What kind of food should you give your koi fish? It is determined by their age, size, and season. Then there’s the question of how much you’re willing to spend to get the nice things.

In general, Koi can be fed anything that goldfish can be fed. Both are technically carp and will eat almost anything organic–koi food, veggies, krill and plankton, breakfast cereal, and dead leaves. You name it; it’s there. They’re going to eat it.

When it comes to koi food, buying in bulk is always cheaper. Some recipes have color-enhancing characteristics, while others are vitamin-fortified to help your koi fish’s immunity. Aside from that, it’s often a matter of personal preference.

Continue reading for a quick list of more koi feeding recommendations…

Best Koi Fish Food

Check out the reviews below for koi meal choices according to your specific requirements.

Premium Fish Food Kaytee Koi’s Choice: Best affordable

Kaytee Koi's Choice Koi Floating Fish Food, 3 Pound
  • Floating Food
  • Provides necessary animal and vegetable proteins
  • Great for Koi, Goldfish and other pond fish

If you’re on a tight budget but still want high-quality koi food, choose Kaytee Koi’s Choice Premium Fish Food. This floating koi food is manufactured in Chilton, WI, and is available in 3-, 10-, and 25-pound bags.

Kaytee Koi uses fish meal as the principal ingredient compared to the other budget koi diets. Other Koi feeds start with lesser ingredients like wheat or corn. Animal protein sources are complete proteins that are superior to koi fish.

In terms of protein content, this food contains 35%. This is a substantial amount of protein sufficient for Koi at any stage of development. However, if the growth pace is a priority, you may choose to supplement with a high protein treat.

Because the pellets are 3/16th of an inch (4.8 mm) in size, they are best suited to Koi 6 inches (15cm) or larger. Smaller Koi will have difficulty digesting the pellets.

Some folks claim that their Koi do not enjoy this food. It’s difficult to say whether the problem is taste or scent. When transferring from one type of feed to another, Koi may require some time to acclimate to their new diet. So, if you have this problem, wait a week or two before changing their diet.


  • Affordable
  • The first ingredient is fishmeal.
  • Made in the United States
  • The protein content of 35%
  • Pellet that floats


  • Some koi take their time eating it.

Color Boosting Fish Food for Koi and Goldfish (Blackwater Creek)

Blackwater Premium Koi and Goldfish Color Enhancing Medium 5 lb.
  • Floating Pellets
  • Formulated to Bring Out Maximum Color Vibrancy
  • Contains 4 Natural Color Enhancers

Blackwater Creek is a tiny, family-run koi farm that also produces its line of koi food. They know what they’re doing because they breed their own Koi.

Their color-enhancing koi food is an excellent alternative for anyone looking to bring out the best colors in their Koi. The color enhancers shrimp meal, spirulina, and canthaxanthin make up more than 30% of this food. These components are excellent for bringing out the reds and yellows in your Koi.

Many firms will merely use a small number of color enhancers to get them on the ingredient list. However, Blackwater Creek doesn’t cut corners here since their color-enhancing koi meal contains more than 30% of these color boosters.

It also has 38 percent protein, which is sufficient. You can supplement with a high protein treat if you desire both color and growth.


  • Excellent for color enhancement.
  • 30% shrimp, spirulina, and canthaxanthin
  • Protein is 38% of the total.
  • Excellent family-owned business.
  • Pellets that float


  • Not the best nutrition for cold water.

Premium Dainichi Koi Food: Best for growth & color

Dainichi Koi Food - Premium (5.5 Lbs), Small (3.5 mm) Floating Pellet
  • Encapsulated with our unique vitamin and mineral coating after the cooking phase
  • Made Fresh to Order in the USA
  • Active digestive enzymes and no fillers promote digestion rates up to 90%

Many businesses use low-cost plant-based protein sources such as soybean meal. On the other hand, Dainichi uses premium ingredients such as krill, shrimp, and whitefish meal.

