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 Auto feeder and feeding times.

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wayneb

wayneb

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PostSubject: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeMon Nov 24, 2008 8:08 am

Hi All, i recently bought myself a feeder and was wondering what the best way would be to use it. Before i had the feeder my koi got there food twice a day. But now with the feeder i have more options on when to feed.

I calculated the amount of food that I'm suppose to give my kois at 1.5% of body weight and according to my calculations i need to feed 441 grams of food a day at 2% it works out to 588g a day but i decided to go with the 1.5% option for now.

Is it better to split the amount of food over let say 10 hours a day and feed 48g every hour for 10 hours or is it better to split it into 2 or 3 major feeds a day?
I have heard that its bad for the koi to be eating the whole day long as it puts unnecessary strain of the koi's kidneys and because the ammonia level within the pond is constantly there and rising while with the other method of feeding 2 or 3 times a day, the ammonia only goes up for 1 hour after the feeding and then 1hr later the filters have handled it. What are your thoughts on this?


What i am really more intrested in is which metod can be used to get the koi to retain the maximum amount of nutrition from the food?
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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeMon Nov 24, 2008 9:57 am

Koi do not have stomachs, and a limited amount of food can be digested by a koi. Little and often means better digestion and less waste.

Koi farms often work on the following:

4x a day in temperature of 18 degrees
6x a day in temperature of 22 degrees
Up to 8x a day at temperature of above 25

This is, provided that your filters can handle the waste, so your filtration will dictate.

Koi can be given food up to 3% of their body weight if the filters can handle it.

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Koi are not my whole life but make my life whole
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeMon Nov 24, 2008 10:12 am

Thanks Paul

I'm trying to find the optimum feeding frequency. What i mean is - lets say the koi's gut is full of food from the previous feeding and i feed small amount every hour. What will happen to the food that the koi ate before if it receives food again in a few minutes - will it just be ejected without being properly digested? Im searching for the method where i will be able to feed many times a day while allowing the koi to extract the maximum amount of nutrition from each feeding.

My filters can handle 2kg of food a day - well that is if i can trust what EA says about kaldness.
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeThu Nov 27, 2008 10:16 pm

According to the article by Jasper Kuijper in Koi Issue 120 (May 2008). Koi digest their food better at night and digest it better if only receiving 2 feedings a day. If feeding 7 times a day the absorbtion is 2.55% lower than when fed twice a day.

Now does this mean that its better in my case to just dump 220g of food in the pond twice a day?
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Chris Neaves



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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeFri Nov 28, 2008 7:07 am

Hi Guys,

May I hurl a cat amongst the pigeons here. (that did not sound right - but you know what I mean).

We all want the best for our koi. We would all love to have the best fish. However, when it comes to feeding there are a host of factors at work. One of the main factors is genetics. Each and every koi is different, it grows at a different rate, will reach a different size (even from the same parents), will have different colours, some will loose their colours - and it goes on and on.

We have general guide lines for koi nutrition much of it derived from carp nutrition (which is not a bad thing as koi are coloured carp).

When feeding koi you are supplying a source of nutrients the body can utilise. You feed koi because their natural source of food found in rivers and dams has been removed in our ponds.

Firstly genetics plays a major part in what will happen to the nutrients supplied to the koi. Then the way the nutrients are utilised is very temperature dependant. Thirdly the amount of oxygen available in the water has a massive bearing on what happens during the metabolic processes in the body. The water quality - general environment has a bearing on the health of the fish. The amount of protein in the pellets will also determine how much and how often you feed the collection.

Each individual koi will utilise the nutrients differently. Just look at the way humans vary in their utilisation of nutrients and the influence of genetics - even within the same family.

So there are a host of factors influencing food and the food we feed them. We can easily complicate things by weighing each pellet and trying to calculate the body weight of each individual koi (how many koi keepers actually know the body weight of each fish in their collections? - I am willing to bet it must be virtually zero). So we "guestimate" the body weight.

