April 27

Sarah Robertson

Best Koi Fish Food Homemade Recipes

Koi fish, which are available in a variety of colors and designs, are gaining popularity as a choice for backyard ponds. They are attractive, and they give any place a touch of class. While they are hardy, they still require some care to thrive.

This starts with the right koi food. One of the most essential components in raising koi fish is to have a healthy environment as well as an adequate understanding of how to feed them. koi fish food homemade diet is a great way to ensure that your fish are getting the best possible diet.

There are some commercial foods for koi fish available in the market, but you can also make your own. The best koi food is one that is tailor-made for your fish. The type of food you provide them will depend on their age, size, and activity level.

There are a few things that you should know about koi fish food before you begin making it yourself. The first is that koi fish are omnivores, which means that they will eat both plants and animals.

This means that their diet can be fairly diverse. The second thing to know is that koi fish will eat both live and processed foods. The third important factor is that koi fish need a balanced diet in order to stay healthy. In this article, we will provide you with some recipes for healthy and balanced koi fish food.

What Do Koi Fish Eat? 

Koi fish are omnivores that have a strong digestive system. As long as you offer them natural items that they can swallow, they will consume pretty much any type of food you feed them.

Koi fish eat algae, insects that land on the water's surface, leaves and other plant detritus, and even animal feces in the wild. You may provide a wide range of foods to Koi while they are in captivity. They'll eat fruits and vegetables, as well as carbohydrate-rich meals like bread, rice, and cereal. They'll even consume tiny protein sources like shrimp or shredded chicken chunks.

Finally, just as people, Koi require a balanced diet that includes carbs and proteins in addition to a little fat. You'll want to make sure that their staple diet contains all the nutrients they need to thrive.

Benefits of Making Your Own Koi Fish Food 

Before you start making your own koi fish food, it is important to understand the benefits of doing so. The following are some of the key benefits of homemade koi fish food:

  • You can customize the diet to fit the specific needs of your fish.
  • It is less expensive than commercial koi foods. Even further savings may be made by utilizing your own food waste, such as fruit and vegetable peels, that you would normally throw away or compost.

  • It's organic, which implies it has more nutrients than processed meals. Fresh ingredients are used rather than manufactured food that has been sitting on a shelf or in a box for a long time

  • You have control over the quality of the ingredients that go into your koi fish food. This is especially important if you want to ensure that your fish are getting a balanced diet.

  • You can make a large batch of koi fish food and store it in the fridge or freezer, which can save you time and money in the long run.

Nutritious Ingredients for Koi Fish

Essential Nutritious Ingredients for Koi Fish 

When deciding which components to add to your own fish food, remember the nutritional requirements of koi. Your koi's diet should be about 35% to 40 percent protein content and supplemented with fruits and vegetables for additional important vitamins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Peas, squash, spinach, citrus fruits, broccoli greens, raspberries, and watermelon are some good options.

Carbohydrate Sources 

Carbohydrate sources are an excellent method to add fiber, protein, and vitamins, as well as minerals, to your koi's diet. Protein content intake should decline as the season progresses and temperatures drop, while carb consumption should rise to give much-needed fast energy in the winter.

Some of the carbohydrate foods include oat bran, wheat germ, bread, Cheerios, and other dry cereals. Fruit is a good carbohydrate source. To avoid liver damage, keep your koi's diet low in carbohydrates (less than 10%). Cheerios and other starchy foods are to be avoided as staples since they're extremely starch-rich.

Protein Content Sources

Koi are adapted to readily digest plant-based proteins and can be fed alongside natural animal protein content, like bloodworms and shrimp, for a complete supply of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Soybeans, spirulina, and wheat germ are all excellent plant-based protein sources for koi; shrimp, krill, and insects are examples of preferred animal-based proteins that may be purchased fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried. They are all high in Omega-3 fatty acids, making them a good choice for keeping your koi healthy and shiny.

