A lot of people are fascinated by the beauty and color patterns of koi fish. Koi have been a popular pet for centuries, but their diet is not well understood. What do they eat in order to maintain that gorgeous appearance?

Koi fish are a popular ornamental fish in the United States. They are primarily kept as pets, but they can also be found in public ponds and lakes. Koi eat many different types of food, including algae, insects and small crustaceans. Read more in detail here: what do koi fish eat in the wild.

Most individuals who have ponds or aquariums in their homes like koi fish. These fish are nearly as popular as goldfish for ornamental reasons because to their brilliant colors. If you’re considering about getting a koi fish for your aquarium, you may be wondering, “Koi fish consume a variety of foods.”

We’ll talk about what koi fish consume in the wild in this post. We’ll also go through what you can feed them and what you shouldn’t, as well as answer any other questions you may have.

Let’s get started!


In the wild, Koi fish consume a variety of foods.

Common carp is the ancestor of koi fish. As a result, if you release them into their native habitats, the ones who survive will consume whatever that a common carp eats.

Koi fish will eat algae, seeds, foliage, larvae, insects, crustaceans, and worms, among other things. They’ll consume just about everything they come upon at the bottom of a pond. They’ll also scour the surface of the pond for any prospective food sources.

Now that you know what koi fish eat in general, let’s look at what you may feed them if you keep them as pets.

What Should You Feed Your Koi?

As you may have observed, koi fish can eat a wide variety of foods. Fortunately, this provides you with a diverse range of feeding alternatives for your fish, ensuring that they stay healthy and happy.

1. Shrimp in brine



1.28 oz. Omega One Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp

  • FREEZE-DRIED Brine Shrimp are a nutritious high-protein treat for both freshwater and saltwater fish.
  • Strong QUALITY INGREDIENTS: This product is made with the best brine shrimp available and is high in vitamins and minerals.
  • FREEZE-DRIED Brine Shrimp are a safe alternative to live brine shrimp since they are just as healthy as live shrimp without the danger of germs or parasites.
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Include at least one Omega One staple meal in your diet when feeding this supplement. Feed only as much food as the fish can ingest in two minutes on a regular basis.
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Minimum Crude Protein 48%, Minimum Crude Fat 6%, Maximum Crude Fiber 2.5%, Maximum Moisture 5%

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Your koi fish will benefit from brine shrimp since it is a good source of nutrition. As a result, it’s one of the greatest foods you can feed to freshly born koi fish.

The basic notion of bio-enrichment is what distinguishes brine shrimp. In other words, the nutrients gained by the shrimp after feeding will be swiftly transferred to your little koi fish.

Even better, you won’t have to worry about your fish eating too many shrimp due of their tiny size.

Spirulina Algae (Spirulina Spirulina Spirulina Spir



Sinking Wafers of Algae & Spirulina Ideal for Plecos, Bottom Fish, Catfish, Shrimp, Snails, Crayfish, All Herbivorous and Omnivorous Tropical Fish. 1-lb – AFI Wafers

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  • Please keep in mind that product colors and sizes may vary slightly from those shown in the photographs.
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Spirulina algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is a form of algae that thrives in lakes with high pH levels and hard water. It’s a tiny alga that normally only develops to half a millimeter in length.

This alga is another popular choice among koi fish owners since it provides several advantages, including:

  • Enhances the digestive system
  • It aids in the prevention of bloated abdomens.
  • Immune system functioning are improved.
  • Because it contains carotenoids, it improves the coloring of the fish.
  • Encourages development
  • Enhances the synthesis of enzymes that convert fats into energy fast.

3. Fish Meal

Another option is regular fish food, which is available in a variety of market varieties designed expressly for koi fish.

The greatest choices for flake fish food, which is the smallest variety available, are smaller and newborn koi fish. Pellets, on the other hand, should enough for a koi fish of ordinary size. For bigger, fully matured koi fish, fish food bars should work just well.

Fish food is a great option since it’s generally high in protein, low in fat, and has all of the vital elements and vitamins that your koi will need.

4. Germplasm of wheat


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Although the name of this cuisine may lead some people to be cautious, it is not a harmful germ. Wheat germ, on the other hand, refers to the component of the wheat plant that sprouts and matures into a new plant.

Adding wheat germ to your fish’s diet may help them develop faster. Wheat germ contains vitamin E, which may help your koi’s health even more.

  • Balanced growth is encouraged.
  • Increases the passage of oxygen and nutrients
  • Blood circulation is improved.
  • Aids in the treatment of a variety of ailments

Aside from the foods we’ve just listed, you might also feed your koi fish:

  • Clams
  • Worms
  • Larvae
  • Shrimp
  • Tadpoles

Feeding Your Koi Fish With High-Quality Products

If you don’t want to feed your fish worms or larvae, the best option is to switch to fish food that you can order. There are several high-quality choices available to fit any budget.

Some of our favorites are listed here!

1. Hikari Fish Food Staple Blend


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This cost-effective combination is ideal for regular feeding. Better yet, the Hikari mix is appropriate for all life stages and is designed specifically for medium-sized koi and other pond fish.

