Fish Nutrition – Best Koi Fish Food and Feeding Guide

Just like humans, Koi relish their feeding hours. And just like humans, they go whack at the smell of high carb and high-fat diets. If you have been keeping Koi for quite some time now, it must be apparent that your Koi loves certain types of koi fish food better than the others, while some koi fish food are fundamentally sage products purely made to keep your Koi fit and healthy. Other fad-products might just be aiming for their taste buds. This article is meant to help you scavenge through the mammoth of koi food options. To help you choose the best koi fish food in terms of health, taste, and cost. 

Feed the right food to your Koi

Ideally, you would think that a single type of koi food is naturally sufficient for your koi fishpond. But that is genuinely not the case. Surprising, isn’t it! Not really. The fundamentals of a balanced diet don’t change for any living species. It doesn’t for the Koi either. The specifics of koi food are murkier than it might seem with different koi keepers having varied nutritional ideologies. A mix of animal-based and a plant-based diet is the best for your Koi. 

Commercial koi foods vary primarily based on ingredients including dried insects, corn, wheat, soybean, alfalfa, oats, rice, rosehips, soy, shrimp meal, and a combination of 4 to 5 types of fish meals. These ingredients are matched and used in unique proportions to keep the balance in the koi diet. It is highly possible to analyze these proportions to make your koi food formula. Like advanced koi keepers, you can make the most out of ethically high-quality koi fish foods. But before we discuss the specific products which, according to us, are uncompromised candidates for your Koi’s diet. Let us throw some light on how you can choose the best food for your Koi. 

Make the best choice of commercial koi fish foods

There have been multiple debates and propulsions to create the best formula for your koi fish. The goal has always been to build an all-in-one food that offers complete nutrition to your Koi. As a consumer, how do you identify one meal is better than the other? Is there a federal standard to seek the credibility of one koi fish food brand over the other? Much like any other commercial product, you get what you pay for a brand. You are ready to invest. What happens, then how do you pick out the best contender for your Koi’s diet? Stick with us to gain insight into becoming a pro at selecting the right koi fish food. 

Also read – Everything You Need to Know About Building and Maintaining a Koi Pond

Look for the right ingredients

When shopping for the koi food aisle, the size should be one of the most significant considerations. 

Look for brands that specify that the pellets are curated uniquely for your Koi. We recommend that you buy a pellet size of 4 inches or less for your young Koi. While for older Koi, look for fish food pellets closer to quarter inches. The volume becomes important because if the pellet is too small or too big, your Koi will have a difficult time picking at it. For the next part, even if you are looking at the right size of koi fish food, you still have some difficult choices to make. You will be considering the ingredients and their proportions. A simple and straightforward solution is to always narrow down your choices by looking at the contents mentioned on your koi food package. Koi keeping can be less complicated if you make one right choice instead of making 18 weak guesses. Here are the few essential components that a good koi fish food will always have without any exceptions. 


For a biological system, protein is the building block of your Koi. Proteins are crucial for vitality, growth, and tissue repair. The best form of protein source for your Koi are soybeans and fish meals. Fish meals may constitute sources including whitefish meal, anchovy meal, herring meal, and shrimp meals. It is essential to take note of the amount of protein present in the koi fish food. The best proportion is around 25 to 36 percent of the total koi diet. If you prefer to play the diplomat and not veer towards the specific numbers, you should buy plant-derived proteins such as wheatgerm pellets. These sources are sufficient for providing the required amount of protein to your Koi.


Carbohydrates are another vital contender for a balanced diet in your koi fish food. But you do have to strike the right way. Because carbs can easily make your Koi bulk quick. 60 to 70 percent of carbohydrates in the total koi diet is enough. Plant-based sources of carbs include wheat, corn, soybean, and rose hips.


Lipids in simpler terms oil and fats are the third basic grail necessary for a koi fish to be considered as balanced and healthy. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, and they need the lipids to get absorbed in your Koi’s system. An ideal koi fish food will contain 3 to 10 percent of fat in it. The younger your koi fish, the more fat it needs. You can slowly reduce the high-fat diet once your koi fish reaches adulthood.