Fats, Vitamins, and Mineral

Lipids (or fat content) have double the energy of protein or carbohydrates, as well as essential fatty acids that help promote healthy growth, prevent deformities and skin problems, and support good pigmentation.

Fat content should make up approximately 5 to 10% of your koi's diet and can be found in linseed oil (flaxseed) or fish oil, although linseed oil is preferable since it includes all of the essential fatty acids required by koi - linolenic acid and linoleic acid.

If you want to keep your koi in an outdoor pond, increase the number of lipids by a few percent as you approach fall and winter. Koi also require different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, C, A, D, and K as well as iron, copper, magnesium, and other nutrients. These nutrients can only be obtained via eating food because they are not absorbed from the water like other minerals.

Koi Fish Food Homemade Recipes

As mentioned, there are a variety of fish meal recipes that you can use to make your own koi food. A few of them are listed below.

All-purpose Koi Veggie Formula

This is the best food for koi fish if you are looking forward to including veggies and grains in your koi's diet. It can be fed to them as a staple diet or used as a supplement.


  • 4 cups of any type of vegetable scraps, like carrot peels, zucchini peels, etc.
  • 1 cup of dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until everything is chopped up finely.
  • Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  • Let the food cool and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

The vegetable used in this recipe is rich in carotenoids, which are beneficial for koi's health and promote good coloration. Oatmeal and wheat germ is a good sources of carbohydrates and protein content, while the cooking oil provides fatty acids that are essential for koi.

Homemade Koi Paste

Homemade Koi Paste 

This koi paste food is a high-nutrient; protein-rich food that can be used as a primary or supplementary feed. It's best consumed in the summer when water temperatures are at their peak.


  • ½ cup cooked or frozen peas, peeled
  • ¼ cup krill
  • 1 fresh orange or 1/2 cup of orange juice (the amount of juice can be adjusted)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/8 cup linseed oil
  • 1-2 heaping tablespoons of gelatin powder


  • Remove the peas from their pods and place them in a blender or food processor. Add the krill, orange, sweet potato, linseed oil, and gelatin powder. Blend until everything is a smooth paste.
  • Pour the mixture into a container and freeze it for several hours or overnight.
  • Thaw it before feeding to your koi. You can also store it in the fridge and feed it to your koi over a few days.

The peas in this dish include plant protein content, carbohydrates, vitamins K, manganese, copper, and vitamin C as well as fiber. Krill is high in protein content and has omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants that help prevent disease and sickness.

Fresh oranges can provide your koi with vitamin C and a few quick carbohydrates, as well as zest and flavor. Sweet potatoes will also give carbohydrates, may assist enhance color, and are high in thermostable vitamins.

Homemade Koi Pellets

This homemade pond fish food recipe is best during the winter season. Koi fish food pellets can be custom-made to include all the nutrients your koi needs.


  • ½ cup cooked broccoli or spinach
  • ¼ cup carrots
  • ¼ cup spirulina
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup krill


  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until everything is well combined.
  • Roll the mixture into sample size balls and then flatten them into pellets.
  • Store the pellets in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • When you are ready to feed them to your koi, thaw them for a few minutes before dropping them into the pond.
  • In the winter, a teaspoon or so of garlic can be added to help repel parasites. Fresh garlic cloves should be used and crushed, as doing so will release allicin, the enzyme in garlic that is commonly utilized to treat parasites.

All of the essential requirements for koi are included in this simple fish meal! Broccoli greens and spinach provide a variety of vitamins (such as A, B2, C, and K) as well as fiber, folate, and beta carotene. Carrots contain antioxidants that help to naturally enhance color.

Spirulina is blue-green algae that have all of the essential fatty acid chains and eight amino acids, as well as being a natural plant-based protein source. The wheat germ will also add plant proteins to the mixture, helping to hold it together. If you want to use this feed in the summer when koi are more active, you can omit the krill, as they tend to become more sluggish in warmer water.