These animal protein sources are full of proteins that Koi can absorb more easily. This formulation contains 42 percent minimum protein as a result of these additives. This is enough protein to let your Koi grow to their greatest potential.

While it is not a color intensifier formula, it does contain natural color boosters such as krill, shrimp, and spirulina. Although it isn’t as strong as some other color intensifiers, it can be fed to plants yearly to bring out their color. Color intensifier recipes with higher concentrations must be cycled throughout the year. They can also be problematic if overfed.

Dainichi Premium Koi food is an excellent choice for your fish because of the protein and color enhancers. Dainichi also includes substances that other manufacturers do not.

Calcium montmorillonite clay and a specific vitamin coating on the pellets are among them. There are around 60 distinct mineral components in this calcium montmorillonite clay. These chemicals aid in digestion, growth, and toxin neutralization.

After cooking, the vitamin combination is sprayed on each pellet using a specific vitamin coating method. This guarantees that the vitamins and enzymes are not denatured.

So, if you’re looking for a koi meal that excels in all aspects, this is the greatest overall koi food for growth and color. The only disadvantage is, of course, the hefty cost.


  • 42 percent of protein derived from high-quality sources
  • Spirulina, krill, and shrimp are color boosters.
  • Montmorillonite clay (calcium)
  • Vitamin coating that is unique
  • There are no cheap fillers.
  • Food of true display quality
  • USA-made


  • Expensive

Blue Ridge Koi And Goldfish Growth Combination: Best for growth

Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets [5lb] Koi and Goldfish Growth Formula, Mini Floating Pellet, Balanced...
  • MADE IN THE USA - koi and goldfish fish food, premium all-season floating pellets and the same high-quality diet used by leading American Koi breeders at a fraction of the price
  • EASILY DIGESTED Floating pellets soften quickly for easy digestion, encourage healthy growth, and will not pollute the water
  • PERFECT FOR KOI AND GOLDFISH 5 INCHES AND SMALLER This food provides a completely balanced nutritional diet that greatly enhances growth in all koi and goldfish

The Blue Ridge Growth Mix is an excellent option for individuals who want a high-quality growth blend but cannot afford the super-premium brands. This is a great middle-of-the-road option, in my opinion.

One feature of this Blue Ridge food that I enjoy is that it comes with two different sizes of pellets. It comes with 1/8th and 3/16th inch (3mm to 4.8mm) pellets, allowing it to be fed to Koi of all sizes. This is ideal for those of you who have a pond with various fish sizes.

The pellets retain their shape in water and do not degrade as quickly as some inexpensive koi feeds. If you’ve ever had a koi pond, you know how fast this can lead to dirty, polluted water.

With a minimum crude protein content of 36% and a fat content of 6%, your Koi may grow but may benefit from more protein. Unfortunately, the fundamental ingredients are likewise of poor grade. Soybean meal is the main ingredient, with fishmeal coming in third. However, this cuisine is significantly less expensive than the premium brands; therefore, it’s a fair exchange for some.


  • a combination of small and large pellets
  • It does not disintegrate or cloud the water.
  • Excellent value for money in terms of both quality and price.
  • Important vitamins and minerals are included.


  • It contains certain low-quality components.
  • For a growth formula, 36 percent protein is a little low.

All-Season Dainichi Koi Food: Best Koi Food for All Seasons

Dainichi Koi Food - All-Season (5.5 Lbs), Medium (5.5 mm) Floating Pellet
  • Encapsulated with our unique vitamin and mineral coating after the cooking phase
  • Made Fresh to Order in the USA
  • Active digestive enzymes and no fillers promote digestion rates up to 90%

If quality is your priority, you can’t go wrong with any Dainichi dish. Dainichi does not contain any cheap fillers, such as maize. Only the best quality components, such as white fish meal, krill meal, pea protein, and spirulina, are used.

Another feature that distinguishes Dainichi from its competitors is the usage of calcium montmorillonite clay. This clay has a variety of minerals that aid with digestion, growth, and toxin removal. Each pellet is covered with a vitamin and mineral combination following the cooking phase.

