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What Do Koi Fish Eat? (Complete Guide)

What Do Koi Fish Eat? (Complete Guide)

Fish parents love breeding different species in their house. On that note, if a particular species can adorn your outdoor ponds, then it’s the Koi fish. Vibrant and charming colored Koi fish can fill your pond and make your backyard a place to reckon! 

However, new fish breeders may have a few doubts about raising koi fish like things to feed, feeding schedule, etc. 

They are an omnivorous breed. Hence, they eat a wide range of foods. To be specific, they eat both plant-based and animal-based food like algae, worms, duckweed, tadpoles, hyacinths, larvae, and other fish too!

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to help you raise Koi fish healthily, stick with us for more information in the impending sections. 

What Do Koi Fish Eat?

Koi fish were first bred in Japan and now they are a favorite species for many in the world. As they are omnivorous, their feeding chart may mimic the wild and they get their mouth on anything accessible.

While Koi Fish are related to Gold Fishes, their feeding types are not the same owing to some nutritional differences. 

Keeping these in mind, let’s have a quick look at different types of food that will be suitable for your home-bred Koi fish. 

1. Natural Food Sources

Koi fish love feasting on various live foods like worms, tadpoles, larvae, and more. 

The best way to make sure they get natural food is to create an environment that resembles their wildlife. This is easy as your outdoor pond may be the breeding ground for the mentioned live foods and it is sure a treat to watch your dear koi fish hunt them!

The best advantage of feeding live foods to your koi fish is its nutritional value. They sure don’t match the other canned or processed foods available in the market.

You can introduce tiny tadpoles, worms, and larvae into your pond to keep your koi fish interested. This way, they are active and healthy like in the wild. 

However, feeding koi fish live food might not be as easy as it sounds as they pose many difficulties. To begin with, keeping the food fresh is a hurdle.

If not, diseased or spoiled food can make your koi fish sick. Also, creating this environment or buying live food can shake your budget. 

2. Fish Pellets

Pet food market is loaded with fish pellets for all home breeds and Koi fish is no exception. However, make sure to check the label before buying them to find out if they support your breed. Else, it may not provide the nutrition to keep your koi fish healthy. 

The upside of using pellets is that you no longer have to worry about introducing nutrients for your koi fish as these canned foods have them mixed in a correct ratio. Further, look out for the size of pellets when feeding young fish. 

They may not be mature enough to swallow them whole. Keeping these in mind, you could select the best pellets as per the fish at home. 

3. Fish Flakes

Another form of fish food that is better for younger koi fish is fish flakes. Although, this format does not contain the same nutrient addition as pellets. Fish breeders select flakes as they are inexpensive and help maintain your fish breed easily. 

Nevertheless, these flakes begin disintegrating once they touch the water and if they are left uneaten for long, then it can disturb the quality of the water thereby affecting your koi fish. 

Hence, go for these flakes when your fishes aren’t mature enough, and try feeding them on a schedule to avoid wastage. 

4. Frozen Food

You can go for frozen food when you are looking to have an extended shelf life. Also, they contain many nutrients that will help your koi fish grow well. However, it does take time to thaw them before feeding as cold food will upset your fish’s health. 

5. Freeze-Dried Food

If you want your fish to get the best food with all nutrients intact, you can go for freeze-dried food. Here, live animals are frozen and vacuumed to elongate shelf life. 

Besides, you get a variety of freeze-dried food both in whole or grounded format. However, you may have to shell out more than other food types with freeze-dried food. 

6. Vegetables

While it does sound baffling, you can actually feed a few vegetables found in your home to your koi fish like lettuce and spinach.

While they are just one source of nutrients, make sure to not include them as the only food being served to koi fish. 

Some of the other vegetables that might interest your koi fish are cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, etc.

You can arrange a feeding session with your kids to see hungry and beautiful koi fish grab pieces of vegetables from your hand by the outdoor pond. 

You can consider the above and prepare a feeding chart to have a mix of the foods that will deliver needed and wholesome nutrients for your koi fish. 


Do Koi Fish Eat Every Day?

Koi fish are a hungry lot. You may have to maintain a strict schedule as they are hunters and look for food throughout the day. Also, depending on the time of the year and the temperature of the water, you can form a feeding schedule that suits your dear fish. 

When the season is warm, koi fish are very active looking for food at least four times a day.

Likewise, when the water temperature reaches 66℉ to 80℉, you have to feed every day. Once the winter season sets in, the water temperature will drop and you can opt for alternate days of feeding. 

However, once harsh cool conditions like the water temperature go down below 40℉, koi fish get into their hibernation period and do not require food. 

Thus, build your feeding chart throughout the year based on the pond water’s temperature. 

What Fruits Can Koi Fish Eat?

Like vegetables, there are plenty of fruits that are suitable for koi fish’s diet. In particular, koi fish love citrus fruits like lemon and orange.

Also, they have a special liking for other fruits like strawberries, grapes, watermelon, etc. 

Through the citrus fruits, koi fish will receive the Vitamin C nutrient that may not be available in other food types. 

Do Koi Fish Eat Other Fish?

In simple words, Koi fish are opportunistic eaters and they prey on smaller fish for their diet.

They may even eat each other when they do not have a stable source of food. Also, apart from this, they eat fish like guppies, minnows, carp, small catfish, etc. 

You can include them in your outdoor pond as food or protect these species by not placing them together with Koi Fish.

To keep your koi fish from feeding other fish, you can use separate fish shelters, tunnels, rocks, and more.

Moreover, they add a beauty element and keep your fish species separate. 

What Do Koi Fish Eat In The Wild?

Koi fish are bottom feeders. Hence, they eat anything that is available on a pond’s bottom surface. Since algae, worms, seeds, and plants are mostly in the bottom, koi fish feed on these in the wild happily. 

Sometimes, you can witness mature koi fish eating their young in the wild and this is a natural phenomenon. This is said to increase the vitality lost during breeding. 

Further, in the wild, tadpoles and smaller fish are easy to find and koi fish eat these species as they love natural and fresh food. 

What Do Koi Fish Eat Genshin?

As per a recent game developed for fishing buffs, you have to use baits to clear Genshin Impact Fishing modules. Similarly, you can catch Koi fish easily with a specific type of bait. 

Fake Fly Bait is the technique used in Genshin fishing to attract Golden and Rusty Koi. This way, you can choose the best fishing spots that are full of Koi fish to send in your Fake Fly Bait to catch them easily. 

A combination of Sakura Bloom and Horsetail produces a Fake Fly Bait that helps in Genshin fishing. Players get to craft their own bait and use them in simulations.

While both fishes are found in the same location, it is best to hit them at night when they are most active. 

Related Questions

What Human Food Can Koi Fish Eat?

Koi fish eat a variety of human foods like shrimp, and vegetables namely broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, leafy greens, etc.

They also eat fruits like lemon, orange, watermelon, grapes, and strawberries. It is better to serve them any food that is not carbohydrate-rich. 

Do Koi Fish Eat Every Day?

Generally, Koi fish eat every day and they are the best eaters during the summer season. When the water temperature is cold, they reduce their food intake and take shelter at the bottom of the pond.

Sometimes, they even slip into hibernation periods when the temperature goes below 40℉. 

How Long Can Koi Fish Go Without Food?

Koi fish can survive for up to two weeks without food. However, this depends on the maturity/age of your fish. For example, during the summer season, their metabolism may be high and may require food earlier than expected.

Also, the climatic conditions and water temperature will decide the duration of food requirements for Koi fish.