Koi Fish Feeding Tips & Recommendations For Healthy Koi — Koi Story

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The best part about raising koi fish is feeding them! Seeing them come to the surface and even eating from the palm of your hand is the best bonding experience between growing koi fish and their owners. And while it may be fun to watch your fish friends flop over one another to get a glimpse of you, koi feeding needs to be regulated and monitored to ensure the health and wellbeing of your koi.

It depends on their age, size and the season. And then of course, there’s always how much you’re willing to spend to get the good stuff.

Generally, you can feed koi anything you can feed goldfish. Both fish species are technically carp and will eat just about anything organic–koi food, vegetables, krill and plankton, breakfast cereal, dead leaves. You name it. They’ll eat it.

If you’re buying koi food, things are always cheaper when you buy in bulk. Some formulas boast color enhancing properties while others are fortified with vitamins to promote good immunity in your koi fish. Beyond that, it’s often matter of preference.

It’s said that koi have a memory of around three minutes, yet they can learn to recognize their feeders. Talk about selective memory! We’ve assembled ten great tips to help you become a become your koi’s favorite face, even if they forget your name.

Feed your fish up to four times per day. Only feed them as much as they can eat in about a five minute period.

Koi fish eat just about anything, from small bugs and insects, to plants and algae at the bottom of the fish pond, to store-bought koi fish food.

Koi will even eat people food. They love cereal, lettuce, shrimp, rice, peas, watermelon… pretty much anything we like, koi fish consider food.

Avoid feeding your koi fish before storms. Fish need more oxygen when digesting food. When it rains, oxygen levels in the air dip down, so you can see why it’s a bad koi fish feeding time.

Your growing koi will remember you as their feeder after only a short amount of time. Consistently feed them and they will begin to greet you as you approach the pond.

Your smaller koi fish will need to eat flake or small koi food. Larger koi fish prefer pebble food

Your koi fish prefer more carbohydrate-rich foods early in the spring and late in the fall while protein is better in early summer when mating is in the air (er, pond).

Koi fish feeding time is fun. Enjoy your special time with your beloved growing koi!

Koi fish can go all winter without eating because their metabolism slows to a crawl

Koi fish feeding is not recommended if your pump breaks because your koi need oxygen to digest their food.

There are a few different kinds of food you can be feeding your koi: fresh foods, freeze-dried foods, and prepared foods. Prepared pellets are the most convenient because they are created to meet all of the nutritional needs of koi fish, but fresh and freeze-dried foods can be added as a supplement.

When it comes to prepared foods, they vary in shape and size. They also come in floating or sinking varieties. Floating pellets are recommended because they let you see if you’re overfeeding your fish. You also get to watch your koi come to the surface to feed – one of the joys of koi ownership!

As for fresh and freeze-dried foods, they vary from blood worms, brine shrimp, clams, and chopped vegetables. All are acceptable for supplemental feeding.

When feeding your koi, disperse small amounts of food at a time. Watch as your koi come up to eat the food. Only feed your koi as much as they can eat in five minute sessions. Feed your koi three times a day: early morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon. Stick to this schedule to avoid overfeeding.

Overfeeding not only harms the health of your koi, but also pollutes their water. Koi will overeat when overfed, so make sure you stick to the 5-minute feeding schedule. If any extra food remains after twenty minutes, clean it out of the tank.

Your koi fish will gradually become more and more comfortable with you as you feed them everyday. Make sure you stick around when feeding them so they can see you. This will build the trust between fish and owner. Soon, they will be practically leaping out of the water to feed from your hand!

Did you know that your koi have different nutritional needs throughout the year? This is because they are a cold-blooded animal: they’re affected by their water temperatures. A koi’s metabolic rate is much faster in warmer temperatures than in colder ones. In fact, when water temperatures drop below 50˚ F (10˚ C), koi do not need to be fed at all if they are in healthy condition; they live off their own body fat. The temperature that is recommended for best growth is between 73˚ F and 86˚ F.

While there are some specific nutritional needs that should be met when feeding koi, these vary throughout the year. Start feeding your koi again once the water temperatures reach 60˚ F (15.5˚ C). Ease them back into an eating regimen by serving small portions. When koi begin to eat again in the spring, they need foods that are easily digestible, such as wheat germ, rice, or vegetable protein.

As temperatures warm up, koi need food that will support their growth and development. Feed them more protein and lipids during the summer. Come fall, return their feeding to the spring’s regime: more easily digestible foods.

These are our favorite koi foods whether you’re budget-conscious or looking to spoil your koi. (Note: We get a a small commission for any sales resulting from clicks on the products seen here. Thank you for checking out our product recommendations!)

If you want to buy the same food pellet that America’s leading koi breeders use in bulk at a fraction of the price, then look no further. Blue Ridge fish food pellets feature a balanced diet and color-rich formula.

Danichi’s all-season koi fish food is enhanced with a special coating of vitamins and minerals and an easily assimilated protein that keep your fish healthy and happy all year long, but especially in colder months.

Rarely does a product get all 5-star reviews on Amazon, but Hikari’s Stable blend is an economical daily diet for koi and other pond fishes. It’s especially high in vitamin C to promote stress/disease resistance.

The ever-popular Tetra koi fish food line is perhaps the most well-known brand because it’s available in most retail outlets. While it’s a great option, it can often cost more than 2-4x the competing brand listed above.

Sometimes you want pellets, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and give your koi fish their food in stick format instead. Packed with all of the same nutrition you’d expect in pellets but just in a different shape for funsies.

This special diet is ideal for colder months in the spring and fall when your koi fish’s bodies and digestive systems slow down. These easy-to-digest sticks include wheat germ and taste great (so our fish tell us).

Do you have baby koi fish that need to eat but can’t fit their mouths around pellets or sticks? Try Tetra Pond’s flakes instead. This clear-water formula won’t cloud water, is easy to digest, and promotes ideal koi growth.

Koi fish eat just about anything they can get into their mouths. That said, freeze-dried shrimp might just be one of their favorites. Fluker’s brand is high in protein and amino acids and make the perfect treat for your koi.

Tetra’s blend of jumbo krill packs a protein, fat, roughage, and vitamin E-rich punch that your koi fish will love. Plus, shrimp are high in carotenoids, which promote the natural pink and orange colors in your koi fish.

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