The Best Koi Foods for Fast Growth and Color

Shopping for the best koi food that significantly helps in boosting fish color and allows faster and healthy growth could be slightly daunting since there are lots of buying considerations to check out.

Moreover, it is essential to select a formula that contains the appropriate balance of minerals, fiber, proteins, and vitamins to sustain the overall well-being of your koi. And, to also ensure that the fish food is capable of providing the proper and natural ingredients to keep the fish color more ravishing and vibrant.

Besides, it is crucial to pick a formula that is specially designed to allow healthy digestion and would help keep the tank water from getting dusky and filthy. Fortunately, there are countless of fish food products available these days that could satisfy all these requirements for your koi.

If you are searching for the right koi food that could ensure well-rounded diet, start taking a closer look at the different products reviewed in this article. These are deemed as some of the most top-rated options on the market today and are famous for being loaded with well-balanced nutrition that aims to support vibrant color, longevity, healthy growth and good health for your pet fish.

It’s a common mistake to assume any fish food is suitable for koi. But this isn’t the case, as various factors will determine the perfect koi food. So let’s take a look at some vital considerations before we dive into our reviews:

  • Fat Percentage: Fat percentage is pivotal to ensuring a growing koi gets the necessary nutrients. In most cases, adults need food with a fat percentage of 3% to 6%. However, the younger the fish, the more fat it requires—small ones can require up to 10% of fat. Also, the recommended fat content changes depending on the season. It's a rule of thumb that koi in winter will require more fat, whereas summer calls for a high-protein and low-fat diet.
  • Source of Protein and Protein Percentage: Your chosen fish food for koi must provide various proteins from plant and animal ingredients. The protein percentage must also be between 30% and 40% to achieve a balanced diet.
  • Price: Most koi owners are often shocked by how expensive fish food can become. So it’s essential to account for its increasing cost by creating a budget. You can use the budget to help navigate this marketplace more easily.

Also, take the buying tips shared in this post as your useful guide to ensure that you are getting a worthwhile investment for your most cherished koi.

Best Overall

Tetra Pond Koi Vibrance

✔ Provides sufficient amount of nutrients
✔ Does not affect tank water quality
✔ Soft and easy-to-consume floating sticks


Premium Choice

Kaytee Koi Fish Food

✔ Easy-to-digest type of fish diet
✔ Promote faster growth rate
✔ Helps make aquatic pets healthier


Editor’s Choice

Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets

✔ Top-rated all-season floating food pellets
✔ Highly digestible
✔ Healthy and natural choice of ingredients


Top 12 Food to Feed Koi in 2023

1. Tetra Pond Koi Vibrance

This koi and goldfish food comes with vital vitamins that encourage healthy fish metabolic function, high contents of proteins for faster growth and maintenance, contains high levels of fiber for proper digestion and sufficient fat contents for a more concentrated source of energy.

It is good to note that these floating sticks are designed as soft, easy to consume in minutes and are easy-to-digest even for small and large fish. If you opt for a daily diet that allows your koi to become more energetic, active and healthier, then this is the one you're looking for.

Take in mind that when feeding your koi and goldfish with this fish food, see to it that you feed daily when the temperature of water is beyond 50-degrees. You can safely feed this to young and adult fish. Avoid overfeeding to keep the tank water clear.

  • An Ideal choice for ornamental goldfish, koi and other types of outdoor fish species
  • Highly digestible, soft and easy-to-consume floating sticks
  • Safe to feed for young and adult fish
  • Creates less mess and does not affect tank water quality
  • Provides sufficient amount of nutrients that promote wellness, long life and more energy
  • Poor quality re-sealable bag
  • Not that affordable
All in all, this premium koi food is a highly nutritious diet for young, old, small and large ornamental goldfish and koi. It works magically in enhancing fish color, contains the essential nutrients to support longer lifespan, more vigorous immunity and helps fish sustain overall wellness. It is expensive but considering the well-balanced nutrition it could provide; your koi is a winner!

2. Kaytee Koi Fish Food

If you are currently on the hunt for the best koi food for growth and color, then you do not need to look elsewhere because this product can be the top option for your requirements. These feeds contain superior levels of protein needed to stimulate healthy and fast growth. And, since the pellets are highly digestible, the nutrients can be instantly absorbed so it would produce less waste in the tank.

Feed your aquatic pet once a day with these feeds and you'll start noticing that they become more active. Their color will immensely improve and they will be less prone to infections and ailments. While, these foods are deemed as all-year round types of fish foods, they are great to feed during the summer and fall seasons.

Still and all, this fish food seems not the most preferred food of most fish like koi as they occasionally ignore them and the smaller pellets require more feeding. These are a few of the negative factors that must be looked through if you buy this product.

