To Feed or Not To Feed

Feeding Practices

  1. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Meyer Jordan submitted a new article:

    To Feed or Not To Feed - Feeding Practices

    Read more about this article...
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jan 31, 2015
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  2. Meyer Jordan

    Dave 54

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    Congratulatons on a very well put together article Meyer , I must say even we learned something we do normally anyway and thats specific times during the day as to when to feed your koi .
    Interestingly we do feed between 08:00-11:00 am and 19:00-23:00 pm and try to vary the diet bewteen natural foods and manufactured feed .
    I just so happen to have taken delivery yesterday of a book called The Aquacultcure Desk reference book ISBN 0442010818 by R LeRoy Cresswell.
    Which has formulas, Computations conversions and technical information from diverse sources all put into one manual .
    Thus it serves as a quick source of technical knowhow that reduces time spent on fact finding and calculation and should come in very useful in all aspects of the hobby .

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jan 31, 2015
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  3. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    The Aquaculture Desk Reference is a good reference book. Purchased it myself 10 years ago. It really needs to be updated and revised though. A lot of research has been conducted since this book was first published. Many recommended criteria have been refined,
     
    Meyer Jordan, Feb 22, 2015
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  4. Meyer Jordan

    MitchM

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    This article addresses how to feed, but I think the more important question is why to feed.

    Feeding the fish in the pond to their satiation is fine if you have a single sex of the species, but if there is no outlet for any offspring, there must be plans in place to control the population.

    It presents a dilemma for the pond keeper.
    Myself, I prefer to not feed at all and let the pond animal population live or die based on the food available.

    .
     
    MitchM, Feb 28, 2016
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  5. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    I agree in an eco-system pond. Fish in a dedicated Koi pond are severely restricted as to availability of natural food so supplemental feeding is essential. Many Garden ponds are also deficient in trophic diversity thus limiting the amount of natural food available. As with most things concerning fish husbandry, a certain amount of common sense is useful.
    This is clearly stated in the Article.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
    Meyer Jordan, Feb 28, 2016
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  6. Meyer Jordan

    MitchM

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    Even more reason for adding diversity to an outdoor pond.
    I don't understand people that insist on controlling a koi pond with solely mechanical and chemical means.
    Some other forums advise strongly against incorporating some type of wetlands filter.
    It's too bad.
     
    MitchM, Feb 28, 2016
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  7. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Some people just want large 'show tanks' for only their fish, others (like you and I) prefer the entire cast of aquatic and terrestrial characters that water supports and/or attracts.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Feb 28, 2016
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  8. Meyer Jordan

    Smaug God makes perfect. I just dug the hole

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    Smaug, Feb 28, 2016
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  9. Meyer Jordan

    MitchM

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    No, I do not keep koi. I tried my first year and they did not make it through the first winter.
    I tried the recommended method of water movement and a floating heater, but my pond still froze over and I believe that they died from lack of oxygen. I've since learned how to better maintain my pond during winter.

    I'm trying running an indoor pond right now with substrate and plants and will be adding a single koi to see how it does so I can better understand their natural behaviour and possible adapt my outdoor pond to properly accommodate koi fish.

    Along the way, I have learned that the typical pond plants that you see in garden centres will not survive in my climate. The water is too cold. Frost heaving has caused a fair amount of settling of the berm that surrounds my pond, so landscaping is on hold for now. Right now I have about 8 - 12 shubunkins/comets and an average population of about 1000 rosy red minnows. The fish population seems to have levelled off at these numbers.

    When you say that not feeding fish is cruel, that was my original point. A pond does not keep growing in size along with the fish population. What is someone supposed to do with the fish population that their pond can no longer support? It is blind ignorance to think that there will always be "somewhere" for the extra fish to go.
    Either you give your extra fish away to who-knows-where, and they die at the hands of an inexperienced fish keeper who just keeps buying more, or you keep them and they die because your increasingly degrading pond water quality kills them.
    Which is more "cruel"?