The nicest part about this fish meal, however, is that it contains exactly the correct quantity of vitamin C. As a consequence, the fish’s resilience to illness and stress may improve.

2. TetraPond Fish Food Variety Blend




Pond Fish Food, TetraPond Variety Blend 1.32 Pounds, For Goldfish And Koi

  • POND BLEND: Enhances color and vitality in koi, ornamental goldfish, and other pond fish species of all sizes.
  • VARIED DIET: This blend includes Pond Sticks, Koi Vibrance and Spring & Fall Diet.
  • COLOR-ENHANCING NUTRITION: Improves color and vitality via nutrition.
  • A quality combination of three meals designed to boost vitality.

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This TetraPond combination is another great koi fish feeding option. It’s not only nutritious and delicious, but it’s also designed to improve the color and beauty of your fish. Who wouldn’t love a beautiful pond in their yard?

TetraPond meal is also simple to eat and digest for both small and big animals. It includes wheat germs, and we’ve previously spoken about how great it is for your koi fish!

3. Koi Vibrance TetraPond




TetraPond Koi Vibrance 5.18 Pounds, Soft Sticks, Floating Pond Food, Model:16486 TetraPond Koi Vibrance 5.18 Pounds, Soft Sticks, Floating Pond Food

  • KOI POND NUTRITION: An excellent koi, decorative goldfish, and other outdoor fish species maintenance diet.
  • DAILY DIET: Provides energy, longevity, and general health via nutrition.
  • SOFT STICKS: Fish love soft sticks because they are easier to consume and digest.
  • CLEARER WATER: Feeding a high-quality, easily digested diet reduces waste, resulting in cleaner water.

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TetraPond Koi Vibrance is the industry leader in koi fish food, and we can’t speak about it without mentioning it. Despite the fact that this popular alternative is a little more expensive than other fish food brands, many people consider it their first pick.

This is due to the high nutritional content of the formula, which promotes growth, lifespan, and vitality. Furthermore, the Koi Vibrance’s sticks are soft enough to be eaten and digested by fish of various sizes.

What You Shouldn’t Feed Your Koi Fish


We’ve gone through the foods that a koi fish like, but what about the foods that you’re not permitted to feed to your fish?

First and foremost, stay away from anything heavy in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are difficult for koi fish to digest, and ingesting more than 10% of carbs per day might cause a variety of digestive problems. As a result, steer clear of white bread, maize, and peas.

Grains, which are basically filler meals, are also not suggested for koi. If you must provide rice or pasta to your koi, make sure it is prepared without salt. They won’t expand inside your fish if you do it this way.

It’s worth noting that feeding your koi grains might help them gain weight if they’ve begun to lose it. Just make sure these grains aren’t the only source of nutrition for your fish.

Anything you’ve caught in the wild should also be avoided feeding your koi fish. Frogs, fish, and bugs should not be given to them since they may transmit a parasite or illness.

Beginner Koi Fish Feeding Advice

If you’ve never maintained a goldfish or koi fish before, you could benefit from some additional instruction on how to feed these lovely animals. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Feed your koi fish four times a day if possible.
  • Allow the fish to consume as much food as they can in a five-minute period.
  • Remove any remaining food to prevent it from breaking down and affecting the water quality.
  • Feeding your fish before a storm is a bad idea since the oxygen levels in the water drop when it rains.
  • Because koi fish need air to digest their food, make sure you feed them at the proper time.
  • Feed your koi fish on a regular basis so that they will know you and welcome you.
  • Around early spring and late autumn, give your koi more carbohydrate-rich diets.
  • Early in the summer, when the mating season begins, feed your koi a high-protein diet.
  • Reduce the quantity of food you feed your koi during the winter since their metabolism slows dramatically.
  • If the pump fails, don’t feed your koi fish since they’ll require air to digest it.

When it comes to koi fish, how long can they go without eating?

Remember how we said how low-maintenance koi fish are? These fish, on the other hand, may go two weeks without eating.

They’ll eat whatever they can find within their pond or tank, including algae and pests. Although their nutritional intake will be little, it should be sufficient to keep them alive for a time.

What Are the Signs That My Koi Fish Is Hungry?

There are various indicators that your fish needs to be fed. For example, it could start digging about in the substrate looking for anything to eat.

You may also observe the fish hovering near the water’s surface, apparently awaiting feeding time. Some koi will act unusually. They may move slowly or, on the other hand, become combative.

Final Thoughts

Koi fish consume a variety of foods.

Koi fish will consume a wide variety of foods. Worms, larvae, insects, algae, shrimp, and specific kinds of fish food are among their favorites. Wheat germs might also be given to them.

Just be sure not to overfeed them by not feeding them too much carbohydrate-rich meals. Your koi fish might remain by your side for 25 years or more if you provide them a diet that meets their natural demands.

Koi fish are an ornamental freshwater fish that originated in China. They are now found around the world and have been bred for many different purposes, such as food, pet, and decoration. Koi can eat a variety of things like algae, plant leaves, and even insects. Reference: how many koi fish are left in the world.

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