Won't my koi overeat?
- During the first few days your koi may very well overeat. Remember, they probably have been on a feast or famine cycle. Soon they will realize that a steady food source is available and will only eat as much as they want when they want. Recommendation: Initially, fill the feeder only with the amount of food you would normally feed at any one feeding. After several days, increase the food to a full day's supply. After a week or so, add more than one days food supply if you wish.
Won't there be a lot of wasted food?
- During the first few days there may be some wasted food. After a few days you should find much less uneaten food in your skimmer and filtration system. The feeder only dispenses a relatively small amount of food with each pull so it all tends to be consumed.
Won't the koi keep pulling on the "lure" until the feed hopper is empty?
- The koi are more interested in eating than pulling on the "lure". With each pull, they have to release the "lure" to eat. Once satisfied, they tend to leave the feeder alone.
How do I train them to use the feeder?
- You don't have to do anything. They will figure it out on their own in a short time.
How long does it take for them to learn how to use the feeder?
- It depends. The fastest we have seen was less than 20 minutes. The longest was five days but the owner also was simultaneously using a timed electrical feeder. The amount of natural food or a recent spawn will also have an effect. If you withhold feeding them by hand, they should learn within a few hours. Rubbing a garlic clove or fish oil on the lure may shorten the learning period.
My koi were using the feeder but have not touched it for over 36 hours now?
- Have you ever been sport fishing? Wild fish do not bite all the time. Your koi are no different. There are many different conditions that can affect you koi's appetite such as changes in weather or barometric pressure, recent visits by predators, parasites or other diseases, changes in water qualities, a recent spawn, stress etc. Recommendation: Look for the reason the koi are not eating and take prompt remedial action if necessary.
My koi no longer come rushing up to meet me when I approach the pond.
- This is both a disadvantage and an advantage when using an on-demand feeder. Koi apparently have not made the great leap to rationalizing who fills the feeder. An advantage is that they will be less likely to greet predators and will be somewhat more elusive. Recommendation: If you find this a disadvantage, feed your koi a very special treat (maybe shrimp, bloodworms or Manda Fu) when you visit the pond.
Submit any additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org