Koi are omnivorous feeders. They feed on aquatic insects, algae, plants, and commercial pellets. As growth and color are the most important features of domesticated Koi Fish, diet holds major significance in their care routine.
While you may feed your Koi Fish live/frozen worms and insects from the nearest pet store, they don’t fulfill omnivorous species’ need for fiber and carbohydrates. Therefore, commercial options with occasional live treats are the best alternative to maximize growth and enhance color in your Koi Fish.
In this article, we’ll review 8 commercial food products specifically made to cater to Koi Fish and discuss a few points you may like to consider before buying a different product.
Table of Contents
8 Best Koi Food for Growth and Color Enhancing
Developed through years of Koi research, the Dainichi Koi Food can be considered a staple for your Koi fish pond. In addition to providing excellent color enhancement, it allows easier ingestion and digestion. You may also mix it with other growth-enhancing pellets like Saki-Hikari Growth to maximize its potential.
- Enriched With Vitamin and Minerals
Hikari Gold is enriched with additional vitamins and minerals after preparation. The process ensures the retention of those nutrients.
- Active Digestive Enzymes
Active digestive enzymes promote up to 90% digestion rate and better fish health—reducing infections and weakened immune systems.
- Contains Montmorillonite Clay
Montmorillonite Clay offers improved color, better digestion, and stronger antibacterial activity in Koi fish. A study even argues about its ability to replace minerals from the nutrient requirements.
- All-Season Formula
The Dainichi formula can be fed to your Koi fish all around the year. However, don’t feed your Koi fish if it’s below 40F.
- Great for larger Koi Fish above 12 inches.
- The Gold variant enhances color and growth.
- Doesn’t disintegrate automatically or cloud the water.
- Made for adolescent Koi and isn’t suitable for juvenile fish.
Dainichi Koi Food - All-Season is the best Koi food for adolescent fish.
Made especially for ponds and Koi fish, the API POND COOL WATER FOOD is designed to make digestion easier and absorption better. 25% crude protein and whole fish meal makes API POND one of the most impressive foods for Koi fish. The product is advised to use only when the temperature is between 41 – 65F, or during the colder months.
- High Protein Utilization
As mentioned, API POND consists of 25% crude protein, especially whole menhaden fish meal. This promotes better growth and enhanced colors.
- Designed for Colder Water
Koi fish subject themselves to a reduced metabolism in the winter. API Pond Cool Water particularly focuses on colder temperature pellets.
- Rich in Digestible Carbohydrates
Easily digestible carbs are used as one of the main ingredients in this product. It also promotes easier energy generation and reduces parasites.
- Reduces Ammonia Production
Being dependent on carbs, it’s natural for your Koi fish to produce less ammonia than other protein-rich diets.
- Works pretty well as a cool water food alternative. Easy to swallow and digest for Koi Fish.
- It enhances Koi’s color and keeps the tank clean. It’s also hard enough to not disintegrate.
- Pretty hard and large for juvenile Koi to eat.
RemarksAPI POND COOL WATER FOOD is the best Koi Fish food for colder climates.
Produced with nature’s building blocks (essential nutrients) and focusing on easy digestion, the MICROBE-LIFT is a great Koi food alternative for those who love to see their Koi in pristine conditions. This floating pellet, while may be a bit expensive, is made for almost every season. It also contains additional protein for growth and color enhancement.
- Contains Six Essential nutrients
Proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water are the 6 essential nutrients required for your Koi to thrive. The Microbe-Lift ensures the inclusion of these materials and promotes a stronger immune system.
- Balanced Diet for Koi Fish
Koi are omnivorous and careless eaters. Therefore, it becomes necessary to provide them with proper plant and animal nutrition. This product ensures a balanced delivery of the proper diet.
- Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C metabolizes collagen and increases bone density in Koi fish. Therefore, it’s critical for the long, healthy lifespan of your fish.
- Keeps Water clean and healthy
The larger pellets don’t disintegrate easily and don’t create ammonia and clouding agents.
- Doesn’t cloud water or make Koi ponds smell bad.
- Enhances color in long-term usage.
- Suitable for warmer climates
- Pricing is on the higher side.
RemarksMICROBE-LIFT is the best floating Koi fish food with essential nutrients.
Produced with easy digestibility and lower metabolism of Koi fish during colder months in mind, the Laguna Spring & Fall Floating food comes in pellet form for better palatability. The added yeast in the product promotes better gut health and overall well-being. Moreover, being easily digestible, it doesn’t cloud the water.
