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Copyright by KD Nishikigoi 2010.  All rights reserved.
Overfeeding Koi - Number One Hobbyist Mistake

Overfeeding Koi
Written by Dr. Johnson

The majority of hobbyists, if they were to make a feeding mistake, would
overfeed. This is because the feeding process is arguably the best time you
have with your fish. At feeding time, koi come up to eat so you can see
them, and anyone with a maternal instinct will thrill to watch their favorite fish
engulf food with such Koi-ish zeal. Overfeeding is engaged anytime the fish
are eating more than they need. So, for a fish farmer with a mud pond full of
small fish he's trying to grow, he would feed about five to seven times per
day. That would not be overfeeding. But in a typical ornamental pond with a
reasonable collection of fish, that feeding rate would be excessive and the
wastes therefrom would strain the limits of what can be biological reduced,
which means your water quality will decline.
Fish that are overfed in typical ornamental pond facilities will eventually
develop ponderous bellies and begin to look a little bit like tadpoles, with
the big body and the wispy tail. That is not a terminal event for the fish but
the impact on the liver and other internal organs can and will be severe.
Farmed fish that have much more room in lakes or large ponds can be fed
considerably and they will not develop as much obesity as reguar backyard
pond fish.

however, you have to be wary of bacterial blooms (cloudy water and low
oxygen levels) if you feed heavy and there's a lot of waste.

Fish should be fed for about five minutes per feeding. If they don't come up
and eat voraciously, they are telling you that they are too cold, or too warm,
feed light. If they come up and "hit hard" you can sprinkle food on the water
for five minutes as long as there are fish there to carry it off. Pretend it's a
game, NEVER LET IT FLOAT. So, feed the fish as they approach and let
them carry it all away, leaving none to float into the skimmer or filter.

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