  • Top quality floating food for koi, various sorts of pond fish and goldfish
  • Formulated with solid amount of protein's to promote faster growth rate
  • Designed as easy-to-digest type of fish diet
  • Helps make aquatic pets healthier, more energetic and happier
  • Capable of offering required vegetable and animal protein sources
  • Some koi are slow to feed on this food
  • Small-sized pellets require more feedings
Right to it, as for the quality of this product, it can be labeled as one of the top-quality foods for koi fish. It is packed with an adequate amount of nutrients for your pet fish to grow steadily, develop a stronger immune system and enhance their natural radiant color even more. This is certified exceptional and complete fish food than other high-end brands that are sold more expensively.

3. Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets

This product is a high-quality koi food that is reliable in terms of warding off various fish ailments and allows stronger resistance against fish stress. It comes with special bends of minerals and vitamins that extend the lifespan of your pet fish. This is also beneficial in promoting quick fish growth and sustaining optimal fish health.

This option is perfect for anyone who opts for feeds that come with all the nutrients that their koi and goldfish need as the food strengthens fish health and these are evident in fish color and behavior of the fish. These pellets are appropriate for any size goldfish and koi, in other words, you have one food for all.

Notwithstanding, two weak points that are linked with this food are its cheap quality zippers that fail to seal on the container and it appears that these pellets are not that likable to most fish when you feed them.

  • Famous for being top-rated all-season floating food pellets
  • Does not contaminate tank water as these are highly digestible
  • Made with healthy and natural choice of ingredients
  • An ideal choice for mixed sizes of goldfish and koi
  • Helps resist various fish diseases, stress and infections
  • Fails to attract most fish to consume it with much gusto
  • Zippers of the containers fail to seal
In conclusion, these koi food pellets come in reasonable selling cost for high-end quality foods that expert koi breeders feed their aquatic pets. It is formulated with the required nutrition that provides overall promotion of healthy growth, stunning fish color and stronger immunity. The pellets are soft and highly digestible so they allow for fast nutrient absorption. And, if fed right, you can instantly notice good results in the way your fish thrive and you'll be amazed by their ravishing colors.

4. TetraPond Pond Sticks

Tetra’s Pond Fish Food is one of the more popular options for koi owners. Its highly nutritious formula has earned a whole mess of fans. In fact, I’ve been very impressed with its effortless ability to provide my koi with all their necessary nutrients, including protein, fat, and fiber.

Of course, this food isn’t only useful for koi fish. I fully expect it to provide outstanding nutritional value to all other pond fish species, such as goldfish and tetras. Therefore, it should be fine meshing with their particular needs.

I also love this food’s softened pellets, especially when feeding baby koi. It allows them to easily digest it as the food softens after hitting the water. Sadly, I’ve had issues with other foods where they were left uneaten and clogged my tank’s filter.

Meanwhile, this food is more versatile and convenient than other available choices. It’s ideal as a daily food option for any tank or outdoor environment over 50 degrees. Due to this, the amount of uses is much larger than I expect with most fish food.

If these features weren’t enough, it’s also an inexpensive option. Buyers won’t have to stress over spending a small fortune on fish food like with other choices. Honestly, I had difficulty finding any area where this product didn’t meet my needs.

However, I was a little annoyed by the messiness of this koi food. It spreads apart quickly when not eaten immediately, so it’s vital to refrain from overfeeding. Otherwise, it can dirty a tank’s water much faster than other available foods. However, as stated above, it won't clog the tank's filter, so I don't mind this drawback as much.

  • Highly nutritious option with well-balanced formula
  • Suitable for all pond fish species (koi, goldfish, tetra, etc.)
  • Soft and easy-to-digest pellets
  • Convenient daily food option for any tank environment above 50 degrees
  • An affordable option
  • Flakes pull apart, causing a mess.

Aside from the messiness, I was delighted by this product’s overall performance. It has been a solid, inexpensive addition to my koi’s diet.

5. Hikari Staple Floating Pellets

To boot, premium quality coy fish foods are priced these days expensively but this is to be expected since they are formulated with nutrient-filled, safe and all-natural ingredients that serve a very vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your pet fish. Just like this brand, it is surely pricey but worth buying.

This food for coy fish contains a superior amount of vitamin C that enables fish to fight against ailments. It is known for being one of the top-notch diets that complete a nutrient-packed diet for your aquatic pets. It comes with zip-lock closure that can be re-sealed as necessary.

Withal, this product is more overpriced if purchased in local fish or pet stores and the pellets are prone to sinking and dissolving too fast which makes the tank water look murky. These are a couple of the major concerns that you can encounter if you get this fish food for your finned buddy.

