Feeding Tips for a Successful Pond Season
Spring is here! It is time to tackle your “To Do” list and prepare for the coming pond season. A successful pond season begins and ends with maintaining high water quality, but did you know proper koi nutrition plays an important role?
Check out these great feeding tips and learn how to maintain high water quality throughout the pond season.
The Cold-blooded Truth
As cold-blooded animals, the metabolic and digestive function of koi and other pond fish are directly affected by ambient water temperature. That means even foods with excellent nutritional profiles may not be the right choice depending on water temperature. During periods of cool water temperatures (i.e. spring and fall) koi are unable to efficiently digest and utilize most foods. Nutrient-dense foods offered to koi during periods of cooler water temperature can overwhelm their system, resulting in uneven development or even potential fish loss due to undigested food decaying within their digestive tract.
In contrast, warm water temperatures boost metabolic and digestive activity, allowing koi to consume and process a wide variety of food items. However, offering food with reduced protein and fat content during the growing season can severely impede buildup of necessary fat stores essential for koi to survive the winter.
In both situations, improper food offerings contribute to waste and pollution that compromise water quality and koi health.
Feed the Right Food at the Right Time
Pond water temperature determines what type of food you should offer. When water temperatures are below 60°F, offer easy-to-digest wheat germ diets. Often formulated with added vitamins and minerals, wheat germ formulations help support immune health and provide proper nutrition vital for koi in a slowed metabolic state due to cool water temperatures.
When water temperatures are above 60°F, the choices for food offerings increase dramatically. Staple foods are the perfect choice for daily nutrition. Growth enhancing foods boast higher levels of protein and nutrients important for young, rapidly growing, or spawning fish, as well as building essential fat reserves. For koi enthusiasts wanting to develop show-worthy fish, specialized food offerings include: color enhancing foods that help bring out natural vibrant coloration and professional grade foods with superior protein content and ingredients selected for conditioning and developing impressive show-size koi.
No matter which food you choose, avoid overfeeding as it is the most common cause of poor water quality. Offer your koi only as much food as they can completely finish in a few minutes. Learn how to feed your koi without polluting your pond.