Now we are told it is better to feed several times a day. Yes I agree. We have the reasons for this. A reference I have stated that during a scientific study - which was properly conducted - found that by feeding carp 3 times a day as opposed to once a day 60% more growth was achieved over a period of time. I can go alone with that.

So if we feed three times a day as opposed to once a day it is a good thing. (depending on the temperature.)

But when it comes to worrying about if 100g per feed is better than 101 g per feed I must question if we are not moving a little away from the enjoyment of the hobby? You can go crazy trying to calculate these things. Your parameters will vary as each individual koi grow at a different rate. You will have difficulty in ensuring each koi actually does eat its 2% body weight per day. Now, now Mr Cha Goi you have had enough go away. Or Miss Cynthia Sanke please eat a little more you are not on diet.

I grew koi to 70cm in 4 years in a shallow pond in the early 80's. There were several factors that I consider important in achieving this - the genetics of the individual fish, I fed three times a day, I made substantial, regular water changes (together with a large filter system) and I dampened the pellets. Nothing else. I never weighed the food or bothered to calculate the body mass. I had a mug (which I still have) which I filled with koi pellets, dampened them for a few seconds with warm water which was then thrown off and left to stand for 15 or so minutes. This was then fed to the koi collection and this process was followed three times a day (when I could feed at lunch time). And the pond was heavily stocked.

Regards,
Chris
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeFri Nov 28, 2008 7:52 am

hmmm...ok, if i understand correctly you are saying that there are too many variables involved to try and calculate which feeding method would be best.

I have been scouring the net and been reading every article i can find about this topic and everyone seems to have a different opinion and findings....feed little more often, feed more but only 2 feedings a day. feed according to body weight and even don't bother - feed the amount you think is right.

I would have thougt that koi food manufacturers would atleast have done some intensive test regarding this topic even if was to only get a average idea. But the only measurement we as koi keepers have is - see how much they eat in 5 minutes.

I agree its propably a very difficult topic and yes we may be drifting away from the enjoyment of the hobby but different people enjoy differnt aspects of the hobby.

Im trying to find a scientific way to feed my koi to achieve certain growth objectives - and with the way koi food prices have been going, every pellet counts..

Humans are all different but there is atleast a RDA to sort of guide us....although i would say that no one follows it.

The feed formula that you used when feeding 3 times a day - how many grams of pellets and how many fish of what sizes? One cup for one koi or was it a cup for a hole collection? The koi that you grew to 70cm what variety was it?

I recall that you said that you wrote an article about it - will it be possible to give me a copy via email as that must be have been published before i was a SAKKS member.
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeFri Nov 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Does anyone have a document that gives the time if takes koi to digest food at different tempretures?
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Chris Neaves



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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeFri Nov 28, 2008 6:24 pm

Hi Wayne,

Those are very relevant questions you have brought up.

To answer your questions - yes, I believe we should look at feeding koi in general terms and not specifics. In scientific studies they can control all the parameters, weigh each fish before and after the experiment etc. Calculate how much weigh it put on or measure how long it has grown etc. What scientific experiments cannot do is tell you about skin lustre – how do you measure that – they cannot tell if the hi has improved or if the white areas are truly white. Only you can do that as a koi keeper. And as you develop your eye over time you can become your own expert at judging your koi.

What I am trying to say is don’t let details and information spoil your enjoyment of the hobby. We may even get to the scientific point where we learn more and more about less and less and eventually know everything about nothing.

There are so many variables it can drive you crazy.

Koi food manufacturers like Hikari and Tetra have spent many millions on research.

To answer your question the mug I use as a measure is a tin camping mug. This is filled and fed to the whole collection – I think I have about 35 koi at the moment – most of them above 55 cm. So that’s three cups a day. If I feed three and a half cups a day I have no way I can tell if it has made a difference over a period of time. So I do not worry about it. But if you feed white bread every day you will see a difference over time – really small koi as we know there is no nutrition in white bread.

The koi that grew to 70cm in 4 years in my old pond were a cha goi, a kujaku and a shiro utsuri. I still have the Kujaku after 20 years and the Hi Utsuri after 10 years. The cha goi which eventually got to nearly 90cm died – and that was truly a beautiful chagoi.

