First of all, what is wheatgerm fish food? Wheatgerm is essentially the embryo of the plant – the reproductive part that germinates and grows new vegetation.
As a food source, it’s naturally high in complex fats, vitamins, and minerals, while it also contains slow-releasing carbohydrates. When compared to the simple sugars which feature in most germ-based fish foods, wheatgerm aids fish in maintaining their fat stores – something that is essential during the cold, winter months.
Why use Wheatgerm?
As the seasons move on and temperatures get colder, your koi and other fish will start to become more dormant. This is down to their metabolism slowing as the fish enter a state of semi-hibernation during winter..
Though employing a device such as a pond heater will warm the pond’s temperature and prevent it freezing over, it will not make the pond warm enough for its inhabitants to carry on their normal summer behaviour and feeding habits.
The semi-hibernation survival technique allows koi and other fish to survive these colder temperatures, thanks to their reduced movement – they use less energy. This also means that your fish will eat less and produce a lower amount of waste than usual, however they do still need to eat.
This is where wheatgerm comes in; as temperatures begin to drop to around 8-12℃, fish keepers switch from their summer feed to a winter feed to aid in maintaining the health of their pond’s fish population.
As a result of the fishes lethargic state and loss of appetite, digestion of their food can become problematic and lead to health issues such as constipation. This is due to the fish having less energy than normal to perform the regular digestion process.
Wheatgerm counteracts this thanks to being low in hard-to-digest proteins, making the consumption of this winter feed easier on the digestion and waste systems of your koi and other fish.
This is not to say proteins aren’t an essential part of your fishes winter diet though; proteins along with fats and amino acids are vital when it comes to maintaining the weight and strength of your koi and other fish.
To avoid essentially “bogging your fish down” with carbohydrates and plant-based proteins, we recommend sourcing a winter feed that also contains a high percentage of aquatic protein – around 30% is ideal. You should look out for wheatgerm that contains the likes of white fish meal, krill meal or anchovy meal such as our Kusuri Wheatgerm and Aqua Source Wheatgerm from Pond Planet.
Have you found our guide helpful? Is there anything else you’d like to know?