Feeding your Koi and other pond life is important - just as it is important and vital that we feed ourselves ... if we feed too much then this is just as bad for us and not feeding enough .. and this should be born in mind when considering the feeding of your Koi ..
Again as with most feeding .. the quality of the food is important and the growth rate and well being of the Koi and all other ornamental fish will largely depend on the type of food... feed rubbish and the quality of the fish may suffer, feed a good quality food, and there are many such foods on today's market, and your Koi will show this quality in both body weight and colour they produce ...
The temperature of the water will also affect how much and how often your Koi wish to eat ... and this is a consideration that should not be overlooked - and trying to feed Koi during the winter when the pond temperatures are low, at the same rate you would during the warmer summer months would be wrong and can only lead to harm to the Koi themselves whose digestive system more or less shuts down during the cold water temperatures ...
One of the most frequent asked questions we receive is:
'How do I get my Koi to come to me and eat out of my fingers'
Our answer to that question is 'Patience' .... but to enlarge on that ... All Koi will come to the owner to feed once they get used to that particular person initially .. and probably one of the worst things you can do to prevent such, is to simply throw food on to the top of the water and then walk away ... and if you are one that does that, then believe me you will never tame your Koi .. they need to know that you are not going to hurt them and this is the first thing that you have to teach them, just as you would any animal ...fish 'hear' by vibration, no two people have the same vibration in their walk, your fish will 'hear' you before you get to the pond side so be ready and waiting for their feed or treat..but do remember to be patient!
If you are in a hurry to get to work or go off somewhere - then its perhaps better to delay that feeding until later and you have the time to spend with your Koi - and when you have the time .. sit with the Koi and with the bag of food at the side of you take a few pellets at a time and then lower your hand into the water and gently allow a few of the pellets to escape and to float out .. the Koi will then start to gather those few loose pellets of food and eventually they will begin to realise where the food is coming from and may very gradually start to get closer to your hand ... This may not happen on day 1 - day 2 - or even day 3 - but we can assure you that it will happen and once one single Koi has tapped the back of your hand, or perhaps an outstretched finger .. the battle is almost won .. other Koi will gather as they will be afraid to be left out of the food that is available .. It is basically the instinct to survive and the greed they have that plays a great part in the taming of your Koi ..
So to sum up .. be patient - be gentle and the rest will happen for you .. good luck to you all as nothing in the world is quite like the enjoyment you will get from being able to feed your Koi by hand
Water quality affects the rate of growth because Koi lose their appetites and may even stop eating if their environment is poor. Poor water quality can also affect the fish's metabolism, thus hindering digestion of food.
That the stocking levels (amount of fish in the pond) will also have a bearing on the way your fish behave and as the fish grow, as they will, then the filtration system you have must still be able to cope with the ever growing amounts of waste products that will be produced the more your fish eat and grow ... and this will also affect the quality of the water which has to be maintained if you are to be successful in keeping Koi ..
It should be noted that not all Koi will grow at the same rate as each other .. some will shoot on and others will more or less stay the same size for months ... this does not mean that you have purchased wrongly ... this is in the genetic background of the fish themselves - just as you will see so many different shapes and sizes in the Human race ... some of the people we pass in the street every day are extremely tall and well built for their age .. others, like myself, are always going to be small .. and there is not a lot we can do about that .. but remember that diamonds only come in small packets as well ...
Koi will normally welcome a variety of live foods, including worms etc. Earthworms can be fed to the fish all year round and are high in protein and soon become a favourite treat - and this is another way to gain the affection of your Koi.