- Added Wheat Germ
Wheat germ meal is added to the Laguna Spring & Fall Food to compensate for the lowered metabolism and digestive capabilities of the Koi fish during colder months.
- Added Canthaxanthin Color
For better colors and more vibrancy, Canthaxanthin is added to the Koi food. It’s a natural dye that helps Koi get enhanced color.
- Contains 28% Protein
The high protein content, paired with increased digestibility, makes Laguna a premium product in the Koi food segment.
- Added Folic Acid and Vitamins
Koi fish can’t synthesize vitamin C and often show folic acid deficiency symptoms. Laguna consists of both these ingredients to help your Koi grow better and live healthier.
- Smaller pellets for small Koi fish.
- Easily digestible and suitable for relatively colder months of spring and fall.
- The pellets are quite small to satisfy adult Koi fish.
RemarksLaguna Spring & Fall Floating Food is the best koi fish food with wheat germ and folic acid.
One of the most premium brands in the Koi food segment, the Blue Ridge Platinum Pro is made for adult pond fish. It enhances color, strengthens the immune system, and maximizes the growth rate of the maturing Koi Fish. It also comes in a sealed tight container for prolonged freshness. Moreover, the product is available in up to 50 lb jars for larger ponds.
- Primalac Probiotic Immune Stimulant
Containing a special blend of vitamins and minerals, paired with probiotics, the Blue Ridge Platinum Pro helps Koi fish keep the viral and bacterial diseases away.
- Added Spirulina and Canthaxanthin
Organically sourced Spirulina and Canthaxanthin help your Koi fish grow better and have enhanced color. Canthaxanthin is a natural dye that gives carrots their natural orange color.
- Top Quality Amino Acids
Amino acids required for Koi growth, such as Arginine, Histidine, and others, are added to the pellets to make them more potent for your fish.
- Large 3/16” pellets
The pellets are large enough to be gulped down by comparatively larger Koi fish but aren’t suitable for juveniles. They do have a smaller option for baby Koi fish, though.
- Designed specifically for adolescent and adult Koi fish.
- Keeps Koi in top show conditions.
- Enhances color and prevents sickness.
- The large pellets aren’t suitable for juvenile Koi fish.
RemarksBlue Ridge Platinum Pro is the best Koi fish food to prevent sickness and keep them in show condition.
Also Read: What Do Starfish Eat?
With a high percentage of animal and vegetable protein, the Kaytee Koi’s Choice can be used in all weather conditions above 41 F. While it can be fed to Kois of any age range, the pellets can be a bit large for juvenile Koi if not soaked enough. However, it rapidly soaks and sinks to make the water a bit cloudy.
- Enhances Color and Promotes Health
Numerous vitamin supplements, whole fish meal, and soybean meal enhance color and promote health in your pond Koi fish.
- Highly Digestible Food
The inclusion of wheat germ meal helps your Koi digest the food better even in colder temperatures.
- Suitable for All Seasons
Kois shouldn’t be fed below 40 degrees F. They go through a form of hibernation during these times. Except that, Kaytee Koi’s Choice can be fed to them in any season.
- 35% Protein Content
With 35% protein content and 5% crude fat, this Koi food maximizes growth and immunity.
- Floating fish food. Doesn’t disintegrate or sink.
- Enhances Koi’s color and prepares for shows.
- Contains fish meal.
- Can make your tank dirty if overused.
RemarksKaytee Koi's Choice is the best all-season Koi fish food.
Formulated to fulfill both the vibrancy aspirations and basic dietary needs of your Koi, the TetraPond Variety Blend has the potential to replace all the different Koi foods for different purposes. You can feed these pellets throughout all the seasons, including spring and fall. It also softens pretty quickly to help in ingestion and digestion.
- Easy to Digest Soft Sticks
The mixture of wheat germ meal, corn flour, and fish meal makes the easy-to-ingest sticks more digestible. As stomachs are absent in Koi fish, it’s essential for the Koi food to be more digestible in colder months.
- Unique Blend of Various Diets
The balanced mix of basic dietary sticks, Koi Vibrance, and Spring and Fall Diet, makes TetraPond Variety Blend one of the most complete products in the market.
- Promotes Clear Water
The sticks are soft and easy to digest. As long as you don’t overfeed, it’ll not cloud the water. Maintain a feeding routine to avoid wastage or overfeeding.
- Contains Stabilized Vitamin C
Vitamin C deficiency is a common issue among Koi fish, as they can’t synthesize it. Similar to most TetraPond pellets, this product also contains stabilized Vitamin C for growth and health.
