What To Feed Your Koi

It is very important for the health and safety of pet Koi, to be fed in adequate proportions which would not present any risk of overeating.

Overeating in Koi has been known to result in death, which makes it essential for aspiring Koi keepers to know exactly what and how much to feed their pets for safe, healthy and optimum growth, and prevent any risk of any easily avoidable problems.

Koi Diet

The diet of Koi needs to be regulated and selected keeping the weather and the water temperature in mind. The metabolism of the species is known to function at optimum at temperatures of more than 70F. It becomes difficult for Koi to digest a high protein diet when the temperature is below 65F.

But an adequate consumption of carbohydrates is essential for Koi, even in low temperatures, which is especially true for Koi who are less than 1 year of age. Watermelon, bread, citrus fruits, squash and other sources of carbohydrates are a popular diet for Koi.

Following is an estimated chart of what to feed Koi according to the water temperatures, to prevent overeating and ensure nutritional absorption and healthy Koi.

Temperature Of Water

Frequency Of Feeding


Less than 50 F

No feeding required

One month old Koi might require high carbohydrate and low protein supplemental diet.

50 to 55 F

2 to 3 times within a week

25% Low protein pellet, laxative food, squash, lettuce, wheat germ.

55 to 59F

Around 4 to 5 times in a week

25 % Low protein pellet, and vegetables. Quantity to be increased with the temperature.


One time daily

Carbohydrates, low proteins, fruits.

60 to 65F

Once daily

35% protein pellet, fruits and vegetables, alternately.

65 to 72F

1 to 2 times per day

Major diet of Protein pellets (35%). Plankton, vegetables and fruits for variety.

72 to 80F

Around three to four times per day

35 to 40% protein pellets including color enhancers. Shrimp, fruits, plankton and vegetables as well.


Why Overeating Proves Fatal For Koi  

Over-feeding the Koi can have fatal results for the species as they don’t have a stomach and whatever they eat is converted into ammonia and nitrates, which increases the toxicity level of the pond in which they live.

When the toxicity level reaches a certain point, the Koi cannot survive and start dying, thus converting a kind act of overfeeding on the owner’s part, into the death of the Koi.

It is important to feed Koi the amount of food which they can easily consume within 3 to 5 minutes. Feeding them small quantities of food provides for improved absorption of nutrition in the body.