What Do Koi Fish Eat? (Food List & Feeding Tips)

As humans are omnivores, Koi Fish are also omnivores. Koi fish eat according to what eatable morsels come their way. They can eat plant matter, bugs, algae, and animal matter.

They can eat everything varying from small bugs and insects to algae and plants present at the bottom of the fish pond. Koi can also eat human food.

Koi fish love to eat lettuce, shrimp, peas, rice, watermelon, and cereal. They can eat anything that humans like because they consider all this food. Let’s know how you can feed them in a proper way.

What do Koi Fish eat in the wild?

In the wild, koi fish eat

  • Insects
  • Worms
  • Larvae
  • Seeds
  • Crustaceans
  • Vegetation
  • Algae

Their food is dependent on the temperature and season of water, and koi fish can also eat beef, chicken, bread, shellfish, and fish meat. There is also a chance that a big koi fish can eat small koi fish.

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The diet of koi fish should be high in carbohydrates and moisture, i.e., potatoes, sweet corn, and peas. Before twenty years, there were koi staples as a portion of food for koi fish, and that was because there was nothing better available for them to eat. 

Overfeeding the koi fish can lead to the death of fish. This is because when koi fish eat more than they need. Then fish become sick, and a large amount of waste is reduced biologically. This waste strains the limits, and this results in a decrease in water quality.

What do koi fish eat in the ponds?

There is a food that is called tetra pond koi growth. This food is specially designed for the koi fish that are present in the ponds.

Koi fish in ponds can also survive on miscellaneous food, insects, and algae. It would be best if you feed them many times. Do not overfeed koi fish as it is harmful to them. The pond koi fish eat as per the following.

  • Protein 43%
  • Ash 8%
  • Fat 9.5%
  • Vitamin C and minerals

This food is for medium-sized fish at a temperature that is more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This food also contains significant content of proteins, i.e., 43%. This protein has been derived from shrimp meals and fish meals.

This food also has soyabean oil. This soyabean oil is a significant source of fat. The estimation is that the food contains 9.5 % of fat. This fat is double in amount as compared to the other koi foods.

This food is healthy for koi fish. There is the fact that you should feed koi fish less than as compared to other fish that have low-fat food. This food does not have many vitamins.

It only contains vitamin C, and other vitamins like A, D, E, and K are not present. This fact does not cause any disease in the fish, but in some cases, if you see any fish getting sick. Then you must give these fish a certain amount of vitamins.

What do koi fish eat in the aquarium?

If there are koi fish in your aquarium, you should understand that these fish are omnivores. Koi fish can eat anything present in their way, and they can eat plants and meat, etc.

You should be a responsible owner of your fish and provide them with all the necessary food they need. Koi fish is among the most popular breeds in the aquarium. There are many reasons why these fish are present in the aquarium.

Koi fish are wonderful and lovely. When these fish are present in your aquarium, they add beauty to your space of living. When you are worried about the health of koi fish, you should take care of their food.

For healthy koi fish, you must feed them with a balanced mixture of proteins ad plants. The balanced diet for koi fish must be rich in vitamins and minerals.

The food for koi fish must be sinking in the water because this food will fall to the bottom surface of the aquarium. So it becomes easy for the fish to catch and eat.

The mouth of koi fish is always in the downward direction, and they can also eat the worms. These worms are present in the mud.

This is a natural way for koi fish to eat the food in a downward direction. So, this is a good way of feeding them. With the help of this procedure, you do not need to give them a lot of food.

There are also disadvantages of this technique as if you are not able to watch the koi fish eating, there are chances that these fish will not get their food. When the koi fish do not get it, then they will not get the necessary nutrition.

Most of the fish food is present in the form of floating food. The best thing about this food is that you can see if your food has reached the fish or not. Food items that koi fish should eat are as follows.

  • Brine shrimp
  • Spirulina algae
  • Wheat germ

What to feed your koi fish

Koi fish is one of the most beautiful and entertaining fish. These fish are fun to watch, full of life and beauty as we know.

When you are keeping koi fish as a pet, you should know that these fish require a natural diet.

These fish need a balanced diet that contains a mixture of plants and proteins to get the correct combination of minerals and vitamins needed for their growth. These nutrients are also required to develop the colors.

You should not use low-quality koi food because this food will not have the balance of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients required for koi fish growth.

You should not use very high food in carbohydrates, such as bread, corn, and peas. These types of food are tough to digest and also cause many problems for health. These problems are because when the food is being eaten in a large amount.