Vitamins and minerals 

Precise estimates about the vitamin and mineral requirements of your Koi are not yet established. But the small facts are enough to be included in the koi fish food. 


Fiber is the carrier that transports the food components along the length of your fish’s digestive system. The longer the food states in the gut of your koi fish, the more nutrients get absorbed into their system. Less bulk entails less pressure on your filtration system. However, adequate fiber and mass are essential for your koi fish to maintain your fishes’ health. If you feel like your usual choice of commercial food is creating too much bulk. And your filtration system has a hard time keeping up with it. Then we suggest that you go to koi fish food that has less fiber. Such koi foods generally are made up of wheat germ pellets. Other competent sources of fiber are corn, oats, and wheat germ. 

7 Best Koi Food Reviews for your koi fish


#1. The Kaytee Koi’s Choice Premium Fish Food

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The premium-ness of the kaytee choice koi fish food will boggle your mind when you realize how cost-effectively it is priced. Existing and soon to be koi keepers stand by Kaytee koi choice as the ultimate choice to keep their Koi healthy. Their koi fish food formula contains the goodness of both plant and animal proteins. The pellets are floating type and can be extracted from the koi pond with ease. It is suitable for every season, which makes it so very convenient. 

  • The complete formula for a balanced diet
  • Floating pellets
  • Suitable for every season
  • Affordable price

#2. The TetraPond Koi food Vibrance Premium Fish Food

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The TetraPond Vibrance Premium Koi Fish Food is uniquely designed to enhance digestion. It is ideal for a koi pond as well as a koi aquarium at a typical temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish food includes the Koi Vibrance property for koi keepers keen on enhancing the metallic sheen of your fishes. Quality fish food as the Tetrapond Koi food Vibrance helps in keeping your Koi’s home clean, which puts less pressure on your filtration system. The TetraPond Koi Vibrance Premium Fish food has a hollow center for making the metabolism much more efficient. 

  • Less pond pollution as fewer fish excreta produced
  • Suitable for all seasons
  • Easy digestion due to the hollow center


#3. Hikari Goldfish Gold Food Baby Pellet

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Hikari goldfish gold baby pellet is another floating type of fish food for your baby koi. The premium ingredients, including Phaffia dried yeast, which has a high carotenoid content, keep the baby koi radiant and energized. The most noteworthy factor about the Hikari goldfish food is the absence of any artificial colors and flavors. Since your Koi is eating organic koi fish food, and the water of your koi pond or aquarium will remain clear longer. 

  • High vitamin C content
  • No preservatives or artificial colors
  • Promotes speedy growth of baby koi fishes

#4. Wardley Pond Fish Food Pellet

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The Wardley pond Koi fish food pellet made by Hartz has gained a lot of traction among koi keepers. Its reputation is well justified because of easy digestion, minimal pond, and aquarium pollution. We recommend all products that have no artificial colors and preservative added, Wardley pond koi fish food is no exception. There is a blend of fat, fiber, minerals, and vitamins in its formulation. The product is cost-effective, and the stabilized Vitamin C improves the immunity and longevity of your precious finny friends.

  • Better digestion
  • Perfect pellet size for koi fish
  • Balanced nutrition 

#5. Laguna All Season Goldfish and Koi Floating Food

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 The high protein Laguna All season Koi Fish Food is a strong contender as fish food for your koi food. As the name suggests, the food is best suited for all seasons. The pellets are made just right in terms of shape and size. The floating type of diet includes a whopping 32 percent protein, which is as productive as it gets. The perfect balance between all the nutritional components is a good step towards speedy growth and a longer life for your finny friend.

  • Stabilized vitamin C for better immunity
  • Cost-effective
  • Suitable for koi feeding all around the year

#6. Dainichi Koi Premium Food

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Danichi Koi Premium Koi Fish Food is an all-rounder for evergreen koi feeding. The formula assimilates the goodness of marine and vegetable proteins, including Vitamin C and Vitamin E. The spirulina and fish meal content in this fish food will ensure that the metallic sheen and collages on your Koi’s skin remain perpetually vibrant. Although Dainichi Fish Food is suitable for all seasons, we especially recommend this product for the winter season, when the Koi’s metabolism is naturally slower. The Dainichi Koi Premium Food will ensure that your Koi remains healthy during seasonal changes.

