Recently the Hikari food company released a breakthrough series of new koi and goldfish foods to the United States market. These new foods have multiple advancements that result in Saki-Hikari being the “most technologically advanced koi food available today.”

First, Saki-Hikari is produced with the “finest quality ingredients and the most complete and balanced nutritional package Hikari could develop.”

The real breakthrough comes in a strain of beneficial bacteria being added to the food. This strain of Bacillus bacteria is added to the food and proliferates itself in the digestive tract of the fish once the food is eaten. The resulting explosive enzymatic activity creates a very high rate of assimilation of the available nutrition, which translates into rapid growth and a reduced volume of solid waste discharge from the fish. As much as similar bacteria have been used in yogurt, for human consumption, the benefits of these bacteria are now being utilized by Hikari for the benefit of our aquatic pets.
The Saki-Hikari process has four transitory stages:

Stage1 - When the fish eat the Saki- Hikari food the beneficial bacteria become active and germinate in the intestines.

Stage 2 - The beneficial bacteria multiplies and increases the very efficient digestive enzymes. This enzyme activity drastically improves the fish’s utilization of the available nutrition and improves the absorption rate.

Stage 3 - The beneficial bacteria become the priority bacteria in the digestive system of the fish and rob nutrition that bad bacteria need to survive. The result of this action is a reduction of stress and improvement of the fish’s immunity to disease. This is accomplished without hyper-activating the immune system, which could cause long term damage. Hikari states and I agree that the use of potentially dangerous medicines or immune system boosters should be avoided and prevention is the best course of action.

Stage 4 – When the reduced volume of solid waste is excreted the beneficial bacteria continue their activity and cause further decomposition The waste becomes more powder-like and significantly reduces the solid waste volume in your mechanical filter. It is said that the Saki-Hikari foods result in eight times less solid waste than other Hikari foods. Think about this for a moment, eight times less volume of solid waste in your filter. That translates into less time to clean your filter. Happy days are here!

The folks at Hikari explain that in order to receive the desired results from the Saki food it should be fed exclusively. What they are trying to say is that if the Saki food is fed in combination with other foods then the beneficial bacteria in the Saki food cannot fully set up its ongoing digestive benefits. During the research and development stage of the Saki food Hikari secretly provided the new food to a koi farmer in Japan for testing on his koi. This farmer surprised many when one of his Saki fed Sandan (three-step) Kohaku koi won the All-Japan Koi Show in 2003. What is astonishing to me is that this koi was only 6 years old and already about 35” in length! Most All-Japan Koi Show winners are 7 to 10 years of age before they achieve this length and body-mass in order to vie for the Grand Champion prize. Needless to say, when the other koi farmers found out that this farmer had been feeding his koi the new Saki food they cried foul and wanted access to the Saki food so they could get the same results.

In 2005 a Saki-fed Showa koi won the All-Japan Koi Show. This Showa was 11 years old and about 34” in length. This Showa had been fed the Saki food for the previous six years.