Best food for koi fish

The best food for koi fish should contain all the necessary nutrition. The primary food for fish must be based on fish requirements for proteins and essential nutrients for their growth. The secondary food can be a carbohydrate that is also a need of fish.

  1. Shinju White Pearl enhancer Wheat germ
  2. Shinju Color Pearl enhancer premium
  3. Hikari-Saki
  4. Dainichi
  5. Tetra pond koi growth
  6. Kaytee
  7. Hikari wheat germ medium pallet
  8. Hikari gold

Primary food

  • Whitefish
  • Fish meal
  • Squid meal
  • Blood meal
  • Shrimp meal
  • Herring meal
  • Anchovy meal

Secondary food

  • Soybean meal
  • Wheat germ
  • Corn gluten

Before feeding the koi fish, you should also check the label of the food so that it should meet your requirement of food for koi fish.

  • There should be 32-36 percent of protein. The koi fish will not benefit from extra protein, but a large amount of protein is not harmful.
  • There should be 3-9 percent of fat.
  • Koi fish require low phosphorus. A large amount of phosphorus can decrease water quality and more algae that are not good for the koi fish.
  • These fish also require fewer other nutrients such as calcium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. 

What do baby koi fish eat?

Unfortunately, the breeding of koi is not done by everyone. This process needs a large amount of space in the body, equipment, tanks, funds, and time.

After the hatching process, the newborn babies are dependent on you for the survival process. If I talk in clear words, they will eat a large amount of food and take a lot of your time.

When koi are born, then there is the presence of yolk. This helps them to sustain for 24 hours. After 24 hours, these newborn babies will require feeding.

The newborn baby koi will have small mouths and particular requirements of nutrition for growth. A suspended particle or liquid meal is the same food during the early days of its development.

Foods for baby koi are slightly different than mature koi fish as they can not consume all the food due to their digestive system.

You should also estimate the amount of food that should be given to the baby koi. This is because a large amount of food will lead to polluting the atmosphere of water, and less food will result in the starving of koi.

You can also use your food to feed them. Commercial foods are for the baby koi fish, i.e., certain baby koi meals. There is also another option of liquid food in the tubes, and you can also give them live food.

These foods can be bought as eggs and then hatched at home. There is an excellent example of food, i.e., brine shrimp. 

How to feed koi fish?

There is a fact that you should keep in your mind. The fact is that you should feed koi fish once a day. Koi fish are very fast in eating food, so you should give them five minutes to eat.

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How To feed Koi Fish?

To keep koi fish healthy and strong, you should keep in mind that providing healthy food is the key to improving koi’s health, longevity, and happiness. The hobby of koi is so much fun as koi fish are magnificent, active, and lively.

But remember that the nutrition of these fish is as important as the fun. Koi food also includes wheat germ. Wheat germ is delicious food for fish as it provides;

  • Good skin
  • Efficient colors
  • Digestion becomes faster 
  • Growth rate increased
  • Improved Health

There are also human foods that koi can eat. This is because humans are also omnivores. There are foods like oranges, watermelon, and cereals that koi fish can eat. The cereals should only be given as a treat.

The koi fish cannot eat a large amount of food at one time as they cannot store the food in their stomach. As humans have a stomach to store food easily and then digest it slowly.

Humans do not feel hungry, and temperature also plays an efficient role in digesting food for about 5 hours after eating the food. Koi fish do not have a stomach, so they cannot store their food. Koi fish are always hungry because of this.

How often do you feed koi fish?

According to the general rule of thumb, you should feed koi fish at least once a day. The fish can eat food in only five minutes. If you see that there is food that is not eaten in five minutes, you should try to feed less next time.

The amount of food required by koi fish depends on the temperature and season of water. During the time of summer, koi fish can easily survive for two weeks without being fed. 

During this time, they will take the necessary nutrients from algae, bugs, and anything which comes their way in the water.

There is an exciting fact that koi can survive for the whole winter season without eating any food. If the water temperature is 52 degrees or colder than that, then you should not give food to these fish. 

How much to feed koi fish?

Many people purchase fish and take them to their homes. Then these people always wonder how much they should feed their koi fish. While feeding the fish, you can also follow the three or five minutes rule.

By following the three-minute rule, you can give them as much food as they require for their growth and development.

If they can eat all the food in three minutes, then you can give them more food as they are hungry. After three minutes, if the food has left, this is the time to take away the food from the fish. 

Why do koi fish eat rocks?

Most of the fish spend their time searching for their food. They can pick at substrate each other and plants etc. In the wild, a fish does not know when the food is coming. These fish mostly work on instinct.

