Koi are notorious for their voracious appetite. They will eat pretty much anything and everything, devouring whatever will fit into their mouths.
From bugs to bits of fruit and even smaller fish, these creatures will eat anything they can.
Still, when housed in a pond environment, you are responsible for ensuring they receive appropriate nutrition.
Let’s take a look at how to take matters completely into your own hands and learn about some koi fish food homemade recipes that will beat any store-bought option out there!
What Ingredients Should You Look For?
With koi fish, some ingredients are definitely healthier than others.
Let’s explore some of the things you should add to your koi’s food if you are making it yourself to ensure they are getting the nutritional input they need to become the big, beautiful giants we know and love.
Protein is one of the most important things you can add to your koi’s diet. They need a lot of protein to assist in muscle building and the prevention of diseases.
Easily digested plant proteins mixed with animal proteins that mimic those from the koi’s natural environment tend to be the best options, as it gives a well-balanced protein provision that supports growth and overall health.
Things like spirulina, beans (soybeans and chickpeas, especially), and wheat germ make for excellent plant protein.
In addition to this, you can add things like shrimp, krill, insect larvae, bloodworms, mealworms, and other insect and sea creature-based protein sources directly to the food base.
This gives a good level of protein to build upon with other ingredients.
Fats are the second most important part of the koi diet triad.
Fats help to promote growth and give your koi fish energy to swim about in their enclosures. They also help to prevent deformities and assist in promoting coloration and vibrancy, contributing to the overall appearance of your koi fish.
Making up five to ten percent of a koi’s diet in homemade foods, fats are key in helping bulk your fish up and keep them looking nice.
Linseed oil and fish oil are great options for incorporating fats into the koi diet plan, as they both provide extra vitamin and mineral content, especially linseed oil which contains linoleic acid and linolenic acid.
Of all of the aspects of a koi’s diet, carbohydrates should play the smallest role.
Carbs are good for giving quick energy since they are easily digested but do not provide enough nutritional impact to be a significant part of their diet.
In fact, excessive carbohydrates can cause fatty tumor growth and other serious health issues.
Some carbs are okay, though, in moderation. Things like wheat germ and dried unsweetened cereals can be used to help bulk the food. Still, this should be done sparingly.
How To Make Koi Pellets
To make your own koi pellets, you must keep in mind that they need to be able to dry out at least most of the way in order to keep and not mold.
This recipe from Pond Informer is a good base. It uses broccoli greens, carrots, spirulina, wheat germ, raspberry, garlic, and the optional ingredient of krill. If you do not have access to krill you can also use dried shrimp or a different dried product like mealworms or bloodworms to act as the meat-based protein source.
Due to the vegetable content, this food’s end product is incredibly rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and D, along with carotenoids which are known to enhance the red and orange hues of a koi fish’s coloration. Vitamin E is also heavily present and acts as a metabolic stabilizer for their diet and helps to regulate their energy exertion and cell reparation processes.
This is a solid base food that you can play around with to get the perfect finished product from a nutritional standpoint and tweak to suit your koi’s taste preferences.
How to Make Koi Paste
If you do not want to go the dry food route, koi paste is much quicker and keeps a little longer since it is less prone to molding.
Koi paste contains generally the same ingredients as a dry food option but is wetter and kept soft. It is especially great for smaller koi or even fry, as it is easy to gobble down for smaller mouths.
This recipe from Casha is great, as it works to incorporate a diverse ingredient list and assist in hitting all of the vital nutrient markers. Using shrimp, crab, fish meal, garlic, vegetables, and supplements, along with a splash of orange juice for consistency purposes, this is a great option for those looking for a softer food option.
The addition of Calcium Montmorillonite aids in proper digestion and helps the fish to get as much nutrient content from their food as possible, ensuring they are eating well. It also decreases the waste production rate of the koi, keeping the pond water looking clearer and decreasing the presence of waste that could throw off the biological cycle of the pond, resulting in an increased risk of health issues and serious illness within the koi population.
All in all, this is a fantastic recipe that, like the Pond Informer dry option, works well with customization and suits a wide range of koi fish preferences and needs. If you are looking to try making your own food, definitely give it a try!
Making your own koi food at home is a great way to be in complete control of the nutrition your fish receive. It gives you the ability to supplement specific dietary concerns naturally and provide a diverse diet to your healthy, happy koi fish.
Try playing around with the ingredients to see which best suits your koi’s tastes. It can be quite a fun process, as koi definitely have their own personal preferences.
Regardless of what you end up deciding on, your koi will experience the carefully selected nutritional elements of your own design, which is sure to boost their health and vibrancy! Good luck!