 120g and munching it all! I will soon reduce to 3 feeds for 80g then play it by ear with the waste and temperature of the water. Nearly used 5k of balance already!

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g mac View Post
    Think I'll stick with Balance, just less of it until temp gets down to 8 or thereabouts. After that, Aqua Source wheatgerm. I can't justify the big spend on SH Multi Season.

    Hope it goes well Dave
    as far as i can work out, i'll be using about 7-10kg of food this winter (december to april inclusive)
    multi season works out at 150 for a 5kg and 2kg bag.
    but if i get a 15kg sack and only use half and vacuum pack and put the other half up for next winter.
    works out at 110 each year covering 5 months food...

    i've toyed with the idea of using the saki pure white,
    some of my fish will barely see any benefit from it, different if you are all gosanke...
    but the ingredient list starts off with fishmeal as the major constituent as do all saki hikari foods that i can see...


    Saki Hikari Pure White
    Fish meal, rice bran, dried bakery product, soybean meal, wheat germ meal, brewers dried yeast,
    cuttlefish meal, vegetable oil, dried seaweed meal, lecithin, milled sesame seed, kale meal, probiotics (dried B. subtilis fermentation product),
    pickled japanese apricot extract, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized vitamin C),
    D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, vitamin A oil, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K),
    folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, selenium yeast.

    Saki Hikari Multi Season
    Fish meal, wheat germ meal, milled rice, rice bran, brewers dried yeast, dried bakery product, soybean meal, roasted barley flour, spirulina, krill meal, fish oil, lecithin,
    dried seaweed meal, DL-methionine, garlic, dried B. subtilis fermentation product, astaxanthin, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement,
    L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized vitamin C), inositol, D-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B₅), riboflavin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate,
    pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, vitamin D₃ supplement, biotin, disodium phosphate,
    salt, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, selenium yeast.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 18-10-2022 at 06:24 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    I just have balance although as it's still 16.2 they are getting 4 feeds a day for 120g and munching it all! I will soon reduce to 3 feeds for 80g then play it by ear with the waste and temperature of the water. Nearly used 5k of balance already!
    temps are holding up quite well here too during the day,it was 23C out in the garden this afternoon

    i've just added the last of my growth to the mix bucket, and have about 6 kg of colour and 4kg of balance left.
    so i've used about 35kgs of saki food this summer...
    Last edited by davethefish1; 18-10-2022 at 06:25 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    A bit more than me then! I have used 30k when the balance is gone but still have about 2k left and will wind down the feeding so expecting it to last a bit longer still! Was lovely in the sun today, fished last night and was rewarded with a nice 24.10 common at 4:15 this morning, then found them all sunbathing in a bay but didn't have my floater gear! They didn't look like they would feed on top anyway, just kind of hanging in the water soaking up the last of the sun!

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    A bit more than me then! I have used 30k when the balance is gone but still have about 2k left and will wind down the feeding so expecting it to last a bit longer still! Was lovely in the sun today, fished last night and was rewarded with a nice 24.10 common at 4:15 this morning, then found them all sunbathing in a bay but didn't have my floater gear! They didn't look like they would feed on top anyway, just kind of hanging in the water soaking up the last of the sun!
    nothing like getting woken up by a scaley beast

    yep, two weeks from now it will be pitch dark at 5pm

    this is the time when i'd love to have a giant floodlit heated poly tunnel over the entire garden

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    The whole winter feeding thing is a minefield of disinformation and contradictions.

    If mine are hungry they get fed. Admittedly I don't go balls out with growth food in the colder Months, but quite happy to feed Saki Balance and similar.

    Before temps increased slightly after putting covers on over the weekend my pond was as low as 12C and I was still chucking in 100 grams of Saki Balance a day across 3 feeds and it was being gobbled up.

    Gradually working towards reducing to 2 feeds a day, then 1 feed a day after the first touch down to 10C, then play it by ear below that.