Whenever koi fish get in contact with something mouth-sized, then they realized with their instinct that they should check if it is food. So, they picked it up, and if they find out that it is food, they will digest it. 

For sure, in the case of rock or aquarium gravel, this will not take place for most of the fish. Most fish can accidentally intake pebbles while they are trying to eat something else. African Dwarf frogs do this as they are blind. They don’t know what they are in taking. 

What not to feed koi fish?

Any type of food that has a large number of carbohydrates should be avoided. This is because these foods are not easy to digest. These foods can also cause health problems. These types of food include corn, peas, and white bread.

The second thing that you should avoid as a portion of food for koi is something that you have caught by yourself. At the same time, it may seem like a good idea to go fishing for the sake of a treat.

Then wild fish are introduced to your pong, and these fish can cause the introduction of parasites and sickness to your healthy fish.

There should be treats for the koi fish because they will intake anything from fish to fruit and love it. Feeding fruits to koi fish is a great idea to add variety to their diet.

You should use these treats in moderation as overfeeding of treats can lead to sickness and even death. 

What human food can koi fish eat?

Koi fish can eat the food of humans. This is because humans and koi fish are omnivores, and koi fish love lettuce, shrimp, peas, watermelon, rice, and cereal.

They can eat anything that they come across. Before storms, you should not feed the fish because they need an increased amount of oxygen whenever they are digesting the food.

You can easily feed human foods to koi fish such as sardines, shrimp, and even crayfish. Before using frozen food, you should make sure that they are thawed. Large koi can easily consume the whole shrimp, and you can easily chop these for smaller koi. Some human foods that koi fish eat are.

  • Orange slices
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes

Frequently asked questions

Can koi fish eat bread?

If I talk in a short sentence, yes, koi can eat pieces of bread, cooked rice, and cereals. They will happily intake these slices of bread and other items.

But the only issue is that koi fish cannot intake a large number of carbohydrates. Apart from this problem, koi fish can eat bread if given in small amounts and not regular.

If they have a considerable amount of carbohydrates, then the fish will risk different health issues. These foods are like starchy foods, and these foods must be used in moderation. There is only less than 10 % of carbs in their diet that the koi fish need.

For instance, wheat bread is much better than white bread, and brown rice. These give them more essential nutrients than non-whole-grain varieties. 

Can koi eat apples?

Yes, koi can eat apples. This is because apples provide a large amount of fiber and vitamins A and C. There is a difficulty that the skin of apples makes it difficult for koi fish to eat easily. The alternative to apples is blueberry.

Blueberry is a great alternative, and it has a huge amount of antioxidants. Koi fish can also eat oranges and bananas, as orange provides vitamin C, zesty flavor, and carbohydrates.

Oranges can be easily cut into two pieces and then placed in the pond. The peels of oranges need to be removed later. Bananas are very soft and easy to intake. Bananas have a considerable amount of vitamin B, magnesium, potassium, and folate. 

Can koi eat dog foods?

Yes, koi fish can eat dog food. This food is not dangerous for them, and it will not do any harm. But koi fish founds difficulty in digesting the proteins, that protein which is present in dog food.

This food is safe for koi fish when you give this food in a balanced quantity. Koi fish can easily feed on everything that you provide to them. The food also includes dog food, so people called them a dog of the sea.

You can feed them with dog food as snacks, and dog food does not give koi specific nutrients. This food will not hurt or harm them.

This is only when you feed them once in a while. If you provide them with dog food regularly, then they will not get their potential growth.

Can koi eat cat foods?

Yes, you can give cat food to koi fish. This is because cats also love a similar diet. But this is better that you should give them specific food that has been designed for koi fish.

This food does not harm koi fish, but the excess amount of other foods can cause stunted growth in koi fish.

Can koi eat rice?

Yes, koi can eat rice. Rice is one of the foods that koi fish love to eat. But there is a disadvantage in that these foods contain a considerable amount of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate is not suitable for the health of koi fish.

Rice does not come into the diet of koi fish as it does not contain essential nutrients. The difference between koi and humans is that they don’t know what they are taking.

But humans know very well about the diet plan of koi fish. With the help of a commercial diet, you can give them healthy food.


Koi fish is one of the most beautiful and human-friendly fish. These fish are mainly kept in the pond by various fish keepers who enjoy fish keeping. But feeding koi fish is the major part of caring for them, and it is important to know what do koi fish eat.

So, above is the complete feeding guide that will help you in caring for koi fish. They are slightly different when it comes to eating behavior than other fish.

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