  • Formulated with more stabilized vitamin C for stronger fish immunity
  • Won't pollute tank water
  • Does a superb job of promoting long lifespan for your aquatic pets
  • Made with all the basic nutrition your pet fish requires to thrive
  • Floating pellets enable fish keepers to easily keep track of the food consumed
  • More expensive to purchase in local pet or fish stores
  • Pellets sink and dissolve into water too instantly making the aquarium water very foggy
Lastly, this Hikari koi food review makes it clear to koi keepers that this fish species seriously requires proper nutrition for them to live longer, stay healthy and enhance their stunning colors. This product can serve as a long-term fish food option that you can feed your koi daily. These pellets would work magically in bringing out the best fish color, making your fish remain strong and more active.

6. TetraPond Koi Growth Food

Are you shopping for koi fish food that is scientifically formulated, comes with superior protein contents and can support healthy fish immunity? Then, this product is the most trusted choice for your search. This must be fed daily when the water temperature is beyond 50 degrees.

These floating sticks are highly digestible so they won't create a major mess in tank water. Many koi keepers prefer this product because it is formulated with a perfect combination of fats, vitamins, fiber, and proteins. Fundamentally, this formulation offers the proper nutrition for longevity, healthy metabolic function, fast growth, more energy and overall wellness for fish.

On the contrary, this food does not contain high-quality protein sources and it is only about 40% and the floating sticks tend to make the tank water and filters quite filthy. Inspect these minor gripes first before taking the plunge.

  • Manufactured as protein-packed growth type of diet
  • Contains floating sticks that are easy for fish to consume and digest
  • Creates less fish waste so tank water remains pristinely clear
  • Works excellently in supporting stronger immune system functions
  • Formulated with high levels of amino acids for healthy and faster growth
  • Does not contain high quality source of protein
  • Tends to make tank water and filters very messy
As a whole, this koi growth food is a great investment. It is capable of offering well-rounded nutrition to different sized of koi and other types of pond fish. The sticks are designed to float so your pet fish can instantly spot them and they are easy to digest too. As the sticks hit the water, they soften a little so both small and big fish could consume them without any trouble.

7. Laguna All Season Floating Food

This koi and goldfish floating food is the top-tier pick if you take care of large-sized fish. It is packed with roughly 32% of protein. It must be fed approximately 3 by up to 4 times daily and allow your fish to consume as much as they can in less than three minutes.

What makes this a good option is that it is loaded with vital nutrients such as amino acids, minerals, proper blends of various nutrition sources and vitamins that work top-rated during warmer seasons.

Sadly, while this food is manufactured with stellar diet formulation, it could be costly primarily for anyone who is short on budget. Moreover, it seems not seem the most suitable food for baby koi fish because its formulation is more beneficial for larger fish.

  • Manufactured with generous amount of vitamins, minerals, proper blends of nutrients and amino acids for daily feeding
  • A practical choice for nearly all types of fish species
  • Does not extremely contaminate tank water
  • Contains superb levels of proteins
  • Highly recommended for middle and top feeding goldfish
  • Appears not highly recommended for small fish
  • Not-so-affordable fish food option for low-budget
By and large, this product is ideal for both novices and experts in fish keeping. It contains almost everything that your fish require. The manufacturer of this fish food maximizes different nutrients with their user in mind. This is functional when it comes to feeding middle and top feeding goldfish and koi, and helps promote lovely fish color and healthy growth.

8. Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets

This koi food for color is manufactured with unrivaled color-enhancing ingredients such as Canthaxanthin and Spirulina. These are known to be quite effective in bringing out vibrant fish color and help create a completely balanced nutrition for your finned friends. And, since it is loaded with minerals and vitamins, your fish can build more vigorous immune system functions.

A few complaints linked with this food product are the potentiality of the pellets to develop molds and the lid appears to be made with cheap quality since it is not tightly sealed. Make sure to carefully examine these minor issues first before you invest in this product.

  • Greatly helps shield aquatic pets against diseases
  • Manufactured with higher protein formula that guarantees nutritionally-balanced diet for fish
  • Contains floating pellets that soften instantly for proper digestion
  • Works reliably in ensuring fast and healthy fish development
  • Guarantees superior fish color enhancement
  • Pellets appear more prone to developing molds
  • Comes with a lid that's not properly sealed
On the whole, this is a high protein koi food that would bring justice to every single cent you spend on it. It is packed with a good amount of proteins and serves as a premium quality diet for koi and other pond fish. It also helps enhance fish color in a more exceptional approach and it helps provide top-quality protection against ailments and infections that commonly pester fish in general.

