How to Choose the Best KOI Food
Your koi fish are a long term investment that require food to help them grow into full adults. Selecting the best koi food for your fish will require a little bit of planning and budget for best long term growth and over all health results.
Pellets or Flake Koi Food?
Koi food comes in several varieties, including pellet and flake. Even though koi fish have teeth, most likely they will swallow their food whole. Koi do not give much thought to devouring their food and often times are jumping over each to swallow what falls in the water during feeding times.
Smaller koi should be fed flake, as it will be easier for them to swallow and decrease the chances of overeating leading to bloat. Young fish usually do not know when to stop eating and bulky pellet food can lead to problems with digesting.
Larger koi should be fed larger pellet food, although they are still likely to over eat, the pellet food is smaller in proportion to their larger body size and they have the extra room in their stomachs to hold a little more. If you feed pellet food, try to crumble between your fingers, it should be soft enough to break apart. If it is rock hard, it will be rock hard in your koi fishes stomach and difficult to digest. The best pellet koi food will be somewhat easy to crumble so when it does come in contact with water, it becomes even easier to digest.
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Source of Protein
Next, take a look at your koi food source of protein. It should be primarily from fish meal or other fish based source. Low quality koi food is going to contain very little to no fish source of protein. If you see plant based protein source, consider this a low quality koi food and avoid it.
Primarily Fish Meal High quality protein source, rich in amino acids and protein to support health and growth of your koi fish.
Fish Meal / Plant Based Medium quality protein source, still has fish based protein for amino and growth, but is blended with plant based protein to reduce cost of manufacturing. Not necessarily bad quality, probably more affordable while providing fish protein.
Primarily Plant Protein Low quality protein source, most if not all protein comes from non-aquatic or fish source. Manufacturers may provide similar protein ratios, take a good look at the source of the protein. Plant protein is not bad, it's when their are no signs of any fish protein that makes this food a lower quality.