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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 feed sticks).


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.






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