9. Hikari Usa Inc AHK02342 Gold

The good news is that buying top-tier pond fish food nowadays does not need to be a tedious process for fish keepers. There are several credible brands that you can lean on for that. And, this food option can help you take proper care of your aquatic pet because it can offer the required nutrition for healthy living.

Some koi keepers who use this product claim that this food has the potentiality to cause some algal bloom in ponds or tank water and you could get a little irked with its fishy smell when feeding your finned friends.

  • Can guarantee outstanding fish color enhancement
  • Works superbly in satisfying the nutritional requirements of koi
  • Comes in good packaging that keeps the fish food safe and fresh
  • Can serve as a complete and nutrient-packed daily diet for aquatic pets
  • Does not leave any residue or debris
  • May cause algae buildup in tank water or ponds
  • Causes fishy smell when feeding
On the button, if you opt for foods that contain mostly natural ingredients, then this is what you are precisely looking for. This does wonders in helping fish keepers provide the necessary nutrition for their pet fish. These are safe since they won't cause any digestion issues and can help make your fish become happier and healthier.

10. Eco Labs Microbe Lift Fish Food

These floating pellets that contain color enhancers are great foods that your koi and goldfish would incessantly devour. They are meant to help fish develop faster, retain and enhance ravishing colors and obtain the energy they need to survive.

You can feed your fish with these pellets by strictly following the recommended amount by the manufacturer. This is a certified premium quality growth and energy fish food that would prioritize the overall wellness of your finned friends.

Not the less, this food option is really overpriced so other koi keepers opt for other cheaper brands and it tends to transform the tank watercolor into a reddish one.

  • Won't make the tank water murky and messy
  • Packed in a container that's large enough to last a long time
  • Works like a charm in helping fish grow healthily and instantly
  • Koi consume this fish food with much delight
  • A perfect solution for anyone who wants to enhance the color of their fish faster
  • Costs an arm and a leg
  • Tends to make tank water appear slightly reddish in color
Generally speaking, although this product costs and arm and a leg, if you're going to think deeply, it is a cost-effective option in that it can guarantee well-rounded nutrition for your aquatic pets and at the same time you could notice positive results in no time. The size of container is large enough so it could last for a long time of fish feeding.

11. API Pond Fish Food

Aside from making your fish some koi fish food homemade, it is also advantageous if you allow them to have other blends of food that they could enjoy to stay active, lively and healthy. These pellets are great alternatives to feed your aquatic pets because they intend to help pond fish to grow faster, enhance their fish color more radiantly, and obtain the right nutrition they specially need to thrive.

Unfortunately, even though this product is manufactured with proper nutrition for all types of pond fish, it looks like it is incapable of attracting more koi to consume it instantly and the actual product looks not identical to what was shown in the photo advertisement. The size of the food differs and the smell of the food is slightly awful as well.

  • Works exceptionally in enhancing fish color and promoting steady fish growth
  • Highly recognized as first-rate pellet diet for all kinds of pond fish
  • Contains great amount of proteins
  • Designed to promote excellent fish immune system functions
  • Produces less fish waste and ammonia so tank water remains clean and clear
  • Some koi do not consume these pellets with much enthusiasm
  • Actual fish food product is quite distinct than what the photo ad shows
To sum up, this koi color-enhancing food is a good catch for the money. The floating pellets are practical for even the most finicky eaters. It does not cloud the tank water in an extreme way and is packed with superior amounts of protein that support healthy and fast growth for your pet fish. They must be fed two by up to three times per day, give your fish the amount he could finish in less than 5 minutes and you're all good.

12. Wardley Pond Fish Food Pellets

There are available cheap koi foods in local fish or pet stores and via online that are packed with safe and nutritious ingredients. Just like this food product, these are beneficial in sustaining overall wellness, healthy growth and promoting more robust fish immunity. This brand is packed with a stabilized form of vitamin C that helps fish strongly resist diseases.

These pellets will certainly be enjoyed by all types of pond fish as they are easy to digest and help make your aquatic pets become more energized. This food is specially manufactured to contain a good amount of proteins and fats that would work exceptionally in allowing fish to grow healthily and avoid contaminating the tank water.

Take into consideration that this food tends to sink and break down more easily so it could also affect the overall quality of tank water. Due to this, frequent cleaning of the tank and replacing tank water might be needed.

  • Formulated with scientifically-balanced protein-to-fat ratio for excellent fish growth
  • Lightweight but packed with essential nutrients
  • Can lure all sorts of pond fish
  • Contains good amount of Vitamin C for more vigorous fish immunity
  • Made as highly digestible pellets to ensure satisfying koi's energy needs
  • Pellets tend to sink and disintegrate more instantly than expected
  • May affect tank water clarity so frequent water changes might be necessary
To wrap things up, this good fish food is ideal for those looking for less expensive yet top quality koi and goldfish food products. It is scientifically manufactured to satisfy the energy requirements of goldfish and koi. You would notice that these are lightweight but they are surprisingly packed with valuable nutrients to support fast growth, good health for your pet fish and build a stronger immune system.

