Types of Fish Food - Floating, Sinking and Crumbles

Published: 12th January 2009
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When it comes to feeding your Pond fish, there is a vast array of commercially available foods. With many different companies now producing a plethora of food choices, it is important to educate yourself on the nutritional requirements of your fish. In addition to nutrition, the ability to efficiently disperse the food to your Koi or pond fish is an important function that is often overlooked. There are several commonly available pelleted formulas, including; sinking, slowly sinking, floating, and crumbles, not to mention flake food.

The most common variety of Pond Fish food is the floating pelleted formula. Floating pellets provide a unique advantage over most other varieties in that they entice fish to the upper levels of the pond, creating a remarkable viewing opportunity. By consistently providing your Koi or Pond Fish with floating foods, they will associate the surface, and often one location in particular with feeding. They will become more bold, and increasingly personable, and will often learn to accept food directly from the pond-owner's hand. The major drawback to floating food is noticeable mainly in ornamental varieties of goldfish. By gulping at the surface, the goldfish will often engulf atmospheric air, sometimes leading to infections of the swim bladder. It is also important to be aware of fast moving areas of the pond, as floating foods are often swiftly moved into overflows, or down flowing streams.

The best choice of fish foods is often the sinking or slowly sinking variety. By sinking from the surface areas, the food is safe from flowing out of reach from the fish. It also ensures that no atmospheric air is engulfed by your Pond Fish, preventing possible infections. The sinking action of the food will also create movement, which is a major appetite stimulant in fish. It may be beneficial to begin new acquisitions on a sinking diet. The disadvantages of sinking are mainly aesthetic. The fish will not become as personable without a floating food addition, although they will still associate the location with food. It is also possible that the food sinks too quickly, possibly becoming entrapped in the substrate.

Crumbles and flake food are generally reserved for smaller pond fish and juvenile Koi. They should be fed as a first food before the fish are weaned onto a larger sized maintenance diet. When provided to larger fish, flakes and crumbles are often ignored, creating a wasteful environment.

Once nutrition is provided for, each type of pond fish food has its place in pond fish culture. It is important to consider the size of the fish, as well as the environment in which they will be fed. Larger ponds with areas of slow moving water can be comfortably fed with floating pelleted food. This will create the surface activity that is often desired. Sinking pellets are wonderful for acclimating new arrivals, or when used in fast moving streams. They will also prevent infection of the swim bladder. Lastly, crumbles and flake food should generally only be given to smaller or juvenile specimens. If chosen properly, the food selection will go a long way towards long-term health.

Casey Coke is a Marketing Manager for Natural Environmental Systems, LLC, a global supplier of microbial solutions for pond and lake management. The company markets their own brand of pond supplies under the registered brand name of Pond Keeper.

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