Yes I did write an article about it – I will dig it up. But basically I said that if I fed 2% of the body weight of my koi collection (40 large fish at the time) per day and I did use an imported Japanese Koi food (which I did) it would cost me a fortune. And I produced the figures. Some dealers wnt crazy and said I was talking rubbish. So angered me as I was merely publishing the truth and that was the beginning of my own koi food – Shogun which is very, very close to imported Japanese food in nutritional values. I also said imported koi food was cheap compared to tropical flakes. You work it out, a high quality tropical flake food costs about R110 – R130 per 75g – that’s only R1,466 - R1,733 PER KILO. And there is not that much difference between flake food and koi food.

If you want to get to a scientific way of feeding your koi you will have to collate all the parameters, run tests on different feeds and then look at teh results.

A short cut around this is to ensure your water quality is spot on. Ensure high levels of oxygen – but watch out for venturies. Feed a high protein food. By feeding a high protein food you can reduce the amount of feed because you are giving the koi collection more protein and less carbohydrate each time you feed.

I hope this helps,

Regards,
Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeFri Nov 28, 2008 6:37 pm

Hi Chris

Thanks for all the info. Please email me the articel if you can. I read yesterday that koi absorb more of their food at night...any comments regarding that? Should i feed at night?

I already know how you feel about wheat germ food...today on another forum another koi keeper mentioned the same and stated that weat germ foods contain more fat than the normal high protein foods and that fat is harder to digest at low temps.

I am going to use a 1.5% of body weight formula...im just trying to calculate the best feeding intervals at the moment by taking the koi's digestive system into considuration. And the time that food takes to be digested. It will not be exactly scientificly correct but a best guestimate.

Can you also please tell me what protein is used in shogun? Ever though about making a koi food that includes garlic?

Wayne
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PostSubject: Re: Auto feeder and feeding times.   Auto feeder and feeding times. Icon_minitimeFri Nov 28, 2008 8:31 pm

Hi,

I do not know about absorbing more food at night. I would have thought that it would depend on temperature (rate of metabolism) and activity. It’s all very well to absorb more at night (if this is true) but you need the body to utilise what it has absorbed. And I would have thought this would have been more or less constant at a given temperature.

Will the fish take the foods at night? Will they take the food as well at night as during the day? I don’t know they tend to calm down at night. I have not tried it.

Wheat germ does have a high lipid (fat content) but remember this is in its pure form. In a koi pellet it is not 100% wheat germ. Good wheat germ koi foods have a lipid content around 4 - 5% which is quite acceptable and a good level to be at.

The type of fat determines whether koi can digest it or not. The fats found in chicken for example are more difficult to digest especially at low temperatures. The fats in marine oil are much easier to digest for koi.

There seems to be a lot of different ideas and claims regarding how fast the food moves through the gut. I even saw a claim of 72 hours. But at 22 – 25C most references state it takes about 4 - 5 hours to move through the gut. Again a lot of factors here, things like the amount of roughage (fibre) etc. But you can be sure the food does take about 4 – 6 hours because every time you feed you push the food in the gut along the digestive tract.

So depending on your thoughts try feeding enough so that there are no pellets left after two or three minutes on the pond surface and try feeding every 4 hours. In other words 4 times a day in summer. I don't think you can go wrong with that. Perhaps you feeding yourself in the morning and the eveing and let the auto feeder work the two feeds in the day.

We use a quality fish meal from Namibia as our protein source in Shogun. We have a vitamin premix from Roche in Switzerland – I like high levels of vitamin C, E and a (and good levels of all the other vitamins and minerals). I am fanatical about fresh food and Shogun is made every 4 – 6 weeks in small batches of 6 – 8 tons.

No I have never thought about garlic. I have seen some claims that it works here and overseas. Parasites have never been a problem to me. Be careful of garlic covered in oil and stored. The oil cuts the oxygen off to the garlic and some rather nasty and toxic bacteria can grow. So if you are going to make a garlic dressing for your pellets then do not keep it of too long before use.

Regards,
Chris
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