  • Premium ingredients for maintenance diet and color enhancement
  • Can be used as a mixture with other products from Dainichi 
  • Best for all seasons and the small pellet size ensure zero wastage

#7. Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets Koi and Goldfish Growth Formula

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The Blue Ridge Koi Fish Food Pellets will surely satisfy the balanced diet criteria for your Koi. The company has upgraded its fish food formula to include all the versatile vitamins and minerals needed for building resistance to diseases and enhancing your Koi’s overall immunity. Blue Ridge Koi Food is available in different sizes ranging in between mini pellet too larger grains, depending on the age of your koi fish.

  • Easy digestion and floating pellets for less pond pollution
  • Formulated under strict USA guidelines 
  • Suitable for all seasons

Also read – How to Care for Aquarium Plants

Deciding between sinking food versus floating food

Commercial koi food either floats or sinks. While this might seem like a very redundant statement. You see, each type affects your koi pond or aquarium and your Koi’s health. Sinking koi food is practically a better choice since most of the Koi are bottom feeders. But if you have a koi pond, it gets a little semantic. When you have invested so much in your Koi and their pond, you naturally wish to see them when you can. Floating koi fish food is perfect for opportunistic koi keepers who want to appreciate their bejeweled pets even more. Many koi keepers prefer koi food for a lot of reason, three of the most important being:

  • Floating koi fish food helps in tracking the amount of food you drop in the koi pond. You can observe and regulate the koi food amount easily.
  • The food remains on the surface and disperses, giving all your Koi equal opportunity to find their share of food.
  • The biggest propulsion towards buying a reasonably expensive koi food is to better engage with your koi fish. 

Koi Fish Food going bad

Do not rely on your sniff sniffs to decide if the koi fish food has gone rancid or not. Koi food is notorious for smelling bad even when it is the freshest. Most of the excellent koi food brands are dated. But to keep the koi keeper paranoia contained, try to buy the food in a quantity that will be utilized within four months. Make sure you are purchasing a rather famous and trustworthy store that also has a higher turnover rate—ensuring that the store is always pushing in newly dated koi food on their racks. 

For extra precaution, especially as a young koi keeper, you can keep the koi fish food in an airtight container to slow down the deterioration process. 

Koi fish food Supplements

The Koi fish food industry is significant. Because of the extravagant investments that koi owners prefer to make, the industry is no less than thriving. Some koi supplements will promise you speedy growth while others promise in color enhancing properties. But does your Koi need supplements? Probably not. Koi do not need radical motivational treats as we do.

Koi fish food for different seasons

One of the peculiarities of a koi fish is that they stop feeding when the temperature of the koi pond comes close to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you measure the outside temperature and assume it must be the same for your koi pond. Oh, you are so wrong. The filtration in your koi pond is circulating water every two hours, which means your pond is typically not that cool. Make sure you check the temperature of the koi pond’s deepest level in both hot and cold seasons. Water temperature monitoring is essential for any unprecedented changes in heating insufficiencies. Here is a detailed demonstration of how koi fish react to different temperature ranges and how your feeding pattern should look like.

Koi Pond TemperatureKey Aspects related to the temperature
75 degrees Fahrenheit and moreFeed floating pellets – 2 or 4 times a day  
70 to 75-degree Fahrenheit (building cold resistance)Feed floating pellets – 2 or 4 times a day Add extra treats such a earthworms or crayfish- 2 times in a week
55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (prepare for decreased metabolism)Feed Wheat germ pellets- 2 times a day *too much protein not needed as the koi are fairly inactive at such temperature ranges
50 to 55 degrees FahrenheitFeed Wheat germ pellets- once in a day
50-degree Fahrenheit and less (zero metabolic activity)Do not feed when water temperature drops below 50 degrees

Establishing the timing and the accurate amount for feeding your Koi

Koi fish are hearty eaters, and they can eat anytime as soon as you drop the koi fish food into the aquarium. When you feed your koi fish until their bellies are satisfactorily full, the ammonia level in the pond will increase invariably. High levels of ammonia promote algal bloom. The bacteria and the fungal growth will topple the balance in your perfectly stable pond. The water turns foul, and there is no oxygen left for your Koi to breathe. We advise that you make sure you practice moderation on the amount of koi fish food you give to your Koi. Instead of feeding a vast amount of food in one go, you could reduce the quantity and increase the feeding frequency. 