    Below 8C no pellets, just mussels / earthworms etc.
    Am sticking to balance and will be following you with natural foods when temps completely drop off . I've been at 10.2 last couple of days but the fish are still smashing any food I put in . Feeding twice a day

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  21. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    Am sticking to balance and will be following you with natural foods when temps completely drop off . I've been at 10.2 last couple of days but the fish are still smashing any food I put in . Feeding twice a day

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    good to hear they are still loving the balance at 10C mate

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  23. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    I've really enjoyed the low levels of waste and positive experience i had this year with Saki foods,
    but there doesn't seem to be an 'ideal' Saki probiotic food for UK hobbiests in winter.
    in carp fishing, everyman and his dog, plus all the producers and sponsored anglers are constantly bombarding us with what bait to use, where and how to apply it...

    but there seems to be very little information, considering Saki Hikari is designed by and used by breeders like Saki.
    is how they are using and applying it...

    given everyone in Japan might be fully aware exactly what food, and when a breeder uses it.
    though what and when a breeder feeds may be targeted more towards commerical rearing,
    and not tie in with what a hobbiest is doing or trying to achieve...


    Summer feeding is relatively easy to replicate with japan... 20C - 25C growth, balance, colour, fruit, insect larvae, they can be fed near anything at these temperatures.


    Spring and Autumn is slightly different, not feeding too much when temperatures are variable or a bit low.
    but above 15C most food in moderation still can be fed....

    Winter is where things get a bit difficult.
    apart from pure white which i believe shouldn't be fed all winter long due to the high bran content.

    the Saki Hikari food for lower temperatures then, is multi season.
    which unlike most low temperature foods has fish meal rather than wheat/wheatgerm as it's primary constituent.
    but also contains spirulina and astaxanthin colour enhancers (probably why it is so expensive)
    which a breeder might be using to get fish bright and colourful ready for market.
    but not really needed for a hobbiest over wintering his fish, and wanting to clear up shiroji after feeding colour food all summer.



    it's no wonder newcomers to the hobby get so confused about exactly what to feed, when, and at what temperature range.
    when everyone from the breeders to top level show hobbiests are so secret squirrel about what they do...

    i was looking forward to a video or two from ricky about winter feeding...
    considering he mentioned in a video not rating multiseason as a food.
    but what a commercial koi farm does, isn't necesarily what most hobbiests are doing.
    it's not like he'd import a job lot of tosai and keep them at 10C - 12C on multiseason all winter....

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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Spongebob's Avatar
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    After extensive trials im sticking with multi season, because my koi deserve it! They seem to prefer it to anything else summer or winter, I just wont tell them im mixing (something) with it! The colour had amazing effect but stained the water horribly
    Fibreglassed/5000 gals/4.5 m Tunnel/Spindrifter/Twin drums/Bio chambers/Beads/Showers/Remora ASHP

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davethefish1 View Post
    have the first and largest constituent listed ingredient on thier 'winter food' as grain and grain by products...aka wheat and wheat germ...
    .
    I'd be doubtful it is actually wheatgerm.

    As I understand it the "germ" part is by far the most expensive part and the main part you would really want in a Koi food, so any food that contains the "germ" will be shouting it from the roof tops. Therefore if the label just says grain and grain byproducts, I would hazard a guess that it is the cheapest and least nutritional parts of the grain and, assuming it is wheat byproducts and not Oats or Corn (which you really don't want), the byproducts will likely comprise of wheat bran, wheat middlings, and wheat mill run. Since Saki Hikari boast their foods contain none or very little of these byproducts one might surmise they are the least desirable parts of the wheat.
    Last edited by RS2OOO; 19-10-2022 at 04:54 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    I'd be doubtful it is actually wheatgerm.

    As I understand it the "germ" part is by far the most expensive part and the main part you would really want in a Koi food, so any food that contains the "germ" will be shouting it from the roof tops. Therefore if the label just says grain and grain byproducts, I would hazard a guess that it is the cheapest and least nutritional parts of the grain and, assuming it is wheat byproducts and not Oats or Corn (which you really don't want), the byproducts will likely comprise of wheat bran, wheat middlings, and wheat mill run. Since Saki Hikari boast their foods contain none or very little of these byproducts one might surmise they are the least desirable parts of the wheat.
    That was the ingredients from probites winter food that reckon grain based foods are no good for koi...

    https://aurorakoi.co.uk/product/probites-winter-care/

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    If it cannot be heated above 20C, it is preferable not to feed during the winter. Of course, this requires extreme feeding during the summer months and growth in body size.
    I'm in London at the moment and in between watching my son's football matches, I visited a few dealers and saw a lot of KOI's in the queue that were skinny and one step away from the disease. I think they can't be kept on the market without being heated and are susceptible to flukes on their basic fitness and as a result, frequent disinfection is the only way to stop the infection.
    It has been difficult to find suitable KOIs for the common unheated method of stopping feeding for months, which is practised by more than 80% of people in Japan, but only recently have I been able to find some.