Homemade Recipes

Things to Avoid 

Koi are voracious eaters. They'll eat just about anything they can get their mouths on, including fruits and vegetables. However, there are a few foods to avoid while offering your koi since they may have harmful consequences on their health.

Do not feed them:

  • Processed foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, or chips
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, or ice cream
  • Loaves of bread or cereals
  • Fatty foods like french fries, bacon, or fried chicken
  • Spoiled or rancid foods like fish heads, rotten fruit, or old vegetables
  • Algae tablets or wafers

These are all unhealthy for koi and can cause problems such as swim bladder issues, poor skin quality, and digestion problems. It is best to stick to a balanced diet of homemade koi foods, pellets, fresh or frozen food, and a sample size of live food. This will provide them with all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy!

Koi Feeding Tips

Feed your fish four times a day, if possible. Only offer them as much as they can consume in about five minutes.

  • Avoid feeding your koi fish before storms. Fish need more oxygen when digesting food. When it rains, oxygen levels in the air dip down, so you can see why it's a bad koi fish feeding time.
  • Your little koi fish will need to eat koi flake food or tiny koi food. Larger koi fish prefer pebble food. This will help them grow to their potential.
  • Your koi fish prefer more carbohydrate-rich foods early in the spring and late in the fall while protein is better in early summer when mating is in the air (er, pond).
  • Koi fish can go all winter without eating because their metabolism slows to a crawl. Therefore, make sure the little food they eat contains enough nutrition to sustain their health.
  • The amount of food you put in the water will determine how fast it decomposes and fouls the water. So, don't overdo it!
  • When introducing new food to your fish, do so gradually over a period of seven to ten days, mixing the old and new foods together. This will minimize the chances of your fish developing any digestive problems.
  • Don't feed your fish during winter if their water temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit because it can cause health problems.
  • Koi fish feeding is not recommended if your pump breaks because your koi need oxygen to digest their food.


Koi Food for Fast Growth

How Do You Make Koi Food for Fast Growth? 

A large, warm habitat and a high-quality diet might help your koi develop more quickly. However, regardless of how much care you offer, the growth and size of the fish are primarily determined by genetics. While they continue to grow for the most part of their life span, the majority of their development occurs while they are youngsters.

What to Feed Baby Koi? 

They can be fed a variety of foods. Brine shrimp are an excellent example. You may fill your freezer with many different brands of powdered fish flakes, freeze-dried krill, frozen daphnia cubes, and koi pellets. Many people also utilize a popular chicken egg recipe for the first few days after delivery.

How Does Food Affect Koi Fish Color?

Vitamins in the diet influence the pigments on Koi scales, which then have an impact on your fish's hue. Vitamins A, C, and E are essential for the color of your Koi fish. Giving your fish enough carotenoids can even help to turn white spots pink. Don't anticipate a new diet to instantly change the hue of your fish, though.

Because many commercial Koi foods include a variety of carotenoids, red is by far the most readily changed color among Koi species.

How to Choose Koi Food to Maximize Health, Growth, and Color? 

Choosing the appropriate food for your Koi is an important part of optimizing their health, development, and color. Although there are many types of food on the market, a lot of the low-cost foods do not have the correct ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, nutrients, and vitamins to help your fish grow to its peak potential.

There are 2 essential additives in Koi food to keep an eye out for:-

  • Spirulina- It is a kind of algae that contains a lot of carotenoids vitamins, which may help your Koi's color become more vibrant. It can also help provide protein and essential fatty acids that are beneficial to Koi health. However, excessively feeding your koi Spirulina may cause their color to become too red and white spots to turn pink.
  • Wheat germ oil- Another frequent additive is wheat germ oil, a type of fish oil that has high amounts of fats and oils. It gives your Koi a bright sheen because it is rich in fats and oils. Because wheat germ oil is heavy in fat content, it's frequently used to grow Koi so they have enough energy to achieve their full body size.

