Dangerous Sinking Pellets
Just recently, I bought a bag of koi pellets from a very
reputable koi store in Cartimar. This store got its good
reputation as ‘THE’ koi store in the country because it
introduced the ‘art and science’ of keeping authentic nishikigoi
(the ‘genuine’ ones from Japan, so to speak) to Filipinos. They
knew the koi business very well and have never disappointed me
in the past, which is why I don’t mind shelling out a few more
pesos for their koi pellets.
I just opened the bag of pellets a few days ago, and was
thoroughly disappointed to discover that about 70% of the
pellets in the bag didn’t float. Koi hobbyists have always been
told to feed their koi only with floating pellets (or floating
Aside from bringing out the exquisite beauty of
koi feeding at the pond surface, ‘floating’ pellets do not foul
up the pond, since one can easily net out the uneaten pellets
out of the pond before they decompose into harmful substances.
Floating pellets also allow hobbyists to spot unhealthy koi more
easily. Experts agree that pellets must be able to float for at
least 12 hours on the pond – anything less than that is not good
for your koi.
According to www.pond-doctor.co.uk, koi pellets are manufactured
through an extrusion process, wherein a finely-milled paste
composed of the feed ingredients is forced through a set of
holes that determine the pellet size. As the warm paste is
‘extruded’ through the holes, it expands and takes in some air,
forming microscopic voids within the pellets’ structure that
make the pellets light enough to float.
A series of knives are
then used to cut the extruded ‘string’ of paste into pellets.
‘Sinking type’ pellets, which are useful for coaxing koi at the
pond bottom to come up the surface to feed, are also
manufactured in a similar fashion, except that these are not
allowed to expand and take in air.
I have yet to go back to Cartimar to let the store know about
the problem I had with their pellets. Their response to the
issue when I report it to them will determine whether I’ll
continue buying koi pellets from them. In the meantime, I’ve
switched to another brand that costs much less, but whose
pellets float nonetheless.
Koi pellets that don’t float are a risk to the health of your
pond. This is why you should immediately look for alternatives
when the koi pellets you usually buy no longer float reliably.
Taking this for granted can have disastrous consequences.