    My outdoor pond build is here: https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/pond-in-the-foothills.10656/

    My indoor pond experiment is here:https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/soil-substrate-pond.17305/

    (I've added those links to my signature now)


    .
     
    MitchM, Feb 28, 2016
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  10. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    One feeding practice will aid in controlling fish population. That is to cease all supplemental feeding during and for the week following spawning. Most of the eggs will be eaten. In an eco-system pond, one can extend this period for an additional week or two as Koi and Goldfish will also eat newly hatched fry.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Feb 28, 2016
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  11. Meyer Jordan

    Tula

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    This is what I'm going to try this year. I've been lucky to rehome my fry, but there are no guarantees. Last year, I stopped feeding for a few days, but had floating plant baskets and ended up with survivors. Even though, I'll miss the plant baskets, I'll hold off this year till after they've spawned, then try no food for a week.
     
    Tula, Feb 28, 2016
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  12. Meyer Jordan

    Smaug God makes perfect. I just dug the hole

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    I feed quite alot,very few of the fry make it and I have never had a baby koi ever make it. I've often wonder if I have all male or female koi. I know my comets spawn successfully and I know they have spawned with my koi as I have koi/comet hybrids. The hybrids are voracious fry eaters I've seen that.
     
    Smaug, Feb 29, 2016
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  13. Meyer Jordan

    MitchM

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    If you've found a balance for your pond, that's great.
    I'm just bringing up the discussion as something to consider for people that have not found a balance or for new people before they have an overpopulation of fish.
     
    MitchM, Feb 29, 2016
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  14. Meyer Jordan

    Smaug God makes perfect. I just dug the hole

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    It's a heck of a thing to give advice to starve the fish. I don't know a soul who purchases a creature to keep who would find it ok to starve them. Stocking a reliable fry predator is a much better option. If that is done at the same time the juvenile fish are stocked then overpopulation should never happen. Starving a population out is certainly nature's choice for population control,so is disease and warfare. When keeping a creature I assume we do it for the love and ability to nurture,we can do better then just starve them out or we shouldn't do it at all.
     
    Smaug, Feb 29, 2016
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  15. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    I don't think that anyone offered advice to starve fish. The advice that was given was to stop the 'supplemental' feeding, forcing the fish to seek other sources of food in a pond.
    As for "starving" fish, the common advice to stop feeding your fish at temperatures of 10C or less is much, much closer to the act than what was recommended for population control.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Feb 29, 2016
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  16. Meyer Jordan

    MitchM

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    Right, starving fish and not feeding fish are 2 different things.

    If you notice that your fish are thin, and there is little natural food for them to eat, then feed, but if there is plenty of algae and bugs for them to eat, let them eat that first, before you add any required supplemental food.
    Your pond will stay cleaner that way.
     
    MitchM, Mar 5, 2016
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  17. Meyer Jordan

    Smaug God makes perfect. I just dug the hole

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    Don't fool people into thinking there is that much natural food in most garden ponds. Mine has some algae on the sides and whatever bugs fall in,it woukdnt be enough to sustain even my comets. None of my neighbors with the half dozen or so ponds woukd be self sustainable either. No way I'm stressing my fish by not feeding them.
     
    Smaug, Mar 5, 2016
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  18. Meyer Jordan

    MitchM

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    I'm not trying to "fool" anyone.
    I'm just trying to get people to think about why they're feeding their fish.
    Are they feeding solely because they enjoy the interaction with their fish? If so, then be prepared to provide the extra filtration required in order to prevent algae overgrowth and also have a plan in place to deal with fish overpopulation problems.
    There are many instances where fish are not externally fed in ponds and the fish lead happy and healthy lives.
     
    MitchM, Mar 10, 2016
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  19. Meyer Jordan

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Want more natural food sources in your pond.....turn off the UV!!
     
    Meyer Jordan, Mar 10, 2016
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  20. Meyer Jordan

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I have flock spawns a time or 2 each year in one of my ponds and I just let them eat all the eggs, no one starves
    Very few eggs make it , the few days it takes to hatch
     
    DrCase, Mar 11, 2016
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