Force Feeding a shy koi
  • eugeneeugene January 2013
    Posts: 36
    Hi guys,

    I have a platinum ogon Koi that I bought about a year ago along with another Gold type ogon. Both were the same size initially. When placed into my pond, the platinum ogon just refuses to come to the surface for the pellets. At first I thought it was just shy and still trying to "Feel" its way around my pond so I left it as that. A few months later, the difference in size between the gold and the platinum koi was so noticeable. Now almost a year later, the poor fellow is still scrounging around the bottom and is just hopelessly outmuscled even for sinking pellets.

    What should I do?
    A) Persist in feeding a mixture of sinking and floating pellets? That way, hopefully it will "beef up" abit in size and in doing so it will somehow find courage in coming up to the surface for floating pellets?
    B) Transfer it to a separate quarantine tank and force feeding it?

    I went for option B and I put a fellow small koi as a companion for it. I dose a capful of S1 and I'm maintaining salt level of around 0.2%.

    What would you guys do in my situation? Note, the platinum ogon isn't sick. It's just extremely shy (I think). Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance.


  • WilganWilgan January 2013
    Posts: 245
    Feeding some sinking pellets should do the trick and less hassle. :)
  • smokersmoker January 2013
    Posts: 715
    Yup, like Bro Wilgan said, sinking pellets.
    I also have a shy kohaku, she keep swimming below the water surface everytime her friends are having good feeding time on floating pellets, and once and a while she goes up to hit and run the floating food, and yet, sometimes she misses it. :-D

    She was not used to be a shy eater, things happen, she got scared and become shy and not yet recover his fear till now.
    I gave her sinking pellets for a quite some time, with sinking pellets she ate hungrily, but then i feel no fun by feeding sinking, so i insist to fully feed on floating again since 3 months ago and be persistant to make her come up and be brave again. :)

  • vic_slash20vic_slash20 January 2013
    Posts: 118
    Bro. Eugene,

    Same goes with my doitsu kohaku- his pretty scare and just always noticed his on the bottom of my pond when I feed them. What I did was to separate him from another pond with his same sizes for a couple of weeks, trying to negotiate his feeding with a floating pellets. Then I back him to the main pond when his size is about to increase or dominant with the other in the separate pond. After which his behavior changed and started to show up in main pond.
  • eugeneeugene January 2013
    Posts: 36
    Hi all, thanks for your kind replies.

    So to summarize then, there are perhaps two schools of thought here - isolate and feed separately (which I'm doing) and feed sinking pellets. It's quite troublesome having to change water constantly for the quarantine tank so i'll see how this goes in a few weeks.

  • MikeMike January 2013
    Posts: 346
    Hi Eugene,

    I have a shy kohaku too and isolation doesnt work for her so back to the main pond.
    Feeding sinking doesnt really work too as the rest will snap all the sinking before the kohaku have a chance. so now back to floating and she will come up after awhile and make a run for the pallet every now and then and at time missed.
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar January 2013
    Posts: 1,763
    Bro Eugene,

    Another point is fasting. I once had shy koi problem. Some would be active to grab and some would be at bottom, waiting for me to go away.

    I fast the whole pond for a week. Than only feed one handfull in the morning and one in the night (that's only like 30% my normal feed) for a week. Than another week fasting and one week less feeding. I do this cycle until all kois come up to eat. It took me 3 cycle before all kois come up to eat. Now, even my male koi not shy anymore and all of them are like pacman . Some can hand feed redi. :-D

    But the sad part is, some of the koi's become thin, but after 2 to 3 weeks of normal feeding regime, all back to original size redi

    Good luck bro :)
    Post edited by Bthineshkumar at 2013-01-22 03:18:35 pm
  • sleepymansleepyman January 2013
    Posts: 102
    Hi all,

    Personally, 2 schools of thought for your digestion..

    1. Survival of the fittest

    Mass feed. Nature shall determine which ones will grow more and which ones under-develop.

    2. Realize each's potential

    Target feed. As I target feed, even my shy kois get the necessary nutrients to develop.

    Personally, I choose to realize my kois' potential. This, to the extent of feeding colour feed to certain kois, growth feed to some and just pure wheatgerm to others.

    This will bring about some stress (to me!) during feeding (sometimes i'll miss the "target") and usually take more patience, however, I believe I am happier to see my Kois develop to their potential.

    You decide!
  • eugeneeugene January 2013
    Posts: 36
    Update on my "experiment" - i've decided to return the "shy koi" and its companion back to the main pond. Previously I thought they were eating the pellets but turns out the debris at the bottom of the quarantine tank i was housing them was all the back to square 1 for me and sinking + floating pellets.

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