    I asked him for a normal one, not a fast-turner one, and that hasn't happened yet. What is the same as in Japan is the flesh from the shoulder to the waist.
    In the Japanese HINPYOKAI, body, quality and pattern are evaluated in that order, and the feeding technique, as well as the physique and qualities of the KOI itself, is a major factor in judging, but in your case it is impossible to even bring this perspective into the equation as it is often done in the summer.

    This is from last year, not this year, but the results of his physique building are as good as or better than those of Japanese hobbyists.

    Vietnam is the only country other than Japan that is greatly interested in this correlation between body size and feeding. I have yet to visit the country, and I don't know how they can maintain their body size under In a land of everlasting summer conditions., but many of their contributions always mention physique.

    This is the latest contribution from a UK favourite. It seems that the unusually warm weather this year has helped many of us to build these physiques. So at this point you, like us in Japan, are one step short of assuring us that the interruption of winter feeding will help the KOI to have seasonality and further growth next year, so I would like to say him if he has been successful in building the last of the additional late autumn stature?
    Last edited by Naoki Atsumi; 20-10-2022 at 07:47 AM.

  31. #17
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naoki Atsumi View Post
    If it cannot be heated above 20C, it is preferable not to feed during the winter. Of course, this requires extreme feeding during the summer months and growth in body size.
    I'm in London at the moment and in between watching my son's football matches, I visited a few dealers and saw a lot of KOI's in the queue that were skinny and one step away from the disease. I think they can't be kept on the market without being heated and are susceptible to flukes on their basic fitness and as a result, frequent disinfection is the only way to stop the infection.
    It has been difficult to find suitable KOIs for the common unheated method of stopping feeding for months, which is practised by more than 80% of people in Japan, but only recently have I been able to find some.

    I asked him for a normal one, not a fast-turner one, and that hasn't happened yet. What is the same as in Japan is the flesh from the shoulder to the waist.
    In the Japanese HINPYOKAI, body, quality and pattern are evaluated in that order, and the feeding technique, as well as the physique and qualities of the KOI itself, is a major factor in judging, but in your case it is impossible to even bring this perspective into the equation as it is often done in the summer.

    This is from last year, not this year, but the results of his physique building are as good as or better than those of Japanese hobbyists.

    Vietnam is the only country other than Japan that is greatly interested in this correlation between body size and feeding. I have yet to visit the country, and I don't know how they can maintain their body size under In a land of everlasting summer conditions., but many of their contributions always mention physique.

    This is the latest contribution from a UK favourite. It seems that the unusually warm weather this year has helped many of us to build these physiques. So at this point you, like us in Japan, are one step short of assuring us that the interruption of winter feeding will help the KOI to have seasonality and further growth next year, so I would like to say him if he has been successful in building the last of the additional late autumn stature?
    You spin me right 'round, baby, right 'round
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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Naoki, you do realise most UK koi ponds wont get to over 20 even in the summer! May as well give up and euthenise the lot, or starve them to death. Strangely mine are feeding like tosai at the moment (at 18 degrees!)
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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob View Post
    Naoki, you do realise most UK koi ponds wont get to over 20 even in the summer! May as well give up and euthenise the lot, or starve them to death. Strangely mine are feeding like tosai at the moment (at 18 degrees!)
    Am at 10.2 and the fish smash the surface every time food hits the water if they hungry they will be fed

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  37. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    You spin me right 'round, baby, right 'round
    Like a record, baby, right 'round, 'round, 'round
    You spin me right 'round, baby, right 'round
    Like a record, baby, right 'round, 'round, 'round

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