Feeding Your New Koi

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A nutritionally balanced diet is essential to keeping koi healthy. If you’re purchasing your very first koi, figuring out where to start with feeding your new fish can be overwhelming.

Not all koi food or ingredients are created equal, and sometimes it can be difficult to determine what is and isn’t good for your pond. This feeding guide offers answers to some of the most commonly asked feeding questions, so that you and your koi can be put on the path to feeding success.

What and When Should I Feed My Koi?

Most koi hobbyists stick to commercially-made feed options that provide the necessary nutrients to keep koi healthy. Since the metabolism of koi depends on water temperature, their diet needs to be adjusted accordingly. The warmer the water temperature, the more frequently your koi should be fed and the more hardy

Water Temperature




Below 50°F


Feed 2-3x daily.

Feed 1-2x daily.

Feed 1x per day.
Below 59°F, switch to feeding 2-4x a week.

DO NOT feed your koi. They are unable to break down any food at these low temperatures, and consuming food can be detrimental to their health.

Type of Food

Koi can be fed a regular, all-season formula. Recommended: Blue Ridge Platinum Pro Koi and Goldfish Food.

Koi will need food that is easily digestible, such as wheat germ-based formulas.

Recommended: Blue Ridge Cool Water Wheat Koi and Goldfish Food

It’s best to feed your koi during periods of the day when water temperatures are warm and their metabolism is at its highest. However, if you’re away from your home most of the day, this isn’t always practical. Develop a consistent routine that works for your schedule.

How Much Food Should I Give My Koi?

The amount of food you give your koi is important. If you underfeed your koi, they may not get the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy. If you overfeed your koi, it can cause excess waste in the water. Or, if it goes uneaten, it can break down in the water and lead to water quality issues. Either way, overfeeding can negatively impact the pond environment and make your koi sick.

We recommend following the five-minute feeding method:

  1. Give your koi a little bit of food and once it’s all eaten, give them a little bit more.
  2. Repeat this for a total of five minutes.
  3. Once five minutes is up, stop feeding and scoop up any excess food.

What Should I Look For When Choosing Koi Food?

✓ Choose food specifically made for koi.

✓ Look for food that is high in protein, ideally 35%+. The primary source of protein should be fish-based, such as anchovy meal, fish meal, and krill meal.

✓ Choose food that contains spirulina, which helps enhance color, improve digestion, and boost the immune system.

✓ Look for food that is high in vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamins A, B, C, and D.

✗ Avoid low-quality food that doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients koi need to grow and stay healthy.

✗ Avoid food with low protein and high fat content.

Do your research and ask experts or fellow hobbyists for recommendations when choosing food for your koi. It’s important to choose a brand of food that is high-quality and reputable, like Blue Ridge Koi & Goldfish Food.

Can I Feed My Koi Snacks?

Yes! While a nutritional diet is important, it’s okay to give your koi an occasional treat. Keep in mind that too much sugar and starch can be harmful, but these treats are fine in moderation!

Popular choices:

  • Freeze-dried silkworm pupae, bloodworms, & earthworms
  • Watermelon, oranges, & grapefruit
  • Leafy greens
  • Sardines
  • Cheerios & bread

Feeding koi is never an exact science, and it can get a bit difficult with changing temperatures and metabolisms. ust like with people, koi health starts with a proper diet and, at the end of the day, the goal is to keep your koi happy and healthy. The most important thing is that you are feeding your koi a high-quality and nutritionally balanced diet.

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