Find out why a koi pond owner should give the fish the best food for their living jewelry to improve the health, color, and quality of the pond water. As with humans, you are what you eat, and one of the biggest concerns in our family and at Kodama Koi Gardens is choosing the right ingredients for our koi food.
In this koi feeding guide we want to explain the difference when you learn to feed your koi the right way and with the right food. Novice koi keepers often scratch their heads at the different koi foods available in the market. And while it is understandable that a pond owner wants to save time and money when choosing the best koi food, koi experts know that not all koi food is created equal.
When choosing Koi food, you should realize that Koi are omnivores and voracious eaters. They eat everything they find in your pond: water lilies, algae, larvae and aquatic insects. However, it is your set goals that determine what to feed your koi.
Koi hobbyists do some research on koi food and usually rely on low-priced foods that don’t do much good for fish. Koi enthusiasts understand, however, that the quality of koi food affects their health, color and growth.
With an abundance of koi food brands available today, you may find yourself lost in an endless sea of options. To help you choose the best koi food for your precious pets, I’ve listed 7 of the most prominent koi food brands based on my own extensive analysis and feedback from thousands of avid koi owners.
Finding the best koi food for growth and color can be a bit tricky. There is a lot to think about. It is important to choose a formula with the perfect balance of proteins, minerals, vitamins and fiber to keep your koi healthy …
With the right natural ingredients to keep red and yellow vibrant and beautiful. It is also important to choose a formula designed for easy digestion and preventing the pond water from becoming cloudy. Don’t worry, there are many options available to meet all of these requirements.
The 10 Best Koi Food For Growth & Color
If you’re looking for the best koi food to buy, take a closer look at these 10 great products. They’re some of the best on the market and provide balanced nutrition that supports both health and vibrant color. Plus, they also protect the integrity of the pond water.
Koi Food Reviews
Koi Vibrance is an excellent food from Tetra Pond that has been specially formulated to provide balanced nutrition to your koi while naturally enhancing the vibrant red and yellow colors.
This food is formulated in such a way that it is easily digestible. The soft sticks have hollow centers that are the perfect size and shape for koi and are mixed with the right amounts of protein, vitamins and fiber for maximum metabolic efficiency.
Because this food is completely digested, less waste ends up in the pond water, which prevents pollution, algae growth or cloudy water.
These pond sticks from TetraPond provide balanced nutrition to koi and other pond fish of different sizes. They float so that koi can easily see them and are always within reach. When they hit the water, they soften a bit so that both small and large fish can eat them without a problem.
That’s not all, they are also easy to digest which means less waste is excreted into the water, keeping it clean and clear. With a perfect blend of vitamins, proteins, fats and fiber, this formula provides the right nutrition for energy, longevity, growth, metabolism and overall good health.
Hikari Gold has scientifically proven nutrition that gives koi exactly what they need to survive in captivity. The perfect combination of proteins and nutrients meets all nutritional needs and is even formulated to enhance color. Stabilized vitamin C also helps to maintain a healthy immune system, so this food helps koi to look and feel better.
These pellets float, making them easily accessible to koi and allowing you to monitor your intake to make sure you’re not overfeeding. In addition, it keeps the water clean and clear, so there is less chance of algae growth or pollution.
Koi need a different food mix than other fish so you may want to consider this brand. Dainichi All-Season Koi Food provides additional nutrition for your fish, regardless of the time of year. Fish can grow and develop healthily.
This food is enriched with a special coating on the pellets. It contains more minerals and vitamins than your fish are likely to need.
As such, the food is composed with proteins and vegetables. Vegetable material helps facilitate digestion and make it work faster throughout the body. Protein, on the other hand, promotes growth; both are necessary and work together.
Although this product can be used at any time, it is specifically designed for the cold months. Koi tend to eat a little less during the cold winter. This food helps them to stay fed, even if they eat less often.