All of this results in healthier fish and significantly higher feed efficiency. In addition, they absorb far more of this food than they would have with less expensive choices. This results in less fish waste and cleaner water in the pond.

Dainichi’s all-season koi meal comes in small, medium, and large pellet sizes. This is an all-season food that can be used all year. It even has more protein than other brands’ “growth” blends, with a minimum protein content of 39 percent.

As I indicated from the start, this isn’t a koi meal to buy if you’re on a tight budget. As a result, the only drawback I can think of with this dish is the price.


  • There are no cheap fillers.
  • Fish meal, krill meal, pea protein, and spirulina are all ingredients.
  • Montmorillonite clay (calcium)
  • Process of vitamin and mineral coating that is unique
  • The protein content is high (39%).


  • pricier than many other Koi meals

What Is the Best Koi Fish Food?

A balanced diet is required for Koi to be healthy and beautiful. This includes adequate protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. So, while feeding your koi delights like peas and watermelon might be entertaining, the mainstay of their diet should be a well-balanced koi feed.

High-quality food is more nutritious and will help your Koi grow faster. Similarly, if you provide low-quality food, you will need to feed more food to achieve the same development rate. This is because high-quality food has a higher feed efficiency. A high-efficiency diet will also result in less fish waste and water pollution. So you’re not saving money by buying cheap meals.

Your koi fish will also be more eager to consume high-quality food. This contributes to their happiness and overall quality of life.

The Advantages of High-Quality Koi Food

Providing the best diet for your Koi is an important component of the fish-keeping hobby.

In contrast to wild carp, ornamental Koi kept in ponds have been inbred over generations to provide the great variety and gorgeous colors that likely drew us into the pastime in the first place. Unfortunately, due to the breeding, the Koi have acquired weaker immune systems than wild carp, and they now require better fish farming to flourish.

One of the most important things is to choose a high-quality koi food that contains all of the vital components that a koi requires. Feeding your koi low-quality fish food or a diet lacking in a vital element can result in various issues as they grow and mature, such as dropsy or koi ich. Furthermore, certain foods are toxic to Koi and should be avoided.

You may ensure that your Koi are stronger and happier by choosing a koi meal with a balanced and high-quality ingredient composition. The following are some of the advantages of eating high-quality food:

Improved Koi growth

Feed the koi or crap with your bare hands. Fish tamed to the farmer. An outdoor koi fancy fish pond for beauty and relaxation.

Koi require protein and lipids to grow and maintain their strength as adults. Therefore, without a good source of both of these components, a malnourished juvenile koi will not be able to grow fully. Similarly, an adult koi’s nutrition will suffer if it lacks a good source of both. 

Proteins, in particular, should be sourced from aquaculture and not be swapped with lower-grade proteins, such as plant proteins. To reach its maximum potential, Koi require an aquatic protein source, commonly composed of fish or shrimp meal.

A decent koi growth meal will have at least 38% protein. Protein is typically found in complete diets in wheat germ, fish meal, and/or shrimp. Koi can be fed a diet containing up to 45 percent protein for maximum growth. You can also offer shrimp and daphnia to your Koi to increase their protein intake.

Koi develop the fastest up to the age of two years. Once they reach the age of two, you should transition them away from a growth diet. This is because their growth slows, and feeding them a growth diet can harm their health. When the water temperature is cooler, such as in the winter, you should offer a lower protein/higher carb diet.

The Koi’s activity and metabolism will be stimulated if the water temperature is kept in the upper 70s F. In this temperature range, you will be able to feed them the most, and they will grow the most. However, as described in the section “seasonal influence on koi feeding,” you should consider giving them a hibernating period.

Color and pattern are more prominent.

A variety of factors influence koi color and brilliance. Certainly, genetics have a role, but so do sunlight, stress, and, of course, diet.

Various color enhancers are added to some koi feeds to bring more vibrant colors.