- Contains fiber for efficient digestion.
- Soft stick pellets ensure easy ingestion.
- The pellets are a bit larger for smaller Koi fish.
RemarksTetraPond Variety Blend is the best Koi fish food for all seasons.
Made specifically to enhance Koi color and to be used in conjunction with high-quality Koi food, Tetra Koi Vibrance sticks bring out the vibrant red, yellow, and orange of these ornamental fish. However, Koi Vibrance is a summer food product and shouldn’t be fed to your Koi fish during spring and fall.
- Soft sticks for easy ingestion
The sticks get soft rapidly after soaking in water. This helps your Koi fish ingest them easily and take the most in during their feeding time.
- Enhances Color and Vibrance
Koi Vibrance consists of Beta-carotene and Canthaxanthin that enhance the yellow, red, and orange of your Koi fish. These ingredients give vegetables like carrots their natural color.
- Suitable for Warmer Seasons
This Koi food is only suitable for temperatures above 50 degrees F. Consider other easily digestible food for springs and falls.
- Contains Stabilized Vitamin C
Koi fish often experience Vitamin C deficiency because of their inability to synthesize it. Just like the majority of TetraPond pellets, this particular product also includes stabilized Vitamin C to support their growth and overall well-being.
- It keeps the water clean and doesn’t easily disintegrate.
- Ziplock bag.
- The zipper quality could’ve been a bit better.
RemarksTetra Koi Vibrance Sticks Fish Food is the best warmer climate Koi fish food.
Also Read: Is My Koi Fish Pregnant? Signs And Care Guide
Depending on your requirements, numerous other Koi fish food options are available to choose from in both online and offline markets. Navigating the cryptic features and ingredients of these products can often get pretty overwhelming.
In response, we’ve compiled a list of variables that we considered as the basis of this best Koi food review.
Koi fish stay dormant and essentially in a state of hibernation during the colder months. They don’t move around much or eat during the winters when the water temperature is below 40 degrees F.
Similarly, during spring and fall, their metabolism slows down, and their digestive capabilities reduce to a great extent. Highly digestible Koi fish food should be fed during these months.
In summer, focus on enhancing their color and growth by falling back on products with high protein, fat, and vitamin content.
Fish Size Suitability
Larger pellets can be challenging for juvenile Koi fish to ingest and baby pellets often prove to be insufficient for adult Koi. Depending on the average fish size in your pond, choose the optimum pellet size.
Most experienced aquarists refrain from keeping differently-sized Koi fish in the same pond because the larger Koi tend to get most of the food and nutrition. In most cases, the smaller ones remain smaller without personalized care.
A few common Koi fish ingredients and their contribution to growth and color enhancement are:
- Fish Meal: High-quality protein that provides essential amino acids, such as Histidine and Arginine, for Koi growth.
- Wheat Germ: A source of carbohydrates and contains vitamins and minerals. It is often used in koi food to increase digestibility during spring and fall.
- Soybean Meal: Another source of protein and amino acids. It helps your Koi fish maintain muscle structures and get energy.
- Spirulina: A type of blue-green algae. Spirulina enhances the red and blue colors in Koi fish.
- Wheat Flour: Used as a binder in Koi food. This helps to form sticks that are easy for Koi to consume. This usually doesn’t have any contribution towards your Koi’s growth.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals are often included in Koi food to ensure a balanced diet.
- Prebiotics and Probiotics: Some Koi foods contain prebiotics and probiotics to support your koi’s digestive system.
While the popular products are preferred by most Koi fish, there is no guarantee that your Koi will accept them all. It takes a few cycles of trial and error to determine the best choice for your Koi pond.
Consider getting a trial pack whenever available before committing to the larger options. You may also need to mix multiple products or buy a blended solution to feed all your Koi fish in the pond.
Also Read: What Are The Best Fish For Your Ponds?
Choose the best Koi food by judging the ingredients, seasonal requirements, and fish size compatibility. The preference of your fish should also be a priority when choosing Koi food.
Koi can’t digest more than 35% protein in one pass. However, feeding more than that doesn’t cause harm as they just pass the excess nutrients.
Shrimp, mosquito larvae, and mealworms can be given as treats to your Koi Fish.
The Bottom Line
We’ve reviewed the 8 best Koi foods available online and have prepared a buying guide for you. Hopefully, you’ll now be able to feed your Koi a balanced diet during both warmer and colder months without any issues.