There are three sizes for the pellets, between 3.5 and 7.5 mm. It is also possible to obtain a variety of bag sizes, from 1.1 to 22 pounds. This allows you to buy in bulk and save money or buy a small quantity to make sure your koi likes it.
You can use this nutrition together with other Dainichi nutrition brands. Mix and match, use it during the winter or use it all year round.
Hikari Wheat-Germ Fish Food Pellets is a very nutritious blend that is easy to digest. It is suitable as a daily food for various pond fish, including goldfish and koi. This product has been developed on the basis of decades of experience in reproduction.
As such, this product works well in any climate, but is primarily designed for colder climates. Your fish can still grow and develop well even when it is very cold outside.
The purpose of this meal is to get your koi going. They can eat and stay healthy during the winter to be prepared for the show months. You don’t have to brag about it to reap the health benefits of this food, of course.
It is important to note that these granules float on water. While it may seem strange at first, it is quite useful. You can watch your pets being fed or have them eat everything.
This product mainly uses wheat germ as the first ingredient, which can help increase the volume of the fish. It is also high in stabilized vitamin C to help with immune problems. Your fish may not get sick from this food very often.
These granules can also help the skin of your fish. Feeding them can improve their shine and shine.
API Pond Fish Food is designed to promote a cleaner and healthier living environment for your fish. The granules contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and yeast. This helps support the immune system.
As such, the product also contains a unique and nutritionally enhanced protein. It ensures the absorption of nutrients so that your fish produce less waste. Your water will be clearer and cleaner without much extra maintenance.
This product comes in a variety of sizes, including ounces and pounds. The 2.68 pound bag is ideal because you don’t have to buy it that often. It can also save you money.
The dietary supplement comes in the form of granules. It will be much easier for you to distribute the product as often as you need.
As per the manufacturer’s guidelines, you should feed your fish this product up to three times a day. However, you only need to add as many granules as the fish can eat in about 10 minutes. It may take a little trial and error to determine how much food it will be.
You will find that regular use of this food promotes the growth of your fish. Feeding them routinely will help them thrive. As such, the color will likely improve.
- Grain size: medium
- Season: all seasons (above 50F)
- Protein: 38%
- Fats: 3%
- Ash: 11%
- Vitamins: A, C, D3, E, K and minerals.
- Color enhancer: No.
This wheat germ-based pellet food is designed to maintain the white color of your koi scale while providing a healthy balance of carbohydrates and proteins.
The food mix has a protein content of 38%, most of which comes from fishmeal. This relatively high protein content makes it an excellent choice for feeding your Koi in the spring and autumn, and depending on the temperature variation in your pond, the food can be used all year round.
In addition, the food mix has a fat content of 3% thanks to the residual oil in the wheat germ.
Otherwise, the food mix is quite simple, with no added color enhancers such as spirulina or components that boost the immune system.
That said, it is high in vitamins and minerals to keep your Koi healthy on its own, and the base mix of this food means it is a great choice for keeping your Koi growing and active.
- Grain size: medium
- Season: all seasons (above 50F)
- Protein: 35%
- Fats: 5%
- Ash: 1%
- Vitamins: A, C, B12, K, D3 and minerals
- Color enhancer: No.
This inexpensive food provides a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
But it has a relatively high protein content of 35%. Therefore, it is ideal for spring and fall, but can be offered all year round with a careful diet.
The main sources of carbohydrates are soy flour, wheat flour, corn gluten and wheat germ flour. This cheaper carbohydrate combination is probably the reason for the lower price.
It is important to note that due to the added fish oil it has a somewhat high fat content of 5%.
It does not contain any color enhancer, such as carotenoids or spirulina, but is enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Some users complain that their fish will not eat these pellets, but most commentators praise it and report good growth and great value from this food.
- Season: all seasons
- Grain size: large floating grains
- Crude protein: 36%
- Crude fat: 6%
- Crude fiber: 5%
- Total Microorganisms: 280,000 CFU / g
- Color enhancer: Yes
As I mentioned before, koi are great eaters and not too picky eaters, and the fact that they are omnivores gives them the opportunity to eat whatever they find in your koi pond.