You must measure a specific amount of food for each feeding cycle, but there is a more natural way to koi feeding. The time rule suggests that you toss a few fish food pellets in the pond and wait for a couple of minutes. Once all the food is gone, throw a few more pellets. Doing this allows you to experiment and find out how much your Koi can eat in five minutes. We recommend that you start with a teaspoon of every 5 inches of your Koi for each feeding cycle. Experts suggest that for a considerably primary maintenance feeding, you need to feed, koi fish food 2 percent of your Koi’s body weight per day. 

Feeding clock

Most of the koi keepers prefer to feed their Koi during the wee hours of the morning. The trick is that, when the feeding is done in the morning, the pond’s filtration system pulls the waste from the bottom. Ensuring that the floor of the pond is clean before the Koi submerge deep down during the night. Besides this purpose, feeding your Koi in any hours of daylight is perfectly acceptable. We stress more on the fact that you maintain a schedule and stick to it religiously. It is heart-warming to watch your Koi gather at their feeding station just before the set feeding time. It is incredible to watch them so excited to eat. Stick to smaller portions but more frequent feeding to put less load on your pond’s filter.

FAQs on Best Koi Fish Food and Feeding Guide

What is koi fish food made of? When it comes to buying a good koi fish food, the quantity of ingredients is not as important a factor as the quality of the ingredients. The most common ingredients used to make koi food include fish meal corn, wheat germ meal, wheat flour, spirulina, and dry brewer’s yeast. Among a list of many other ingredients, fish meal is an essential element found in almost all types of koi fish food. For a simple reason that most of the koi fishes are white, a brand containing white fish meal is preferable over the brown fish meal.

What is the best koi food? There are several brands in the market today that offer premium ingredients, higher absorption, and longer shelf life. It is important to never compromise on the quality of the fish food that you buy. Some of the most reliable and popular fish food brands include Tetrapond, Hikari, Kaytee, etc.

Can fish eat bread and other similar food? Your Koi will gobble down anything carb and fat. But as a koi-keeper, you must take it easy on the carbohydrate-rich food such as white bread. A high carb diet is harder on your Koi’s delicate metabolism and disrupts digestion. Several health problems can arise when you feed them white bread and other related products such as corn and peas.

How often should I feed my Koi? An ideal koi feeding cycle will be lower in quality and higher in frequency. Feed your Koi a small amount of fish food for five minutes. This trick helps you to estimate the number of pellets your Koi eats within five minutes. Once you know the approximation, you can weigh the fish food accordingly. We highly recommend feeding them small quantities of food multiple times a day. This will help you keep your pond cleaner and put less load on the filtration system.

Where to buy koi fish food? It is relatively easy to find the koi fish food brand of your choice. You can buy them from a physical koi specialty store. If you value convenience, you always buy the fish online from sites like amazon. If you are buying online, make sure you time the purchase right, so that food arrives when you are about to run out.

Why is my koi fish not eating anymore? Poor water conditions, low-grade fish food, stress, injury, and sudden temperature drops are some of the common reasons why your Koi have stopped eating. You can typically solve the problem by addressing the core issues. Another case in which your Koi might get bored with the fish food you have been using to feed them and stop eating. Excellent quality of koi food is not only delectable but also keep your Koi in the best health condition, should they naturally stop eating for a while.

How long can Koi fish go without food? As much as your koi fish value gluttony, they are experts in prolonged fasting. They naturally tone down their diets when they are inactive. At temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, most koi fishes typically stop eating because their metabolism slows down at that range of temperature. On the other hand, if the temperature of your koi fishpond seems to be healthy, yet your Koi is not eating as much. This might be a classic case of overfeeding, which is why they can finally take up to 3 days to digest all the excess koi fish food.

Also read – The Best Tips on How to Lower Nitrates in Your Freshwater Aquarium

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