It is well known that when keeping koi fish, you need to provide them a nutrient-rich, well-balanced diet to ensure optimal growth and color appearance.
While there are plenty of amazing food block style pellet meals out there that will get the job done, your koi can still benefit greatly from other foods and a diverse meal plan.
Let’s explore some of the koi fish favorite food options that you may not have thought of and see exactly what positive attributes they can offer to your fish’s diet!
Koi Fish Fresh Fruit Fetish
Koi fish can benefit greatly from fresh fruits.
The sweet treats are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are necessary for your koi’s growth.
Vitamin C, commonly found in oranges and other citrus fruits, is especially good, as it helps support your koi’s immune system and works to enhance their coloration.
Watermelon is good, as well, as are honeydew and cantaloupe.
Many people also report that their koi seem to really enjoy the addition of sliced up grapes and berries, especially if they have been chilled for a bit on a hot day.
Some koi may not be open to trying fruit, as it does not smell like their normal food sources.
You can help combat this by feeding it at the same time as their normal food in small pieces.
Eventually, they will try it and find that they absolutely adore it!
Koi go crazy for fruit but if you are still struggling to get them to try it and do not want to abandon using it as a treat quite yet, try dipping it in some honey, which has been known to work in attracting koi fish and getting them to chow down!
Koi Love Their Vegetables
Another great food for koi fish is pretty much any vegetable.
Vegetables are packed with tons of nutrients that provide a lot of benefits for your fish, from helping them to produce less waste which leads to a cleaner pond to increasing their growth rate.
Koi fish have to be well-fed in order to grow to their full potential size so if you want koi like the ones showcased on television and through the media, you should really consider adding some vegetable-based food items into their diet as a treat.
Leafy greens are a koi favorite, oddly enough.
They cannot seem to get enough of the stuff, which is fantastic since it is absolutely amazing for them in moderation.
Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and kale are all great options.
Additionally, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, and cooked peas are all great, as long as you remove harder parts and the skin to ensure proper digestion.
Peas can even be used to help treat swim bladder disorders and digestive problems, so having some canned peas on hand is definitely worth considering, at least.
Feeding Fish To Koi
Koi fish are omnivores and need a good bit of protein in their diet.
Due to this, you might want to add in some fresh, frozen, or dried seafood.
Fish flakes are great for those on a budget but if you really want to go all out, try frozen or fresh seafood.
They will love eating shrimp, crabs, and other small sea creatures and can benefit a lot from digesting them.
Additionally, live feeding is a great option if you can get your hands on tiny shrimp or other small sea critters your koi can hunt and eat to their heart’s content!
More About Live Feeding
Koi fish naturally eat live food.
They hunt down things like insects, smaller sea creatures, and even frog eggs to munch on when in their natural habitat.
Due to this, many people opt to actually supplement their nutritional block food with live options or even outright feed live.
This is a great way to get some extra nutrition into your koi’s diet while also providing stimulation and simulating their natural home, which can reduce stress for your fish.
It is important to remember that if you are feeding live, you should never feed anything you catch yourself or that you are unsure of the origin of.
A lot of insects and creatures in the wild have been exposed to chemicals and pesticides that can kill your koi or make them very sick.
They also may be harboring bacteria or parasites that can spread through your pond and potentially kill or harm the entire population.
You should try to find a reputable source for your live food purchases or consider controlled breeding if you plan to feed on a large scale with live alternatives.
There is a massive misconception that you can feed koi fish things like bread, cookies, and other carb-heavy snacks.
While they can have very small amounts of this food, koi fish are not adapted to eat things like this often and can become very sick if fed too many carbohydrates.
Additionally, they will never reach their full color and size potentials when fed this diet and can easily become overweight and develop fatty tumors and other distressing health disorders since their immune systems rapidly decline on such a diet.
You should also avoid feeding things like cat and dog foods to your koi.
This was popular in those looking to save money for quite some time due to the misconception that all pet foods are relatively the same from a nutritional standpoint.
This is, unfortunately, not the case.
Many dog and cat foods contain a lot of carbohydrates and fillers that can make your koi fish very, very sick and even kill them while drastically stunting their growth and color formation.
Balance is Key
Regardless of what you choose to feed your koi at the end of the day, balance is key.
It is always a good idea to look at ingredients and try to seek out nutritionally well-rounded foods that provide a lot of beneficial nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals to ensure your koi are getting everything they need to grow and flourish.