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Guide to Feeding Koi Fish in Your Pond

Guide to Feeding Koi Fish in Your Pond

Koi fish, with their vibrant colors and graceful movements, are a joy to watch in any pond. However, feeding them properly is crucial for their health and growth. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to feed your koi fish. 

Understanding Koi Fish Nutrition 

Koi fish, like all living beings, have specific nutritional requirements. They rely on a variety of essential nutrients to thrive, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Proteins are crucial for muscle development, while fats provide energy and support organ function. Carbohydrates serve as a source of energy, while vitamins and minerals play vital roles in maintaining a healthy immune system and supporting various bodily functions. 

Feeding Frequency and Type 

The feeding frequency and type of food for your koi fish should be determined by the water temperature. Koi are poikilothermic (cold-blooded) organisms, which means they are unable to regulate their own internal body temperatures. As water temperatures fluctuate throughout the year, so do the rates of many of their bodily functions. 

Here is a handy feeding chart based on water temperature: 

Water Temperature 

Feeding Frequency 

Feed Type 

Below 40˚F (4.5˚C) 

Do not feed 


41 – 50˚F (5 – 10˚C) 

Feed no more than 1 – 2 times/week 

Wheat Germ-based food 

50 – 55˚F (10.5 – 13˚C) 

Feed 2 – 3 times/week 


56 – 60˚F (13.5 – 15.5˚C) 

Feed 3 – 4 times/week 


61 – 65 ˚F (16 – 18.5˚C) 

Feed 4 – 5 times/week 

Wheat Germ + Protein-based food 

66 – 70 ˚F (19 – 21˚C) 

Feed 1 – 2 times/day 

Aquatic Protein-based food + Wheat Germ 

71 – 75 ˚F (22 – 24˚C) 

Feed 2 – 4 times/day 

Aquatic Protein-based food (Growth Diets) with optional color enhancers 

76 – 80 ˚F (24.5 – 27˚C) 

Feed 2 – 3 times/day 


81 – 85 ˚F (27 – 29.5˚C) 

Feed 1x every other day 

Aquatic Protein-based food 

Above 85 ˚F (30˚C) 

Reduce feeding 


How Much to Feed 

When deciding how much food to give your koi, remember that a good target amount is 1 – 4% of their body weight. Mature koi will usually eat less relative to their body weight than juvenile koi. As a rule of thumb, try to feed just enough for your koi to consume within 3 – 5 minutes at any given time. 

Feeding Method 

When manually feeding koi fish, simply throw a small amount of food into the pond. Once it is consumed, throw more food into the pond. Each feeding session should last approximately 5 minutes. Feeding too much food, especially in one feeding session, should be avoided since it can strain the koi’s digestive system. 

Feeding your koi fish properly is essential for their health and growth. By understanding their nutritional needs and adjusting their feeding schedule and diet according to the water temperature, you can ensure your koi fish thrive in your pond. Remember, it is always better to underfeed than to overfeed. Happy feeding! 

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