A well-balanced diet will ensure that your Koi has the best color and pattern possible. Even though heredity is undoubtedly the most important element in color, excellent quality diets can also play a role. Compared to a strong and healthy fish, a weak and malnourished koi will appear bland.

Furthermore, many koi meals may have color enhancer elements that work with the sun to generate a more vibrant color pattern. These substances are not dangerous to fish but are also not necessary for a kois diet. Thus it is up to you to decide whether they are worth the cost when choosing a feed.

Carotenoids are added to the meal by all of these color enhancers. These carotenoid pigments enhance the natural colors of Koi by adding vitality and depth.

Spirulina and krill, or shrimp, are the greatest color enhancer ingredients. These additives are all-natural and include additional vitamins and nutrients useful to Koi.

Beta-carotene, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin are some of the other additions. However, remember that these chemicals may take a few weeks to influence the color.

Be cautious not to overfeed your Koi with color enhancers. You can tell whether the fish’s normally white backdrop has become green or yellow. This can be resolved by feeding the koi food devoid of color additives.

Color enhancer foods should also be offered to Koi only when the warmer water temperature. This temperature should be at least 65° F (19° C).

Immune System Strengthening

Because decorative pond koi have lower immune systems due to the amount of breeding, a feed containing all of the necessary nutrients is required to maintain the immune system firing! Therefore, most high-quality feeds include everything needed to support a koi’s immune processes, and some even include natural immune booster elements to help enhance the system.

How Does Food Affect the Color of Koi Fish?

Food provides several vitamins that influence the pigments in a Koi’s scales, affecting your fish’s color.

Because various commercial Koi meals include varying levels of carotenoids, red is the color most easily altered by food in Koi.

These vitamins contribute to the orange, yellow, and red colors of your Koi fish, and providing enough carotenoids can even start to turn white areas pink.

However, don’t expect new food to change your fish’s color instantly. Managing your Koi’s color with food necessitates multiple feedings over days and weeks.

What factors influence koi color?

Spirulina, which appears as an ingredient in a few of the formulae below, contributes to the amplification of reds and oranges due to beta-carotene. In addition, some recipes may contain marigold extract, which contributes to improved yellow colors in Koi. Finally, canthaxanthin is a carotenoid that enhances reds and oranges.

How can I improve the color of my koi fish?

You can naturally improve the color of your koi fish by feeding it the right nutrition.

There are a variety of specialty color-enhancing koi fish diets available.

What you’re looking for are two key elements that are well-known for assisting with this.

Spirulina and carotene are the components.

We’re talking about carotene, the substance in carrots that gives them their orange color. This will also give your koi fish an orange color.

If you want to make, your Koi look more colorful, attempt to make the colors in the pond, water, and plants contrast with the Koi to make the fish stand out.

Buying Guide for Koi Food

Feeding koi carp by hand (Cyprinus Rubrofuscus)

Koi are voracious and opportunistic feeders. They will simply eat whatever is available to them. 

However, as a responsible Koi owner, you must ensure that your Koi receives all of the necessary nutrients and minerals through its diet, whether it’s low-quality Koi kish food or insects and garbage. 

The market for numerous Koi food products is over-saturated. So keep a few things in mind before purchasing food for Koi or other pond fish.

Nutritional Evaluation

What is your initial reaction when discovering a new product on the market? First, you look at the label to see if it’s effective.

When it comes to choosing Koi food, the same rules apply. Several types of Koi food are available on the market for various uses. High-quality koi food promotes koi vibrancy, while others boost and accelerate koi growth. Whatever the situation, your goals for your Koi fish, are the most important consideration when selecting Koi feeds.

Furthermore, certain Koi fish food brands have a high protein level, making them unsuitable for winter use. As the water temperature dips, the Koi’s metabolism slows, making it difficult to digest the protein content, which ends up collecting inside the Koi and causing major disease.

