Cold Weather Feeding
At these low temperatures, if your fish
show interest in food, try brown bread. Sprinkle (or drizzle as Jamie Oliver
would say) with neat orange juice.
Don't bother with these so called
winter feeds for koi, they are rubbish. believe it or not it is harder to
digest wheat germ etc. than koi summer food - its a money racket. Its just
cheap rubbish food sold at high prices.
Sturgeon in these very low
temperatures still need food. Use sardines - rinse under tap for a second or
two and feed at night - just a small amount will do. By the time koi realises
that it's food, the sturgeon will have eaten them. Start back on your sturgeon
pellets when temps get around 8-10o
Do not feed plain washed lettuce to your
koi. It will either lodge in their throats or damage their digestive tract. Koi
cannot digest plain lettuce - far better is broccoli
There are many types of fish pellets on the
market of which 50% are rubbish, 20% are only useable around 20°C so we are
only left with 30% that are really meant for Koi.
There also additives
and pastes to use with pellets to enhance growth and colour. What damage they
do to Koi over long periods is not known. However, 95% of Koi over 28" die of
fat degeneration of their internal organs. There are many reasons for this -
poor grade food which is corn based is one, an other is high protein levels in
their early stages of life, which damages their liver and kidneys but does not
show its self until the fish is around 3-6 years of age.
listed on the tub or sack mean nothing if they are old stock. Always check the
date stamp and buy from suppliers who have a good turn-over of pellets or from
your dealer whose small stock levels means they are receiving food from source
Beware also of shelf life Air-tight tin foil bags or bucket
mean nothing, as you will still get vitamin reduction in old food.
NEVER take your main container outside. Always take just a small tub or
cup out to your pond and keep the main container sealed tight. Old or damp
pellets will do more harm to your fish than parasites.
I don't feed
wheat germ to my fish. Why? Because if any food is indigestible in cold weather
its wheat germ. You can feed high protein food in the winter. It will not rot
inside the fish, just reduce feeding and miss some days. If wild fish stopped
feeding on protein when the temperature dropped, they would all die of
starvation, as most wild fish feed most of the year - ask any fisherman, and if
the latter was true there would not be any wild fish would there.
say that all fish change their diet when the temperature drops is rubbish.
Animals that eat plant proteins generally use other forms of life to digest it
e.g. bacteria and these require a higher temperature in order to help the
bacteria to work faster. So in cold weather this is the opposite to what they
need, so they just slow their food intake down. Also, wheat germ has got hardly
any nutritional value and and as it's far cheaper to produce manufactures push
it in there adverts.
Fish sticks these are complete rubbish and should
never be feed to Koi. It is now being found that feeding Koi on a pellet only
diet can lead to abdominal problems in latter life. The problem is a fat fish
cannot lose weight like we do by exercise. They need to be starved and how do
you starve one fish in a pond full of other fish.
There are findings
that feeding cooked white cabbage to fat fish does help reduce the fat around
the liver, however there still much work to done on this by people with more
grey matter than me. A Varied Diet
To get large fish,
forget pellets, as they are a staple food only, no matter how high the grade.
Koi need a varied diet which can include prawn, dog biscuit, scramble
egg, cooked small hole new potatoes, oranges, brown bread which is very good
for Koi (never white) with marmite or honey or soaked in pure orange juice.
Also lettuce (blanched), garden peas and beans (blanched) some breakfast
cereals (ensure they have a low sugar content), sweet corn, luncheon meat.
Under no circumstances feed trout pellets to Koi or sturgeon, unless
you you want to kill them with catarrh of the intestines (dysentery). The
pellets pollute the water.
I hope this gives you a insight into feeding
- it's a huge topic, so if you would like any more information
email or phone