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 Small, medium or large pellets

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PostSubject: Small, medium or large pellets   Small, medium or large pellets Icon_minitimeThu May 29, 2008 4:49 pm

Initially I bought various sized pellets for my small, medium and large koi respectively.

I found that the small Koi often gets much less and the large Koi just gulps it away in ponds where there are a variety of sizes.

Lately I am only feeding small pellets due to the following:

It is cheaper because you buy bulk of one size.
It is more convenient because you use only one container.
You only open one packet at a time and the food stay fresh.
It give all the sizes a fair chance.
The food can be spread all over the pond, which ensures that even the shy fish get some food.
The fish, especially the big ones, have to work for the food and it actually give them some exercise.
It might even prevent obesity with the big ones.

Is there any good reason to feed big pellets to big fish?

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Koi are not my whole life but make my life whole
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PostSubject: Re: Small, medium or large pellets   Small, medium or large pellets Icon_minitimeThu May 29, 2008 4:52 pm

Thats a very good question indeed.

Unfortunately I only have another Question to add :

Is a few smaller pellets easier to digest than one big pellet ?
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PostSubject: Re: Small, medium or large pellets   Small, medium or large pellets Icon_minitimeThu May 29, 2008 4:56 pm

Chris Neaves is the expert on Koi Nutrition. Maybe he can enlighten us?

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PostSubject: Re: Small, medium or large pellets   Small, medium or large pellets Icon_minitimeThu May 29, 2008 7:49 pm

Hi All

We only feed 3mm food to all koi over 25cm - 1m.
We only feed 2mm food to all koi 7cm - 24cm.
We only feed powder food to all koi from 1mm - 6cm.

The smaller the food the easier it digest.
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PostSubject: Re: Small, medium or large pellets   Small, medium or large pellets Icon_minitimeThu May 29, 2008 8:16 pm

Hi - some observations from over the years ...

Back in early 90's I grew koi to 70cm in 4 years in a pond of 18,000 litres and only 80cm depth.

I used Hikari Staple to achieve this. I recorded everything then wrote an article on the high cost of this exercise. This was the birth of Shogun - without going into gory details.

I also had the problem of different size koi but could only afford one size pellet. So I dampened the large pellets. The little ones and the large ones could now ingest the same pellets. The very small koi could easily bite of pieces of the damp pellets.

I am absolutely convinced to this day this was part of secret of the growth I achieved. Because the pellets were damp the koi ate more. Wheter the damp pellets replicated a natural way fod digestio I do not know. Dry pellets are taken in by koi who swim away to chew them. By the time they return the feeding is usually over. So tough the fish does not get enough.

When you think about it damp pellets make sense. Everything a koi eats is damp or wet because it is in the water - the exception is the dry pellets we feed. Even blood worms, earth worms etc are damp/wet. The only reason we feed dry pellets is shelf life. Koi food has to be dried after manufacture to below 10% moisture or the yeasts will active with disastrous results.

If koi food becomes damp it will become mouldy over time. These moulds can produce some deadly toxins. So always make sure you keep the koi pellets dry. Never place on a concrete garage floor for example. You will be surprised at the amount of moisture that comes through the concrete.

If you decide to feed your collection on damp pellets - this is the way I have been doing it for many years - take the amount of pellets you are going to feed the koi - say cup or mug full. Add warm water from the tap. Leave the water and pellets in the mug for 5 - 10 seconds. Throw the water off. Now place the pellets in a bowl - something like a soup bowl. Leave the pellets to stand for about 15 minutes. The moisture is absorbed into the pellets, they become soft but retain their shape. Now feed to the collection. I usually just throw the bowl onto the surface of the pond and let the collection get on with it.

The important thing to remember is never leave the pellets floating in the pond or never leave the water in the mug. After time the water soluble vitamins will leach out rendering the pellets close to useless.

Only dampen the pellets you are going to feed that day or at that feed. Do not keep overnight. In this way you can feed all size koi one size pellet - large pellets.

A dealer did this a number of years ago. She had a soup bowl full of pellets. Every half hour or so she would spray the pellets with water using one of these hand held sprays. Then she left the pellets for 10 or so minutes. As she walked around the sales tanks she fed the top layer of damp pellets. Then later she would spray the pellets again and repeat the process.Sshe fed large pellets to small koi using this process.

Hope this helps,
Regards,
Chris
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