As a result, if you’re not looking for a big Koi, I highly recommend buying Blue Ridge’s Probiotic Plus, an all-season Koi meal that is easily digestible and lasts throughout the year.

The number of fish

The amount of Koi fish influences your choice of Koi food in your pond. The frequency of feeding has a special relationship with the koi population. If only a few Koi fish are in the pond, the competition is too low, and the growth rate is too rapid.

However, if there are too many fish in the pond, the competition for food will be great, resulting in severe stress and, eventually, the death of your fish.

As a result, maintaining a healthy population of Koi in your pond is critical to keeping them happy and prospering.

Koi Age and Size

Before purchasing Koi food, serious breeders should consider this factor.

Young Koi food is designed for rapid growth and contains more protein to maintain muscles, whereas adult Koi food is mostly utilized for egg and sperm production.


Koi and other pond fish require specific elements in their diet to live a healthy and long life.

The high-quality Koi diet contains some of the best components for Koi vibrancy, growth, and a strong immune system to battle infections.

Suppose you want to boost the vividness of your Koi. In that case, various Koi foods have excellent color-enhancing additives, such as Spirulina and Wheat germ oil, where Spirulina brings out the Beni (red color) in the Koi, and the wheat germ brings out the shiroji (green color) (white color).

If you want your Koi to grow quickly and have a robust immune system, it’s best to feed them Koi fish food that’s high in protein and vitamin C.

How Much Should You Feed Koi Fish?

In general, only feed Koi as much as they can consume in 5 minutes. Any more than this will result in food waste accumulating in your pond. This will, of course, have a detrimental impact on your water quality. If there is still food floating about after 10 minutes, do your best to clean it out of the water.

How Often Should You Feed Koi Fish?

The temperature greatly impacts how and when you feed your Koi. When the temperature rises, your fish become more active, necessitating a greater requirement for food and energy as their metabolism accelerates.

Koi thrive at temperatures ranging from 59°F to 77°F. In this temperature range, you can feed them one to four times each day, depending on the size of the fish.

Give them only what they can consume in under 10 minutes.

Don’t worry if your Koi doesn’t eat at every meal. However, these fish, like any other organism (including humans), can become overweight if the energy balance is not correct. So to avoid polluting the water, remove any uneaten leftovers.

For example, if the water temperature is 50-55°F, you should only feed them once a week. On the other hand, feeding them up to three times per day is advisable if the water temperature is between 60 and 70°F.

Water TempFeedings Per Day
50 to 55Once per week
55 to 61Once per day
61 to 65Twice per day
65 to 73Three times per day
73 to 77Four times per day
77+Five times per day

Note: 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius. Please do not feed.

When the water temperature rises to the point where you must feed more than once daily, it can become a real chore. An automatic fish feeder is a fantastic way to automate this. This will not only make things easier for you, but it will also provide consistent feeding times for the fish.

Factors Influencing Koi Feeding

Feeding koi carp by hand

Koi Dimensions

Koi will consume almost anything that fits in their mouth. However, Koi food comes in various sizes, from small pellets to giant pond sticks, so you must consider the size of your Koi. For example, small juvenile Koi will have difficulty eating giant pond sticks. Similarly, feeding huge koi tiny pellets will make eating a time-consuming effort, and they may not receive enough to eat.

You will need to provide two types of food if you have both large and little Koi in your pond.

In this case, feeding large floating pellets and little sinking pellets is usually the best option. The huge Koi will be drawn to and pursue the large floating pellets. While little Koi will be able to reach the sinking pellets.

Feed flakes, bloodworms, and daphnia to the smallest Koi.

Pellet Size Recommendation For Koi Fish

Koi 4 inches (10cm) or smaller – 3/32 inch (2.4mm)

3/16 inch (4.8mm) – 6 – 10 inch (15-25cm) koi fish

Koi fish 8 – 12 inches (20-31cm) – 1/4 inch (6.4mm)

9/32″ (7.1mm) – Koi fish 10″ (25cm) or larger

5/16″ (7.9mm) – Koi fish 12″ (31cm) or larger

The Seasonal Influence on Koi Feeding

Koi kept in outdoor ponds all year will be exposed to various temperatures. As long as the water temperature does not become too hot, this is a very healthy and safe thing for Koi. A koi’s activity and metabolism will alter as the temperature and amount of sunlight fluctuate.

