One of the most important aspects of raising healthy koi is how you feed them. For healthy growth, koi need a well-balanced diet, with the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals. Moreover, the type and amount of food to feed them will depend on the size of the koi.

To ensure your koi are well-fed and healthy, here are some valuable koi feeding tips to keep in mind.

Give Food According to Fish Size

You need to pay particular attention to the amount of food you give at each feeding. Underfeeding or overfeeding your koi is dangerous.

Note that the food’s nutritional value is based on the weight of the fish and not the volume of the food provided. The ideal amount of food to be given to smaller koi is about 5 per cent of their body weight. Larger fish, on the other hand, require no more than 2 per cent of their body weight.

Commercial Food is Recommended

Koi fish eat virtually anything, including insects, plants, algae, and even the food we eat. To ensure proper nutrition, however, commercial koi feed is recommended.

There are two significant types of koi feed:

  • Floating food – This type of food floats on the pond’s surface for a while before sinking to the bottom. It’s the ideal choice if you want to enjoy watching your koi while they eat or if you're going to train them to eat from your hand. 
  • Sinking food – This type of food capitalises on koi’s natural bottom-feeding instinct. This food is made to be less affected by cold water, and hence lasts longer. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to watch your koi eat. It can be a good idea for unattended feedings in areas where large birds are an issue.

Mind the Water Temperature

Since koi are cold-blooded organisms, their metabolism depends mainly on the temperature of the water they live in. As such, they have different feeding habits in different seasons.

They’ll eat little to no food when temperatures fall below 48°F. You don’t want to feed them during this time. Otherwise, the food will rot in their body or result in the multiplication of harmful bacteria.

Moreover, water temperature determines the kind of food that works bests. Namely, for temperatures between 48°F and 64°F, fatty foods would be ideal as they are easy to digest.

Protein is not recommended at this temperature as it would be difficult to digest. Protein is best during summer, however, when water temperatures range from 64°F to 88°F.

Observe the Five-minute Rule

You should give your koi an amount of food that they can finish in five minutes. If there’s any food left after the five minutes, collect it and reduce the amount of food in the next feeding.

It’s better to underfeed your koi than overfeeding them. Overfeeding usually results in waste accumulation, algae growth, and proliferation of bacteria. All of these are threats to koi life.

Hopefully, these tips will help you raise well-nourished and healthy koi. Read more koi tips here.