We all feed our Goldfish and Koi a fish food….. But what makes the difference between a good fish food and a bad one?
This article identifies Pond Fish Food ingredients and what each aspect of the food promotes in your fish.
Proteins are constructed of amino acids. Amino acids benefit the recovery of damaged tissue, a good growth and the production of eggs and seeds. There are 20 amino acids, 13 of which are of importance to Koi. A protein shortage disturbs the Koi’s growth. It may even lead to a deformity of the backbone. Fish food which primarily contains proteins from white fish meal such as Takazumi Professional Koi Foods have the best influence on a successful growth.
Crude Oil & Fat
Raw oil and fat provide most of the energy Koi need. Insufficient fats in the food may result in heart and liver problems. The required fats are contained within fish oil, wheat germs, maize oil and soy oil. These fats can naturally go off when exposed to oxygen. So do not use old food; it may even make your fish ill!
Carbohydrates provide energy, Koi build up energy less quickly than for example mammals, which is why there should always be carbohydrates in your fish food.
Every Koi food should contain phosphorus. Lack of it may result in a deformed backbone.
About 12% of water is composed of minerals. Minerals have several functions. Among others they benefit the construction of the skeleton and nerves as well as the osmosis regulation and the exchange of gases in the blood. The majority of minerals are absorbed from the water. The remainder via fish food.
Vitamins are as important to the growth and the metabolism of Koi as they are to mammals and therefore they should not be absent in Koi food.
Vitamin A – beneficial for a good growth and visual faculty as well as the protection of skin and fertility.
Vitamin B1 – helps to provide energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamin B2 – helps Koi to cope with transitional situations like transportation. Vitamin B2 also supports the build-up of muscles, mucus and skin.
Vitamin B12 – along with the vitamins B6 and B11 regulates the body’s absorption of iron and is involved in the formation of red blood cells. A shortage of these vitamins may lead to anaemia. The three mentioned vitamins also benefit the functioning of the nervous system and are involved in the amino acid metabolism.
Vitamin C – contributes to the build-up of the skeleton and resistance to diseases.
Vitamin D – regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which makes it important for the development of the skeleton. Vitamin D prevents deformations of the bone system.
Vitamin E – is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and the build-up, recovery and preservation of muscular and other tissues. It also stimulates the production of fertility hormones.
Vitamin H (biotin) – stimulates growth.
Vitamin K – benefits the clotting of blood in case of an injury.
Cholin is necessary for the digestion of fat.
Astaxanthin is the red pigment that generates the pink colouring of salmon, shrimps and flamingos. Chemically it is related to β-carotene (as is found in carrots) and vitamin A. It is among the group of carotenoids.
Astaxanthin is produced by various algae and plankton types. These are eaten by lobster like species, including shrimps. They store the pigment in the shells, by which they get a pink appearance. These species in turn are eaten by fish such as salmon and trout or birds like flamingos or red ibis who store the pigment in their skins and adipose tissues. This makes the animals’ flesh pink. Astaxanthin is not or scarcely excreted, so the pink colour remains.
With this in mind the addition of Astaxanthin into a Koi food boosts the fishes red colouration.
Astaxanthin is also a strong anti-oxidant with properties that correspond with vitamin E. Therefore it should allegedly protect against UV light. Contrary to Spirulina, Astaxanthin can also be fed right throughout the year.