Homemade Koi Fish Food
When deciding the aspects of your koi’s care, you will probably discover a lot of conflicting
information. Some people love using specific brands while a different person will tell you it
contains inferior ingredients. Truly, every product on the market seems to have its pros and
cons, especially concerning food.
Due to this, there has been a dramatic rise in the usage of homemade koi food in the
fishkeeping community. Let’s take an indepth look at the how and why surrounding creating
your koi’s food yourself and figure out if it is right for you.
The Benefits of Homemade Koi Food
Making your own koi food may seem like a bit of an extreme but when you take a look at what a
lot of the commercial foods available contain, it might make sense. While there are plenty of
amazing, reputable brands out there who create wholesome, quality products, there are also,
unfortunately, many that choose to cut corners for one reason or another. In fact, making your
own meals is perhaps the best food for koi growth, as it provides a nutritionally advanced and
vitamin enriched dietary base.
These brands use fillers and cheaper ingredients, which lessens the quality of the food and
decreases the nutrients your fish get from their meals. Since fish are contained to a relatively
smaller area like a tank or koi pond, it is vital to manage their meals from a nutritional standpoint
to ensure they are healthy and happy.
So, What Do Koi Eat?
Koi are, essentially, bottomfeeders. Like catfish and their cousins the carp, kois eat what is
leftover when they are in the wild. Scraps from other fish’s meals, small animals, and waste can
all makeup their diets.
Koi fish absolutely love worms. Earthworms, especially, are an easy to access and nutrient
dense option in you are attempting to live feed. Just scoop some up and introduce them to your
fish; they will be gone in seconds.
With live feeding, you must be wary of any chemicals or other harmful substances your fish’s
food may have come in contact with. These can sometimes be transferred to the koi, resulting in
illness and even death of an entire pond. Be cautious and if you are unsure of something’s exposure or safety, opt to not use until you can look into the matter and find an answer
Koi love vegetable matter and other “kitchen scraps”, as well. Potatoes, yams, pumpkin, and
other root vegetables are all good choices. Just cook and peel them so that they are rather
mushy and easy to eat. Brown breads and other starches are good choices, too, though you will
need to supplement with worms or other live or frozen foods to help boost the koi’s protein.
“Koi Paste” is another popular option that has been spread about online. Arguably the best and
most balanced option, Koi Paste is made using a somewhat gross mix of kitchen items to create
a nutritionally sound goo that mimics the natural diet that your koi would eat in the wild.
According to our source who used one of the most popular recipes, you should just combine
twelve canned sardines, two pounds of shrimp, two cups of cooked rice, six cloves of garlic, and
a cup of orange juice in a blender until well combined. Add in some unflavored gelatin and pulse
until a paste forms. From there, just scoop some into the pond or tank and you are all set!
This is probably your best option if you want to use homemade methods but want to prepare your koi food in bulk.
Things to Avoid
While koi can eat most human foods with no problem and enjoy things like fruit, vegetables, and
other snacks as treats, there are a few things you should avoid. The biggest is anything high in
carbohydrates. Koi cannot easily process this food and generally it does nothing for their health.
This category includes foods like corn, peas, and white bread. Saltine crackers and other carb
based snacks are no-gos, as well. Additionally, anything greasy, fatty, or spiced should be
avoided. They do not need any seasoning on their food and it will actually make them rather
sick to expose them to such things.
Koi fish can eat most things aside from pellets or food blocks just fine. In fact, feeding your koi
homemade food is perhaps the best koi food option in the world! When setting up their diet
using homemade food items, be sure to look for high quality, safe ingredients that provide
nutritional stability and general health support. If you can manage this, your fish will likely take to
their new meals quite well and thrive like never before!