Outdated Products

Dainichi Fish Food All-Season Koi Food (Outdated)

Dainichi koi food is a very beneficial choice if you'd like to focus on fast and healthy growth, impressive fish color, healthy digestion and overall well-being for your aquatic pets. This is a wise investment since it can serve as an all-season type of fish food that you can safely feed your pet fish.

The formulation of this food results to low waste production by koi; hence, this assists in keeping the levels of dissolved matter low in the tank or in ponds. As you can see, this works well in getting rid of algal accumulation. This is the most trusted option if you would like to ensure the optimum rate of absorption of proteins and healthy digestion. It is also top-rated in terms of eliminating healthy concerns related to internal parasites.

Howbeit, two unpleasant encounters that you may observe if you buy this food are its slow progress during warmer seasons since this is known to be more advantageous during colder periods and bugs seems to like accumulating in this fish food. Check out these flaws prior to getting one for your finned friends.

  • Comes with well-improved formulation and addition of vital minerals and vitamins
  • Works more outstandingly when fed in colder seasons
  • Serves as practical and all-season development and growth fish food
  • Contains easily absorbed protein contents
  • Greatly helps in removing algal buildup
  • Bugs tend to accumulate in this fish food
  • Works slightly inefficient during warmer seasons
Sure thing, this Japanese koi food is a second to none all-season source of easily absorbed vegetable and marine proteins. This makes it quite prominent in allowing healthy and fast fish growth and it is easy to digest for fish. Besides, it is also reliable in improving fish color in a more stunning approach. This food is more beneficial to use during colder seasons when the metabolic functions of koi is slower.

Blackwater Premium Koi (Outdated)

If you're going to read koi food Reddit forum, you will discover that this fish food option is one of the most-talked about products. When it comes to quality, good pricing and effectiveness, this can suffice the required nutrition for your pet fish.

Aside from the fact that this food is packed with well-balanced nutrition, it does not contain fillers making it a risk-free food option to consider for your most valued finned buddy. It can ensure maximum freshness and can inhibit spoilage because it is designed with low moisture content.

Unluckily, a couple of factors that would make you have second thoughts about whether this is a good buy or not are its possibility to rot easily on the bottom of the tank and it sometimes fails to lure koi to consume more of it easily.

  • Does an A1 job of bringing out the most vibrant and impressive fish color
  • Manufactured with shrimp meal that makes up roughly 15% of the fish diet
  • Particularly formulated with a total of four all-natural color-enhancing ingredients
  • Packed with a total of 38% protein contents to guarantee maximum fish growth
  • Priced much lower as compared to other similar fish food products
  • Koi don't consume these fish foods with much gusto
  • Tends to rot easily on the bottom of the tank
Finally, this product can guarantee a type of fish diet that would help enhance fish color, support a healthy lifestyle for fish and make them more vigorous while dwelling in ponds or tank water. It is formulated with a total of 4 distinct all-natural color enhancer contents and is capable of providing noticeable results in no time.

What to Look for When Buying Koi Food


Here are some of the buying factors that you should look out for when investing in the right koi foods:

  • Fat Percentage

The fat contents of koi foods are essential to consider. While the fat content source is not as valuable as protein sources, generally speaking, a still growing and young koi requires feeds that contain good amounts of fats.

Juveniles need roughly 3 by up to 12% of fat content while adult koi would require approximately 3 by up to 6% of fat content in their diet.

  • Percentage and Source of Protein

Krill and shrimps are labeled as the most excellent natural sources of proteins for fish. Some of the top-quality protein sources originate from aquatic cultures like shrimp, fish, krill and anchovy.

Since koi are omnivores in nature, they consume a range of plant and animal-based protein sources in the wild to support their maximum growth. So, it is a must to check the koi food ingredients if they contain generous amounts of proteins.

The recommended percentage of protein content to complete a well-rounded diet is 30 by up to 40%.

  • Immune Booster, Mineral and Vitamins

Needless to say, having a broad array of vitamins and minerals in a koi's diet would remarkably help support good eyesight, healthy skin, faster growth, digestion and more natural vibrant fish color.

Additionally, also look into if the koi food comes with any synthetic or natural immune system boosters. A lot of superb quality koi foods come with vitamin C as standard and this is known as a vital component of healthy fish immunity.

  • Plant Proteins

Plant matter like wheat germ contains a good amount of fat contents; however, it is nearly devoid of vital amino acids that originate from animal protein.