Koi will be most active and have a high metabolism in temperatures, not above 85° F or 29° C. This is when they can be fed a high-protein diet and offered snacks to complement their diet. Their metabolism slows as the weather cools in the late fall and early spring. They should be offered a more carbohydrate-rich diet at this time.

Koi will hibernate if the temperature falls below 50° F or 10° C. Their metabolism and bodily activities will halt in this state. Their movement will be lethargic, and they may only sit in one spot in the pond. They should not be fed at all at this stage. They can go all winter without eating because they have fat storage and slow metabolism.

Of course, if they are kept indoors, none of this applies. If you keep them indoors, you should consider altering the temperature seasonally. The colder temperatures in the winter allow them to slow down and take a breather. Allowing for some hibernation will also encourage longer-lived fish.

Weather Effects on Oxygen Content

The amount of oxygen in your Koi’s water greatly impacts how they digest food and what kind of food they should eat. In consequence, weather can significantly impact the oxygen concentration of your pond’s water.

When it rains, the oxygen level of the surrounding air decreases significantly. Unless your pond is very deep, this will also reduce the water’s oxygen content.

Your Koi will be less active than usual in this circumstance. As a result, you’ll probably want to feed them slightly less than usual and temporarily switch to a more protein-rich diet.

By heating your pond, sunny weather can significantly diminish the oxygen concentration of the water. As previously stated, warmer water contains less oxygen. Therefore your Koi will benefit from a protein-rich diet.

The Effects of Water Quality and Pumps on Oxygen Content

High water quality is also critical for maintaining your pond’s oxygen concentration. For example, as algae grow at the surface, they can produce oxygen but descend to the bottom when they die.

Microbes that feed on the dead algae can then suck massive amounts of oxygen out of the water, leaving your Koi in a low-oxygen state.

Pumps, however, can artificially increase or reduce the oxygen concentration of your pond’s water.

Turning on the pumps will reduce algae growth by moving the water while also aerating and supplying oxygen to the pond. In this instance, your Koi will likely be more active, and a carbohydrate-rich diet would be preferable.

Why isn’t my Koi eating?

Don’t be concerned if your Koi simply refuses to eat and you can’t figure out why. There are a few common reasons why Koi may be hungry. These are some examples:

  • Temperature shift in the water
  • The water of poor quality
  • Illnesses and parasites
  • Stress

Koi may stop eating if the water temperature changes abruptly or becomes too hot or cold. Don’t be concerned as long as the temperature has not reached dangerous levels.

The temperature will fluctuate with the seasons, and your Koi will return to normal whenever the temperature returns. A sudden drop in water temperature might also cause Koi to stop eating. They should be able to resume normal feeding after a few days of stable temperature.

Another thing to consider is the quality of your water. For example, did you fill your pond with tap water and fail to dechlorinate it? As a result, is there a buildup of ammonia or nitrates in the water? Purchase a test kit to determine your levels.

Maybe you only have one or two Koi that aren’t eating. They may be sick or injured if acting strangely and hang out away from the group. If this is the case, you must act promptly to address the issue. This excellent guide to diagnosing koi sickness is a terrific place to start.

Koi Food Floating vs. Sinking

If you’ve been looking at different koi food options, you’ve probably seen that there are floating and sinking pellets. Some koi feeds contain both floating and sinking pellets. Which one should you pick? Which of the two does the Koi prefer? Is there a difference?

Floating Koi Food

The majority of what you’ll find for sale is floating koi food. There are several reasons why floating food appears to be more popular.

The first benefit is that it is more fun for the koi owner. With floating food, you’ll be able to see all of the Koi come to the surface and feed.