Therefore, it is imperative to treat them with foods that strengthen their immune system and increase resistance to disease and infection.
Blue Ridge Probiotic Plus Premium Koi Food is formulated with important elements to improve the immunity of Koi and increase the growth rate. After looking closely at the product, I realized that the Blue Ridge Probiotic Plus Koi Food is the improved version of the same Koi formula that generated thousands of healthy Koi with the addition of three essential ingredients: Primalac, Vitamin C and Clay. Made of montmorillonite. which I call the healthy trio to fight bacterial infections.
Let me discuss the ingredients and their importance to koi fish so you can understand them better.
The primalac probiotic in Blue Ridge is the one that makes all the difference. Primalac introduces food-friendly bacteria to koi fish. Help your Koi fight disease and infection and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Koi are easily prone to stomach ulcers and the probiotic supplement in koi food can be a sigh of relief for koi lovers as it prevents your koi fish from falling victim to stomach ulcers.
Therefore, the boost of Primalac Probiotic in Koi food is essential to prevent harmful bacterial infections and other deadly diseases in Koi.
Koi fish need just as much vitamin C as humans.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that controls stress levels in koi fish and keeps them happy, healthy and thriving. Koi given vitamin C showed better growth, immunity and physiology. A balanced diet with a healthy portion of vitamin C protects against infection with Aeromonas hydrophila, which causes open wounds on the koi surface.
Calcium montmorillonite clay is enriched with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and iron. All these minerals are crucial for the growth, health and color improvement of Koi.
However, montmorillonite clay is also known to promote good digestion in koi fish.
The other benefits of calcium montmorillonite clay for koi fish are:
- Improved shine of Koi skin.
- Increases growth rate by binding to toxins.
- Helps with digestion.
- Enhances color by producing deeper red and crystal clear white.
- Absorbs metal radicals and toxins.
Benefits of Feeding Your Koi Blue Ridge Probiotic Plus
Probiotic Plus is a premium koi food that can be fed in all seasons. However, I recommend feeding it during stressful times of the year. In early spring or late fall, when the water cools down, the bacteria become active and the Koi is susceptible to disease and harmful infections.
Koi activity also increases in warm water, requiring more oxygen than normal. Hence, it is best to keep your immune system strong all year round with Blue Ridge Probiotic Plus Koi Food.
- Season: Koi food for all seasons
- Grain size: large food grains
- Crude protein: 41%
- Crude fat content: 6.5%
- Crude fiber: 5%
- Minerals: phosphorus, ash content, calcium, sodium
- Color enhancer: spirulina and canthaxanthin
This premium koi food guarantees freshness and contains the highest quality ingredients to ensure fish health, vibrant colors and optimal growth, hence the price.
Premium Koi Blue Ridge Platinum Pro Food is a powerful food-based formula that provides a suitable basic diet for your pet with enhanced proteins to help your finned friends grow faster and thrive in the most stressful of seasons. It is a powerhouse of high quality protein, amino acids and carbohydrates, which are essential for keeping your koi fish in fiddle-like shape.
The premium color enhancers, spirulina and canthaxanthin, used in the formulation of this product have been proven to enhance and enhance the beautiful hues of your adorable pets. In addition, it contains Primilac, a probiotic designed to protect koi from deadly diseases and infections.
All in all, Blue Ridge Platinum Pro is an all-in-one koi food that provides everything your koi fish need to be longer, happier and healthier.
As they are floating premium Koi pellets that float over the surface of the water, you have the opportunity to witness the superb movements of your Koi fish while feeding.
What is the best koi for growth and color?
Our pick for the best koi food that supports both growth and color is TetraPond Floating Koi Sticks.
It is formulated with exactly what koi need for healthy growth and a strong immune system and has natural color enhancers that bring out their vibrant reds and yellows.