Refrain from feeds that do not contain animal-based protein and are only loaded with more plant-based sources. Be reminded that plant-based protein as a main source is much lower in terms of quality and not a good alternative for aquatic animal protein.

  • Crude Ash Content

This refers to a waste product that is left behind after the fish food is processed. It is mainly composed of mineral and carbon contents. There would be some ash content in all types of fish food; even so, the lower the content is, the better.

  • Synthetic and Natural Color Enhancers

One of the known natural color enhancers found in koi foods is spirulina. This pertains to a kind of algae that helps boost fish color. While this is not considered a very valuable ingredient to a koi's overall well-being, most koi keepers prefer feeds that contain this ingredient because it does wonders in enhancing the fish color and patterns of aquatic pets.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is koi food?

Koi foods are products that are precisely formulated to contain all the necessary minerals, vitamins, immune boosters, and nutrients that koi specially require for them to thrive in aquariums and ponds.

Such foods are made to help ensure healthy and fast koi growth, stronger fish immunity, promote long lifespan and enhance more vibrant and lovely fish colors.

What kind of food does koi fish eat?

Koi necessitate a broad range of nutrients for them to thrive. And, the ingredients below are just some of the most valuable sources for koi keepers to search for when picking the right foods for their pet fish:

  • Brine shrimp

Since koi are omnivores, it is critical for them to obtain enough proteins in their daily diet. And, this type of fish food is rich in protein and other valuable nutrients. Brine shrimp is a top option especially during high activity periods.

This helps improve proper digestion that wards off bloating issues, works like a charm in bolstering fish immunity and results in a higher koi growth rate.

  • Special Treats

Some of the most preferred snacks or treats for koi fish include broccoli, worms, watermelon, shrimp, lettuce, orange slices, bananas, apples, garlic, and the like. However, since these are solely considered as special treats, they must be fed in moderation.

  • Wheat Germ

This assists in helping koi develop faster and offers higher amounts of vitamin E that provides a number of benefits like well-improved circulation and oxygenation, and more robust fish immunity.

Essentially, koi necessitate good amount of wheat germ in cooler seasons when their metabolic function begins to slow down. It is worth noting that the fat content in wheat germ is highly digestible and helps koi prepare for hibernation.

Why do you need food for koi fish? (Benefits)

Providing your pet fish with the most nutrient-packed fish food is a crucial part of fish keeping hobby. Fundamentally, one of the essential factors is picking superb quality koi foods that are formulated with all the essential ingredients that a koi specifically necessitate to stay colorful, healthy and active.

Feeding your aquatic pet cheap quality koi food, or a type of food that lacks vital nutrients, could result in all kinds of health issues as they grow and mature.

But, by choosing the right and well-balanced koi food and carefully checking its ingredient contents, then you can guarantee that your finned friends become more vigorous and happier.

Here are some of the perks of feeding your koi fish with premium quality food:

  • Stronger Fish Immunity

It is indispensable to feed your koi with fish food that comes with all the right ingredients so to keep their immunity stronger. Luckily, the majority of premium quality fish foods today are formulated with vital nutrients that support healthy immune system functions.

Likewise, many of them also feature natural immune booster ingredients that greatly help bolster the immune system even more. As you might already know, ornamental pond koi tend to have frail immunity due to the amount of breeding. Hence, feeding them the right food would strengthen their immunity.

  • More Outstanding Koi Growth

This fish species requires both good amounts of fats and proteins for it to grow healthily and remain robust in adulthood. A malnourished baby koi would be incapable of developing fully without a rich source of these ingredients.

In the same way, an adult koi would suffer if their diet does not contain generous amounts of fats and proteins. In particular, proteins must be sourced from aquaculture sources and these should not be substituted for cheap quality proteins like plant-based proteins.

Take note that koi require an aquatic source of protein to help them develop into their full potential. And, the common ingredients for aquatic protein consist of shrimp meal or fish meal.

  • More Robust Pattern and Color

A well-rounded diet would enable your finned friends to obtain more vibrant and beautiful colors and the most vigorous pattern possible. And, although the most vital factor in regards to color is none other than genetics, premium quality foods could also remarkably play a vital role in this aspect.

A malnourished and frail koi would look like dull as compared to a healthy and robust fish. Indeed, specific koi foods may contain color-enhancing ingredients that precisely work with the sun to encourage a more robust color pattern.

Essentially, these ingredients are not hazardous to aquatic pets, but are also not important to a koi diet; thus, it is up to you whether you'll consider getting them when choosing a feed.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best food for baby koi?

I’d recommend a flake-based fish food for koi babies or smaller koi. It’s much easier for baby koi to digest while providing all the essential nutrients. TetraPond’s 16210 Flaked Fish Food would be an excellent food for koi growth and overall health.

