Changing weather conditions also impact on food!
I often hear about koi keepers asking for a food which can be fed throughout the whole year. This is understandable but is not really advisable.
Best practice koi feeding is always highly dependent on the temperatures in the pond, because their metabolic activity adapts to these temperatures. In warm weather animals need more energy because they are growing faster and are more active. They not only need to be able to keep their body weight but also to increase it and to store the fat they will need for the cold season. Thus koi need a food which is enriched with good oil and valuable minerals. This is the only way to create a sound basis for a strong immune system, sufficient antibodies against illnesses and ideal growth. The high quality of the ingredients also influences their reproduction.
It’s also important whether the food needs to follow the fish or the fish needs to follow the food. Of course animals need to move, search and grub, but floating food in very cold temperatures would force the koi to approach the surface, and this could be bad for them. Therefore the food should slowly sink to the ground in winter. Conversely the summer food needs to float because the koi will be in the upper water zone in warm temperatures. If the pond is situated in full sunlight we advise you to provide some shade in high summer to prevent sunburn in the fish. In the warm season you can, of course, specifically promote the growth and the colour with special food, and during the cold season a good fat supply with easy to digest wheat germ is a must for good fish nutrition.
As you will appreciate, no single food can fulfil such diverse requirements. This is my advice - decide what is important for your fish at the beginning of the season year. Are you focusing on the colours of your koi or is their post-disease condition more important? Then you can choose which is the right food to buy.
Enjoy your koi – Sincerely, Ronny Thorhauer