The sticks are hollow in the center for easy digestion and are designed for maximum metabolic efficiency. This means that less koi waste ends up in the water to prevent pollution, algae growth or turbidity.
When to feed koi fish?
Feeding koi is not as easy as feeding aquarium fish. More than just a fish, they are an important part of the delicate balance of the pond ecosystem. Feeding koi correctly is essential not only to keep them healthy, but also to keep the pond healthy as a whole.
Not only do you need to make sure that you are consuming the right foods, but you must also ensure that you are feeding them the right way. A lot of those worries when you actually feed them. With koi it is a bit more complicated than “feeding them twice a day”. There are many things to consider when determining the right time to feed koi.
Before getting into the details, it’s important to have a little knowledge of koi biology. One thing you may not realize if koi is new to you is that they don’t have a stomach. That means that your digestion is strongly influenced by external factors. Another thing to remember about them is that they are cold-blooded which means they cannot control their own body temperature either.
These two characteristics mean that koi rely heavily on the right environment to thrive. While they fend for themselves in the wild, a backyard pond is not quite a natural environment, which means that, as the pet owner, you must be meticulous in controlling the environment and responding to it in order to give your koi the best possible chance to bloom.
One of the most important things to control is the temperature. Since koi are cold-blooded, the temperature of the water affects their metabolism. Low temperatures slow it down, high temperatures speed it up. That basically means that they are very hungry in the summer because they burn off a lot of energy. On the contrary, in winter they will not eat much because they hardly burn anything.
When determining when to feed koi, there are a few things to keep in mind. The size is important. Smaller fish require less food than larger fish.
You also have to take the weather into account. Koi living in temperate climates in winter are fed regularly in the colder months, while koi living in extreme cold have drastically different feeding times from season to season.
After a long winter, you may be itching to feed your koi at the first sign of spring, but it is best to wait for the water to reach a temperature of 48 degrees F. As the temperature rises, the koi’s metabolism slows down. Speed up and need more food. As the year progresses and autumn approaches, the temperature will drop again and you can reduce feeding. Keep reading, we’ll get into more details.
How many koi fish to feed?
As we said, the amount of koi they should eat depends on the temperature of the water as it directly affects their metabolism. A safe estimate is to only feed koi what they will consume in 3-5 minutes with each feed. This varies enormously from season to season in 2 ways.
First, they don’t need to eat as often in the colder months. Second, on colder days in the fall, they may not eat as much in the 3-5 minute period as in peak summer.
This is one of the reasons why it is important to use foods that float on the surface. Not only does it help the koi find food and prevent debris from settling on the bottom, it also helps you determine how much the fish are eating.
If you find that your pace seems to be slowing down and there is still a lot of buckshot left at the end of the 3-5 minute period, try to give them a little less next time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is better for charging than charging. Koi can be slightly malnourished, but overfeeding is more dangerous because it could actually kill them.
How often should you feed koi fish?
While temperature is always important when it comes to feeding koi, the most important thing is how often to feed them. It is very important that you always have an accurate temperature to know what is best for your fish.
We’ll give you some basic guidelines on how often to feed your koi based on water temperature, but keep in mind there are other factors to consider. Smaller fish can eat less, bigger fish can eat more.
In summer and / or when the water temperature is above 60 but below 85, koi can eat up to 4 times a day because their metabolism is in high gear. Once the water reaches 85 or 90, koi have a hard time metabolizing. If it is that hot, wait until late at night or early in the morning and check the water temperature and feed when it is at the right level.
In temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F, feed once or twice a day. Stop feeding if the temperature drops below 50. Digestion can take 3 to 4 days at temperature and overeating can occur with just a little food a day. If you are hungry, you can try some food once or twice a week.
Another thing to consider is that different foods are suitable at different temperatures because koi digest at different rates and use nutrients differently. If the temperature is below 60 degrees F, opt for low-protein foods, vegetables, pumpkins, and fruits, or foods approved for 3-4 seasons.