You may also want to supplement this flake fish with worms, shrimp, or tadpoles. These additions will help you achieve a well-balanced koi diet. I’d even recommend using it for fast growth in baby koi. This is because higher protein and fat intake allows the fish to develop faster. Ideally, their diet should consist of 10% fat and 40% protein.

Why Do Koi spit out food?

If your koi spits out their food, it often indicates something is wrong. It could be a health problem, such as a condition causing discomfort in their mouth or gills. Recently, this situation happened to my koi, and I consulted with a vet about how to fix it. Thankfully, everything turned out well once I addressed the issue.

Another possibility would be your koi not liking their food’s taste. It’s a common issue when buying budget koi food as these products aren’t made with the best ingredients. So your fish may spit it out because it doesn’t meet their standards.

It’s why switching out your food for a high-quality one is my first recommendation. A top-tier option like Wardley’s Pond Koi Pellet Food may stop the spitting from occurring. It also immediately lets you know that something serious is happening if the behavior continues.

Aside from mouth conditions and horrible taste, a few other possibilities include stress, subpar water quality, spoiled food, and the fish is already full. In any case, I'd suggest keeping a close eye on the fish's behavior to properly determine the root causes.

How do I know if my Koi fish is hungry?

Hungry koi fish will display their dissatisfaction in a multitude of ways. But the main ones to look for are aggressive behavior, abnormal inactivity, weight loss, and excessive substrate digging. These are classic signs of a fish that’s hungry.

In most cases, your koi fish will also express their hunger by staying near the surface. It’s a sign of them waiting for the next feeding time. So any combination of these symptoms could indicate your fish is unhappy with their feeding schedule.

Do Koi eat at night?

Owners can expect koi fish to be nighttime and bottom feeders. Nighttime is their preferred choice when it comes to feeding. It’s what I do with mine as I give them sinking koi food at night, and the results have been great.

If you feed koi during the day, they might not come out for food. This is usually because the fish tends to shy away from open areas, which can leave themselves visible and vulnerable to passing predators. So you must create a comfortable environment for daytime feedings.

For instance, you should talk to your koi as you feed them. Regularly doing so will familiarize the fish with you. Once they feel comfortable enough to be around you, they will come out whenever you feed them, even during the daytime.

Once they aren’t hiding as much, try changing the schedule gradually. Over time, they’ll adapt and expect food during the day rather than at night. But it all comes down to being consistent and calm during these feedings.

What are the most trusted koi food brands?

If you want to ensure getting the right and nutritionally balanced koi foods, then you've got to invest in top quality fish food products that were produced by tried and tested brands in the field of aquarium and fish keeping.

When it comes to koi foods, the following manufacturers have already proven their reliability, effectiveness and superb performance in terms of providing a well-rounded diet for koi fish:

  • Hikari
  • Eco Labs
  • Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery
  • Kaytee
  • Tetra Pond
  • API

You would discover that the koi foods made by these brands are mostly priced expensively; nonetheless, these are still preferred by aquatics experts because they are capable of executing a great job of providing the required nutrition for koi fish to support healthy growth, stronger fish immunity, lovely fish color and longevity.

Personally witnessing how these feeds can make your koi healthy, happy, colorful and active would encourage you not to buy other feeds produced by other brands.

What to feed koi to make them grow fast?

To maximize the growth rate of your koi, then see to it that you provide them with well-balanced diet. Fundamentally, the bulk of a koi's diet must come in the form of commercial pellet or flake foods; still and all, these must also be supplemented with shrimps, fruits, tubifex worms as well as vegetables.

Only provide commercial fish foods that come with below 30% protein content. And, since this type of fish species is incapable of storing fat, overfeeding them would only slow down their growth and would only cloud the tank water.

How can I enhance my koi color?

Provide your koi with a type of diet that is packed with necessary nutrients and color enhancers. Food ingredients that greatly help in boosting fish color include spirulina and carotene; you can add more of these in the months of July and August as these periods are regarded as the prime growth months for koi. The changes of colors take place during the growth cycle.

What can I feed my koi besides fish food?

Aside from fish, you can feed your koi with various sorts of fruits such as grapes, apples, orange slices, lemons, cantaloupe, strawberries and watermelon. See to it removing the seeds first before feeding. You can also provide them with veggies like lettuce, broccoli and garlic.

And, since they are omnivorous in nature, they love to consume shrimps, bugs, worms, crayfish and the like.

Can koi fish eat bananas?

Yes. Koi can eat bananas. Just make certain that these are cut in smaller chunks so they can float more instantly than a whole banana would.

How to feed koi fish?

