All experienced koi owners know that feeding time is the best part of maintaining your very own koi pond.
After all, you get to watch all your magnificent koi swimming energetically toward you to get some food.
Feeding time is when koi owners get to bond with their pet fish, but what matters most is knowing what to feed your pet koi fish.
It’s important to provide your pet koi fish with a healthy, nutritious diet, which will allow them to grow large and strong.
There are certain foods that most koi tend to prefer over others. For example, did you know koi fish seem to love watermelon? And better yet, it’s very healthy for them too.
Is Watermelon Safe for Pet Koi Fish?
Just because your pet koi fish likes to eat something, it might not necessarily mean that it’s safe or healthy for them to consume.
Luckily, watermelon is completely safe, healthy, and equally delicious.
Despite its sweet taste, watermelon doesn’t contain as much sugar as one might expect.
It gets its unique sweet taste due to the high concentration of fructose.
Watermelon is also rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A and C, which will keep your pet koi fish happy and healthy.
In humans, watermelon has been known to improve blood circulation and even decrease the risk of heart attacks, although it’s unclear if it could have the same effect on koi fish.
Although watermelon is safe for your pet koi fish to eat, we recommend that you don’t make it a regular part of their diet.
Instead, keep it as an occasional treat.
Although your koi may like watermelon, they don’t need fructose to grow, and there are better sources of vitamins, especially available to koi fish.
Benefits of Feeding Your Pet Koi Fish Watermelon
Before you make up your mind about whether or not you want to include fresh watermelon in your pet koi fish’s diet, you should know the many benefits of doing so.
Helps Boost Their Immune System
Watermelon is rich in lycopene, which enables fish to build a resistance to particular diseases.
The antioxidants and vitamin c found in watermelon enrich the general health and well-being of your fish as well.
Provides Them with Energy
The high fructose content of watermelon acts as a natural energy supplement for your koi fish, letting them grow strong and energetic.
Helps Their Digestive System
In the correct portions, watermelon can, in fact, help improve your pet koi fish’s digestive system, helping them avoid issues that can arise from having weaker digestion.
It’s Good for Their Heart
The potassium found in watermelon helps them maintain a stable heartbeat, and lycopene is known to prevent heart disease.
Helps Prevent Dehydration
Did you know, fish can get dehydrated, too? This happens if the mineral content of their pond is out of balance.
If one of your pet koi fish happens to be suffering from dehydration, feeding them watermelon could help save their life.
Helps Improve Eyesight
Beta Carotene found in watermelon has been linked to improved eyesight, as well as preventing damaged eyesight over time and other ailments such as cataracts.
Helps Pregnant Fish
Some expert koi breeders believe that watermelon is healthy for pregnant koi fish because it contains folate.
Folate helps the neural tube develop, making sure the pregnant fish will be able to deliver healthy babies successfully.
Keeps Their Teeth Strong
Koi fish are known to have brittle teeth located at the backs of their throat.
Watermelon contains calcium that allows their teeth to grow healthier and stronger.
What Happens If My Koi Eat Too Much Watermelon?
If you overfeed your pet koi fish watermelon, it can start to interfere with their digestive system.
Digestive issues can be difficult to spot in koi fish and are even a common cause of death among pet koi fish.
That is why you need to be very careful about what you’re feeding your pet koi so that their digestive system doesn’t get compromised in the first place.
What About Nitrate in Watermelon?
Sometimes, watermelon can be high in nitrate. While humans can tolerate the levels of nitrate found in watermelons, fish cannot.
Nitrate is severely lethal for fish. Before feeding your fish watermelon, you should be able to see the warning signs of high nitrate content.
How To Tell If Watermelon Is High in Nitrate
Always slice your watermelon directly down the center.
If the outer boundary of the watermelon’s midsection features a thick rind with a yellow coloration, you’ll know it is high in nitrate and not suitable for your pet koi fish.
When you cut open a watermelon, look at the surface of its flesh. It should be almost perfectly smooth.
Some watermelons have cracks and holes in the flesh, which is usually a sign that they possess high levels of nitrate, making them unfit for your fish to eat.
The last telling sign of a watermelon with a high nitrate content is its weight, although this is something you’ll have to learn to gauge by hand.
Watermelons that contain high levels of nitrate are usually lighter than those that don’t.
If you accidentally feed your pet koi fish watermelon that is high in nitrate, and you’re worried that it may be sick, we recommend seeking the help of a professional vet immediately.
Always Clean Your Pond After Feeding Your Fish Watermelon
If you decide to leave some freshly cut watermelon in your fish’s pond, your fish may simply choose not to eat it.
Make sure you don’t allow watermelon to collect in your koi pond for too long, as it can create a mess, and potentially even contaminate the water.
Remove any uneaten watermelon as soon as possible, and double-check the chemical content of your koi pond, to make sure it hasn’t left behind any sort of contamination.
How To Feed Your Koi Fish Watermelon
There are a few different ways that you can feed your pet koi fish small amounts of watermelon.
You may want to experiment with each of these methods to see which one your fish like the best.
Look for a watermelon that is ripe, fresh, and free of fatal amounts of nitrate.
Before feeding it to your fish, make sure to remove the thick green outer skin of the watermelon.
This part of the watermelon can be very difficult to digest, and may even harm your pet koi fish.
Next, make sure you remove all the seeds from the watermelon.
You don’t want your pet koi fish to accidentally get seeds stuck in their throat, as it can cause them to choke on them and die.
Cut the watermelon into many tiny pieces, around just one inch long.
Larger pieces might be difficult for your pet koi fish to eat, and again, cause them to choke.
The other option is to turn the watermelon into a paste before feeding it to your pet koi fish.
As a paste, watermelon is easy for your koi fish to eat, as well as digest properly.
Again, you’ll need to remove the hard outer skin of the watermelon and chop it up into chunks.
Remove the seeds before you toss the chunks of watermelon into your blender and blend them into a fine paste.
You could also incorporate small amounts of watermelon into other food that you feed your pet koi fish.
Place the dry food you usually give your koi fish, and mix tiny bits of watermelon into it, before depositing it into their pond.
Or, you could also mix their dry food into the watermelon paste. As we said, you’ll need to experiment with new techniques and ideas before finding out how your koi fish like their watermelon served.
How Often Should You Feed Your Koi Fish Watermelon?
As mentioned previously, koi fish don’t necessarily need watermelon to survive.
Although it is healthy and rich in nutrients, there are better options for koi food available.
That said, if you find that your koi fish love to eat watermelon, we recommend that you feed it to them just once or twice a week.
What Other Fruits Can Koi Fish Eat?
Watermelon is a seasonal fruit, which is only available from May to September.
That means that if you want to keep, including fruit in your pet koi fish’s diet, you will need to look for substitutes.
Other fruits that koi fish can eat in moderation include apples, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and even lemons.
Again, you’ll need to experiment with what fruits your koi fish like over others.
Depending on how many koi you have in your pond, there may even be certain fruits that some like, but others don’t.
Now That You Know
Now That you know how much koi love watermelon and how beneficial it can be for them, what do you think?
Will you be incorporating it into their diet more often, or do you prefer not to take the risk?
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