What Are the Factors That Affect Koi Feeding? 

There are a variety of reasons why you should feed your Koi, including their age, body size, and season. These fish are always developing and their nutritional needs vary based on the water and weather conditions.

  • Size Of the Fish
    The mouth and digestive tract of your Koi are determined by its size. As a result, tiny fish will require smaller fish meal pellets and bigger fish will require greater food pellets. Most fish will do well with tiny sinking pellets that are 3/32" in diameter or less, as a general guideline. Larger fish, such as those longer than four inches, will have more favorable eating habits if they eat floating pellets with a diameter of 3/16 inches. You should use pellets with a diameter of ¼” or greater if you’re Koi are 8 to 10 inches long or longer.
  • Season matters
    The amount of carbohydrates versus proteins your Koi require in their diet varies with the temperature of your Koi pond. In the winter, when the water is cold, your Koi will need a diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in proteins. In the summer, when the water is warm, your Koi will need a diet that has more protein and fewer carbohydrates. In the fall and spring, when temperatures are moderate or fluctuating, offer your Koi a combination of carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Water Temperature
    The temperature of the water in your Koi pond also impacts their eating habits. When the water temperature is colder than about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, carbohydrate-rich diets are advised. Protein-rich foods are preferable when the temperature is greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can mix carbohydrates and proteins to suit the needs of your Koi at temperatures in between.
  • Age of the Fish
    When your Koi are young, they will need a diet that is high in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As they grow older, the diet of your pond fish should become more balanced with a focus on quality over quantity.
What Is the Proper Way to Feed Koi Fish

What Is the Proper Way to Feed Koi Fish?

Any larger foods should be cut into bite-size pieces. One handful should be thrown in the pond. The koi can eat as much as they want before the next handful is added. Any food still remaining in the pond must be removed. It won't break down and pollute the water this way.

What Can I Feed My Koi Besides Fish Food?

What can I feed my fish besides fish food or, in other words, what human food can koi fish eat? This is a frequently asked question. Koi can be fed almost everything that people can eat. Shrimp, fruit, veggies, and other things that aren't high in carbohydrates are examples of foods you may offer them besides fish foods.

How Do You Make the Best Koi Food? 

To make the best koi food always remembers to balance the proteins, carbs, and fat content in the recipe. You may also want to add vitamins and minerals to the food to ensure your koi are getting all of the nutrients they need. Always know what they need to eat to maintain their color and health.

Can Koi Fish Eat Rice?

Yes, koi fish can eat rice. In fact, they can eat most human food. However, it is best not to feed them a diet that is too high in carbohydrates as this can lead to health problems.

Does Koi Like Live Food?

Koi will usually enjoy a variety of live foods, such as earthworms. Earthworms are high in protein and quickly become a favorite food. You can also offer them other live foods, such as insects or small fish.

What Is the Best Live Food for Koi Fish? 

Mealworms, crickets, and earthworms are just a few of the easy live foods that your koi will enjoy. Small crustaceans, insect larvae, and a variety of other worms are also favorites of your fish. Live shrimp, bloodworms, silkworm pupae, and even tadpoles can make an excellent addition to your koi's diet.

Wrapping Up 

Koi fish are a popular choice for hobbyists and those looking for beautiful backyard fish. They come in a wide range of colors, and many people enjoy breeding them to see the different results.

However, like any other fish, koi need food to stay alive and healthy. The best koi fish food will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your fish, the water temperature, and what type of pond or tank you have.

Making koi fish food homemade is a fantastic method to ensure that your fish get all of the nutrients they require. Because the nutrition you give to your koi affects their health and appearance, be sure to seek Koi food that has proper carbohydrate, protein, nutrient, and vitamin ratios to help them develop up to their full potential.

Offer your fish a combination of carbohydrates and proteins at moderate or fluctuating temperatures. Now that you know how to make the best koi food, you can be sure that your fish will thrive.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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