Isn’t this why we have Koi in the first place? So we can gaze at them and marvel at their beauty.

Another advantage is that you will be able to monitor the health of your Koi and determine which ones are eating and which are not.

A minor disadvantage of floating food is that it may be pulled into the skimmer. However, this can be fixed in a variety of ways. For example, you could either turn off the pump while the Koi dine or place the food in a floating ring.

Sinking Koi Food

Aside from floating food, there is also sinking food. The same chemicals are used to make sinking pellets for floating pellets. They sink by producing them at higher pressures, which causes them to be denser.

Sinking koi food offers its own set of benefits. It has a higher concentration of nutrients and calories since it is denser. This means your Koi will obtain more nutrition while doing less work. This also implies that your Koi can consume more food at each meal. They can develop quicker if they take more food at each meal!

Another advantage is that it allows the smaller Koi to obtain some food. The largest and most aggressive Koi will eat most of the floating food. Sinking food will drop to the bottom of the pond, where smaller Koi will have a greater opportunity of feeding.

One disadvantage of feeding your koi fish sinking food is that you won’t be able to get a good look at them. You will also have difficulty identifying whether they ate all of the food before it sinks to the bottom. Uneaten food contributes to contaminated water.

Is there a difference between koi pellets and koi flakes?

When choosing a koi feed, you’ll have an option between pellets, flakes, and sticks, which isn’t as crucial as the food’s ingredient content. Although Koi have teeth, they will not chew their food in the traditional sense, preferring to swallow any food you provide whole – so be sure they can eat what you give them!

Choose food that floats readily and is not too dense or hard for all types of koi foods. It should also not disintegrate too quickly on the pond’s surface, as it must be softened enough for the Koi to consume. Food that disintegrates too quickly contributes to waste and increases ammonia levels over time as nutrients seep into the water.

Aside from that, the decision between pellets, flakes, and sticks is purely personal.

We generally prefer flakes (or small-medium pellets) for young/small Koi because they are easier to ingest. For larger Koi, you can use any pellets or sticks, although we recommend pellets because of their shape, making them simpler to ingest. Sticks, on the other hand, tend to break apart faster than pellets, but pellets are denser and stay on the surface longer.

There is no wrong decision here, and the choice of koi food should be based on the actual quality of the components.

What Do Koi Fish Consume?

Koi fish are omnivores with a well-developed digestive system. As a result, they’ll consume almost any natural food you give them as long as it’s small enough for them to swallow.

Koi fish consume algae, insects that land on the water’s surface, leaves and other plant waste, and even animal feces in the wild.

Koi may be fed a wide variety of meals in captivity. They will consume fruits and vegetables and carbohydrate-rich items such as cereal, breadcrumbs, and rice. In addition, they will consume modest amounts of protein, such as shrimp or cut-up chicken pieces.

Finally, Koi, like humans, require a well-balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.

If you feed your Koi several times a day, you can alternate which meals are high in carbs and which are high in protein. Alternatively, if you buy standardized Koi food, it will have plenty of both for your fish.

What Koi Fish Can Eat

Koi can be fed practically anything that humans eat. Shrimp, fruit, veggies, and anything else that isn’t high in carbohydrates fall into this category. Bread and similar things are difficult for your fish to digest. You can also provide them with fish meal pellets. Check that they are the correct size.

People feed koi fish four primary foods:

1. Algae Spirulina

This cyanobacterium, or blue-green algae, live in water and produce their sustenance. They’re tiny, only reaching half a millimeter in length. As a result, these algae float freely and can be found in lakes with exceptionally high pH and hard water.

Feed spirulina algae to koi fish to reap the following benefits:

  • Increased growth rate
  • Enhancing digestion
  • Immune system boosting
  • Assists in preventing enlarged abdomens
  • Increasing the production of specific enzymes that convert lipids to energy
  • Because of the carotene pigments found in algae, the hue is more vibrant.

