|How To Store Koi Food and What About Old Food?
Proper Food Storage
Sometimes you luck out and get a deal on bulk foods. Or, a manufacturer offers larger containers than your fish can eat in a season. Too bad. I do NOT recommend that you buy big bags of food unless your fish can eat it all in a season. This is because it's necessarily difficult to keep 45 pounds of food in the fridge. Of course, if you CAN, do it! Otherwise, the fish food sits in the bag in a "cool dark place" and weevils hatch in it and the food is lost. Or moulds grow in it, on the condensation-side of the bag and it's lost. Or, the cats tear out the bottom corner of the bag and the food spreads across the floor of the garage like a cancer. Can you tell "I've been there, done that"??
Refrigerate foods, DON'T freeze them. Freezing damages (lyophilizes = freezer burns) the fats in the food and so the fat-soluble vitamins are compromised.
Foods which are packed in nitrogen (no oxygen) by the manufacturer are better than food which is in cans with oxygen. If you can find food which has a bag that allows expression of air from the bag and resealing, that is optimal.
If food begins to smell "funny" or develops a fuzz on it, changes color, sticks together or crumbles down, it's old or "bad" and should be discarded. Feeding "bad" food will land you in a world of hurt with your fish, because much of what grows in fish foods produces what are known as "Aflatoxins" which can cause injury, deficiency, and broken backs, in fish fed these spoiled foods. Truly, fish should go hungry while waiting for you to get fresh food, rather than being fed spoiled food "just for a few days" because it matters.
So, we've talked about feeding, let's talk nutrition. What's in food and what does it do?
What Protein is and does
Protein is what your cells are made of. If it's a cell, it is made of protein. The most numerous cells that are made of, and thus supply the most protein are muscle cells. But one must also remember that red blood cells and infection fighting white cells are also made of protein. People forget that these red and white cells have a finite life span in the blood stream and must be remade. How does the fish replace these cells in winter when it's not eating? Very difficult. This is one reason why Spring is often fraught with disease.
Protein is the "stuff" of muscles and so is harvested from animals in their muscle. When we eat protein in the form of beef, well, you get the idea. Beef muscle. 'Kay.
Studies have been done which compared the digestion and assimilation of protein in fish. They tested chicken protein, fish protein, plant protein, beef protein, pork, etc. And you will NOT be surprised to know that fish proteins were the BEST digested and assimilated. Fish eat fish. This makes sense because the incidence of fish leaping onto shore and eating cows is very, very low to non-existent. Fish are adapted to the consumption of others in their food chain. So fish proteins are the best for fish. Cool.
So when you look at a bag of food and the first ingredient is "Wheat". Again, you get the picture. Wheat is not equal to fish protein. So keep looking. You should look for fish or aquacultural proteins as the first ingredient in a decent diet for your Koi and Goldfish.
Fish can DIGEST corn. But they do not ASSIMILATE it as well as fish proteins, in fact they might not assimilate it AT ALL if an amino acid is missing from the protein in the food. So companies which have stooped to talk glowingly about corn being "DIGESTABLE" while omitting fair representation of corn's comparatively poor assimilation are being misleading.