Koi Feeds - Fats, Carbs and Vitamins

Fats
Fat is important in a diet to carry energy and at-soluble vitamins to the fish. Fat supplies a dense energy source. However, fat is a dangerous component in foods because when it gets too high, it can cause the food to spoil more easily, and can even function as "moisture" for the growth of certain moulds. So manufacturers are VERY careful about the fat and moisture content of foods. Fat content of 3-9 % are safe, reasonable levels.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the immediate energy source for the fish. Due to their carnivorous nature of the eons, fish tend to be poor at utilizing carbohydrate (Trout are utterly diabetic) so they may store it in the muscle or discharge it in the waste. This doesn't change the fact that it's important. It's usually not listed as a percentage on most fish food labels. I am not attaching too much significance to it in this article.

Minerals
Much discussion exists about the mineral requirements of fish. I personally recommend that if a food for Koi contains some extra calcium, and contains a low phosphorous, it could be considered "better" than a food that pays no attention to the Calcium and Phosphorus.

Vitamins
Important ones seem to be fat soluble A,D,E and K - and vitamin C.
Vitamin deficiencies from missing vitamins are comparatively rare in the last two decades. This is because vitamin premixes exist in the processing of fish food that have eliminated most of the mystery and a lot of the onerous expense. Vitamins A,D,E and K when deficient result in lesions of the skin, eyes, and nervous system. Vitamin K contributes to blood clotting. How much this bears on fish is vague at best.

Vitamin C is not so mysterious. Addition of Vitamin C to the diet of Koi and Goldfish is a "Good Thing" for several reasons. First, it's essential to the fish and contributes majorly to disease resistance. Second, food processing degrades Vitamin C so that enough of this has to be added to the food to where a surplus survives the processing of the food. Inattention on the part of the feed manufacturer to this could result in food too low in Vitamin C. Finally, if available over 180 milligrams per kilogram, some research supports that the immune system is not only supported, but dramatically enhanced.

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