2. Wheat Grass

Don’t worry; it’s not a dangerous germ. This is the component of the wheat that sprouts and matures into a new plant, referred to as the wheat seed. Wheat germ has been found in studies to help goldfish and Koi develop faster. It is also a natural source of vitamin E, enhancing blood circulation, increasing oxygen and nutrient flow, promoting healthy growth, and aiding in illness prevention.

3. Shrimp in brine

Here’s a scientific term for you: bio-enrichment. Brine shrimp filter water by consuming everything they can find in it, which isn’t much due to their small size. The nutrients they consume are passed on to the fish that consume them, a process known as bio-enrichment. As a result, brine shrimp are extremely beneficial for feeding newly hatched koi fish.

4. Fish Consumption

The smallest fish food, flake fish, is preferred by small and newborn Koi. Pellets are best for medium-sized Koi, whereas bars of fish food are best for larger Koi. Most contain a high protein content, a little amount of fat, and vital vitamins and elements.

Worms, larvae, tadpoles, shrimp, and clams are also popular.

Other foods you can feed your Koi

As previously stated, Koi are omnivores and will consume various foods. Therefore, feeding your koi snacks is one of the most enjoyable activities.

Feel free to augment their diet with snacks as the weather warms up. However, any form of processed junk food should be avoided.

Natural Koi food you can feed them:

  • slices of orange
  • watermelon
  • grapes
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • cooked rice or pasta
  • tomatoes
  • pineapple
  • pears
  • bread made from whole wheat
  • Blood worms and mealworms
  • daphnia
  • shrimp (frozen)

Avoided Foods

  • white bread
  • legumes (hard to digest)
  • the peas (hard to digest)
  • processed foodstuffs
koi fish family

How Long Can a Koi Fish Go Without Eating?

You may not always be at home, forget to feed your pet occasionally, or be out of town for a few days. Don’t worry. Koi carp can go for several days without being fed. They may be hungry after 3 or 4 days without food, but they will not starve.

However, by day 5, feed them a nutritious dinner. Of course, they’ll be hungry by this point, but they won’t die.

Depending on the ecological richness of the pond in which they inhabit, they may even be able to survive for a longer period. For example, they can scavenge for food if there is a lot of algae, some tiny fish, other plants in the pond, and insects.

While they won’t be able to go more than 4 or 5 days without food, they can look for it in the pond. In other words, if you miss a feeding here and there, it’s not a big problem, but try not to do it too frequently.

How can I speed up the growth of my Koi?

Maintaining the ideal water temperature in the tank or pond is one of the best ways to ensure that your koi fish grow as quickly as possible.

It’s not that koi fish can’t handle cool water, but it’s not ideal for rapid growth. If you want your Koi to grow quickly, keep the water temperature in the pond between 77 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Furthermore, providing your koi fish with a proper diet and more than enough food will help increase growth rates.

Why is my koi fish constantly hungry?

This is most likely due to underfeeding your koi fish. If feeding them for 5 minutes once a day isn’t enough, try increasing it to 6 minutes.

You can also try dividing their feedings into two sessions of 2.5 or 3 minutes. Another reason koi fish are always hungry is that they lack stomachs, which means they cannot store food for digesting.

Whatever they eat, more or less, flows directly through them, so they are always hungry.

However, this does not imply that you need to continually feed your Koi, as whatever you offer them will still provide them with the necessary nutrition.

Is it possible for Koi to die from overfeeding?

Overfeeding your koi fish can be hazardous and, in some circumstances, fatal. So, what happens if you feed your koi fish too much?

  • a rise in biological waste in the pond
  • Water quality deterioration
  • Reduced oxygen content
  • Kidney and internal organ damage
  • Increased likelihood of illness onset
  • Rotting of the fins
  • Death


That was a lot of information! If you’ve made it this far, you must be concerned about your Koi.

Remember to feed them the best koi fish food at the appropriate times and intervals.

This will result in the largest, most colorful, and healthiest Koi possible.

Last update on 2022-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API