It is important to feed your koi once a day. And, make sure only to give them the amount that they could instantly finish in approximately less than 5 minutes period.

Your growing koi would remember you as you're their feeder for only a short while but if you constantly feed them, they will start to greet you as you approach the tank.

Baby and smaller koi would require consuming small koi foods or flakes. Meanwhile, larger ones would prefer pebble foods more.

How often should Koi be fed?

Koi must be fed once per day, and not more than the food amount they could consume in a matter of five minute-period. Consider feeding less next time if there are still unconsumed feeds left after five minutes.

The required amount of food would greatly vary hinging on the temperature of water and season.

How to make medicated koi food?

Medicated food would merely take care of bacterial problems in koi. Note that this would not take care of any parasite concerns. If your koi suffer from parasite problems, medicated foods would only impede secondary infections but won't take care of the real cause.

Here are your guides when making medicated foods for koi:

The ingredients you will need consist of one cup of water, koi food, one small bowl, aquaculture antibiotics, ziplock bag and newspaper


  • Place 1 pound of koi food in a small bowl.
  • Then, carefully dissolve the 10 grams of Oxolinic acid powder in one cup of water in the bowl. Initially, you may utilize half cup of water to dissolve. Afterward, you could add more water slowly as necessary. Take note that the solution must not be quite pasty or too watery.
  • The next phase would be to pour the solution and mix properly. Combine this well and carefully so that each pellet is covered with the medicine.
  • Combine and shake properly. Combine the koi food thoroughly using your hands or by placing the koi food and the solution in a canister with the lid. Then, shake it thoroughly. This method won't get your hands messy.
  • Carefully lay the koi food in the newspaper. This must be done in a cool and dry location. Allow the medicated koi food to dry after half an hour or by up to one hour.
  • Lastly, place the medicated koi food in a large zip lock bag. From there, you can safely store the koi food in a cool and dry area. Alternatively, you can store it in a fridge too.

How long does koi food last?

How long koi food would last largely depends on the expiration period indicated by the koi food manufacturer. In other words, koi feeds that have passed their expiration period are more likely considered junks. For best results, it is highly recommended to store the koi foods in a dry, dark and cool area and they must be consumed within the stated expiration period of the manufacturer.

How to care, clean and maintain?

Keeping koi's water clean, properly aerated and balanced should be the top priority when taking care and maintaining koi. This fish species could thrive well in winter and since they are omnivores, it is a must to give them with plenty of food options.

In like manner, maintain all your koi pond equipment properly. Such equipment consists of a premium quality protein skimmer, filtration system, aeration system, and powerful pump, and UV sterilizer.

Additionally, it is required to perform consistent water checks to inhibit common health issues. Even though koi fish are not that demanding and challenging to care for, poor water quality could cause various sorts of health concerns for them so it is advisable to perform constant checks as koi fish may need to deal with different concerns such as excessive fish waste, acid rain and nutrient-enriched runoff.

When it comes to feeding them, be sure to follow the recommended amount of food to be given and the feeding method so as to avoid underfeeding and overfeeding.

Where to buy?

Looking for the right fish food for your koi does not need to be a pain in the neck process considering a lot of various options are readily available in the market these days. In fact, you can easily find them in heavily-stocked supermarkets, local pet and fish stores in your current location.

Since koi are regarded as one of the most common fish that a lot of aquarists pick to keep, the right foods especially designed for this fish species can be found almost anywhere. You can also shop online if you want to check out various options and brands.

If you decide to shop online, a few of the legit and credible online shopping sites where you can purchase koi foods include PetCo, Amazon and PetSmart. These sites can offer you limitless options to select from and where you can also have one great opportunity to avail some of the top-tier deals offered by well-known manufacturers.


Overall, one of the most valuable facets of koi keeping is choosing the best koi foods that are specifically formulated with the most premium quality ingredients. If you are a novice in pond or fish keeping, then you are well-aware that this is not often an easy decision considering the wide range of different fish food products sold on the market at present.

In reality, ensuring that your koi eat properly is intricate. It is absolutely not as simple as merely dropping some flakes into the tank and you just assume that they obtain proper nutrition. When properly feeding your pet fish, always remember that what matters the most is providing the right food and executing the right feeding method.

Basically, the right foods for koi have significant influence on the fish's proper growth and color, feeding behavior, and the healthy lifestyle of your aquatic pet. And, for you to select the appropriate type of food and for you to make an insightful and easy decision when buying such foods, this article provided very detailed koi-feeding-related information for you to contemplate on.

The different fish food products reviewed here would also help you easily come up with the best match that would provide what your koi specially requires to stay healthy and colorful. Hopefully, this post can be your practical guide to a smart koi food shopping experience.