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Feeding Goldfish and Koi
By Bill Wymard, Marine Biologist, www.aquariumadventurecolumbus.com
What do I need to think about when choosing food for Koi?
As with any goldfish species, it is important to remember they do not have stomachs, only very long intestines. Foods that normally would get digested in the stomach (as in other fish) are not good, for this reason we want to feed a food that will be absorbed by the fish as it passes through the intestine. Digestion requires a particularly alkaline diet in protein and high in vegetable matter.
Can Koi and other types of pond goldfish eat the same food?
The nutritional requirements of both fish are very close. The answer is yes. In fact just about every brand of goldfish food says it is OK for Koi and pond fish (other types of carp). So if you are feeding Shubunkins, Comets or Fantails, pond food or Koi food is fine to feed. You want a protein level around 30%, carbs about 65% and fiber about 5%. These percentages will vary depending on season (water temperature). As water temperature drops so does fish activity. You should decrease protein and fiber levels. During these colder times, wheat germ foods are an excellent choice for an easily digested fat source.
Can I feed just pellet food to my pond fish?
Certainly, variety is important in any animal’s diet and the same goes for fish. In their natural environment, fish have a variety of foods to choose from. One should offer different forms of foods (pellets, flakes, cakes, greens, insects and fruits), different enhancements (vitamin fortified, special amino acids for color enrichment, added vegetable matter) and foods that both sink and float.
How much should I feed my pond fish?
Fish need to graze constantly, so feed them often. Keep each feeding to small amount so that your fish eat all of the food. You do not want it left to decompose, or become stuck in a nook or filter box. Fish become conditioned to regular feedings and seeing the fish as they come to the surface to feed is one of the best parts in keeping a pond.