As the water heats up, slowly increase the amount of protein they are taking in. When the temperature reaches 80 or 85 degrees, the diet should be about 40% protein to help them maintain their energy and fuel their rapid metabolism.
Why isn’t my koi eating? (And how to fix it)
There are many reasons why koi stop eating. Some are serious, some are not. First of all, it is not so bad if a koi does not eat in late fall or early spring before the temperature has warmed up.
Remember, if you live in a climate with extremely cold winters, the koi will hibernate and stop eating. This may be concerning, but it is completely normal. That said, koi that don’t seem to have an appetite in the middle of a hot summer are a bit more of a concern.
Keep in mind that koi have no control over their metabolism, so whatever causes your poor appetite is probably something you can fix. Here are some common reasons koi may stop eating and what you can do to fix it.
1. Water quality. If none of your koi are interested in food, there is very likely something in the environment causing the problem. The simplest solution is to monitor the water temperature. Remember that koi depends on the temperature of the water to metabolize food. Even if the outside temperature is high, the water temperature may not be. Or it could be the first time the temperature dropped enough between summer and fall to affect the fish.
It is also possible that there is a bigger problem with the quality of the water. Testing the water will help you determine exactly what’s wrong so you can take the right steps to fix the problem. Koi are very sensitive to sudden ups and downs of various things. Make sure to keep an eye on ammonia, nitrites and pH as these are more likely and lead to appetite problems.
2. Stress. In addition to being caused by a decrease in water quality, other things can cause stress. A sudden change in the environment can have the same effect. This can happen from predators such as ducks or other waterfowl invading your space or even from something as simple as rearranging the plants and decorations in and around the aquarium. Hopefully, within a day or two, the minor stressors will resolve on their own and everything will return to normal.
Keep in mind that if your fish don’t eat and you keep offering them food, waste products will quickly build up as the uneaten food sinks to the bottom of the tank and starts to decompose. Consider how much food you are not eating and check ammonia, nitrate and pH levels if necessary.
3. Illness. If you notice that one of your koi is starting to separate from the group and seems to have lost its appetite, it is a safe bet that the koi is sick. It could be due to bacteria, parasites, or some sort of injury, but isolating yourself from the group is a natural behavior. During this time, sick koi will try to heal and strengthen themselves. After a few days or weeks they have to go back to the rest of school and eat again. If not, they may need extra care and attention, possibly even medication.
If you notice sluggishness, loss of color, or visible sores or lesions, it may be a good idea to treat the water with a broad spectrum deworming treatment.
4. Food. This actually has nothing to do with the quality of the food you use, more than it might bore the koi. Maybe they don’t have the right amount of quality ingredients or they just want something different. You can try changing up the foods you use, or try adding some fresh fruits and vegetables to mix it up a bit.
Getting koi to eat well is tricky. It is certainly not as simple as dropping a few flakes in the pond and assuming they are getting what they need. In fact, there are two important things to keep in mind: the right food and the right method.
When it comes to the Best Koi Food, we highly recommend any of the products we’ve reviewed, but our top pick is TetraPond Floating Koi Sticks. It has a nutritional balance to support healthy growth, a strong immune system and beautiful colors. We also like that it is easy to digest and helps maintain water quality.
Once you have chosen the right type of food, it is important to understand koi biology. Since they have no stomach and are cold-blooded and cannot regulate their metabolism, the temperature of the water is the most important determining factor in when and how much to feed. Remember that colder temperatures require less protein because your metabolism is not working as fast. At water temperatures below 50 degrees, feed in moderation, possibly once or twice a week.
Don’t be surprised if the water cools down when your koi stops eating completely. In cold climates, they prepare for hibernation and do not need any energy. If it’s the middle of summer and they seem to have lost their appetite, something else may be going on. Check for signs of illness and test the water to make sure everything is measuring properly.
Best Koi Food depend on you to give them the nutrients they need when they need them. Since a backyard pond is not a natural habitat, they are completely dependent on you to give them what they need to thrive. Making sure you have the right food is a good start.