Koi Health and Nutrition
Koi are omnivores. They will eat just about anything they can get their mouths onto, and then some. They will even eat your plants that are in the pond. Koi have feelers around their mouths (barbels) similar to that of catfish, which are used to 'taste' their food. They will check out their food first to see if suits their taste; if not, they spit the food out. However, please keep in mind your Koi spitting out a pellet does not necessarily mean it is unpalatable. It could be that they are actually nibbling off little pieces of the pellet if the size is slightly too large for them.
For optimum health, koi require a balance of nutrients in their diet on a continual and regular basis. Quality nutrients are necessary for cell growth, energy, food utilization and organ function which are provided through the feeding of Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods.
5 Key Nutrients
PROTEINS – provide the amino acids
Amino acids are needed for growth, maintenance, reproduction, and building of healthy tissues. The amount of protein and type of protein is the most important component of fish diets.
Excessive protein will result in higher ammonia excretion, which leads to poor water quality. This can negatively affect the appearance and health of you koi. There are several factors for determining the percentage of protein that is required by your Koi. These factors include, but are not limited to, the stage of development (i.e. size or age), genetics, water quality and water temperature.
The quality and source of protein is also an important consideration. Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods understands this and use only high quality White Fish Meal for the main protein source in the diets to provide the essential amino acids your Koi require for optimum health and growth.
LIPIDS (oil & fats) – the primary and best source of energy for fish
Lipids are the primary and best source of energy for fish. They are an important component of cell membranes, and essential for different metabolic processes. Certain unsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are required by Koi for their optimum health.
Deficiency in essential fatty acids will generally result in a reduction of growth and will contribute to fin erosion and loss of pigment of color. Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods use marine fish oils as the source of the essential (n-3) fatty acids.
CARBOHYDRATES – required as an energy source
Koi have an immediate energy requirement for carbohydrates. Research has determined that Koi diets without carbohydrates produce less growth than diets with carbohydrates. Therefore, from a nutritional point of view, carbohydrates are considered essential in a balanced diet such as Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods.
The structure of a koi’s digestive system requires them to have quick boost of energy when eating. This energy kick starts the digestion process. Carbohydrates provide this energy much faster than protein or fats.
VITAMINS – essential for metabolic reactions
Vitamins are required and essential for most metabolic reactions. Deficiency will result in depressed appetite, poor growth, abnormal color, fatty livers, as well as decreased resistance to bacterial infections.
Improper storage will affect the stability of the vitamin content of your Koi food. The stability of vitamins in the diet is affected by external factors such as light, oxidation, moisture, heat and storage time. For example, food which is incorrectly stored or exposed to light will lose its vitamin content more rapidly. In addition, vitamins may be chemically altered, rendering them unavailable to the fish.
Never freeze your Koi foods. This is definitely a no-no. Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods recommends you purchase an amount of food that will be readily used within 60-90 days after opening.
MINERALS – required for many metabolic processes
Minerals are required for many metabolic processes, as well as forming a key part of structural elements such as bone. Minerals are divided into two groups –
- Major (required in large balanced quantities) – include, but not limited to, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium
- Trace (required in small amounts) – Include, but again, not limited to, iron and manganese
An incorrect balance or deficiency of minerals in fish diets will cause poor growth, bone mineralization, deformed vertebrae, deformed head (frontal bone), abnormal calcification of ribs and soft rays of the pectoral fins and curved or abnormal spine.
CAROTENOIDS – naturally occurring pigments
- Spirulina - source of beta-Carotene, enhances red/orange coloration
- Shrimp meal -source of beta-Carotene and Astaxanthin, enhances red coloration
- Marigold Extract – source of Xanthophyl, enhances yellow pigments
Even though carotenoids may be considered non-essential in the overall health of your Koi, they are desirable in Koi diets to enhance and bring up their natural colors. However, when added to diets in high percentages, these natural color enhancers may cause discoloring of the whites (shiro) of your beautiful Koi.
Bio-Moss® – Original natural solution to intestinal health
Bio-Moss® promotes good bacteria and builds a natural defense against pathogens. Derived from a specific strain of yeast, it optimizes the balance of digestive bacteria and increases immune function. Scientifically proven and supported by research trials and publications, Ultra Balance Premium Koi foods include Bio-Moss® to support gastrointestinal integrity, health and stability in your Koi.
Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods are carefully & thoughtfully formulated to provide your Koi with a well-balanced supply of quality protein, energy and other essential nutrients to ensure healthy growth, color and overall performance.
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Ultra Balance Premium Koi Foods is manufactured by Star Milling Co., a Certified AFIA Safe Food/Safe Feed manufacturer and Certified BSEFree Facility.