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What Kind of Fish Food Should I Be Feeding My Koi? – Water Garden & Feature Q & A


A Family of Koi Posing for a Picture.

Water Gardens & Features Q & A

Q: What kind of food should I be feeding my pond fish? – Jamie of Florida

A: One of the greatest joys of keeping koi or goldfish in a decorative pond is mealtime. When it’s time for the fish’s daily dose of food, they’ll swim right to shore and seem to beg for those tasty morsels!

Of course you want to provide your finned friends with a diet that’s healthful, but choosing one can be a challenge. Food makers have formulated all sorts of blends for difference purposes. They’ve designed special fish foods for summer and spring/fall. Some are enriched with vitamins to enhance color. Some even come up with organic meals for fish owners who want to go eco-friendly with their ponds.

As omnivores, most pond fish, whether they’re koi, goldfish, comets or even mosquito-eating minnow, will eat both plant and protein matter. However, depending on the time of year, certain types of food are more easily digested than others. To help you decide which type of fish food to feed when, here’s a quick rundown of the different types available on the market today:

Wheat Germ-Based Foods: These wheat germ-based diets, such as Pond Logic Spring & Fall Fish Food, are packed with easy-to-digest plant matter and should be fed to fish during the fall and spring months when their metabolisms have slowed. As water temperatures cool, pond fish enter into a hibernation state and gradually stop eating for the
winter. Helping them ease them into and out of winter, these diets are gentle on their digestive systems while keeping their constitutions strong to fight off disease. Feed these spring and fall fish foods when the water temperature is between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Well-Balanced and Maintenance Foods: When water temperatures warm to 55 degrees or higher, you’ll want to change your fish’s diet to one that’s formulated for growth and maintenance. Some great well-balanced fish foods are Pond Logic Floating Ponstix if your feeling green you can choose Pond Logic Nature’s Blend Organic. These fish foods contain protein, minerals and vitamins to help the fish develop muscle as it becomes more active during the summer months. These foods are especially important if you have young or growing fish.

Color-Enhancing & Growth Foods: Color-enhancing foods bring out the color in your fish, making the reds more vibrant, the blacks deeper and the oranges richer. These unique protein and nutrient-filled diets can be fed throughout the summer months. Vitamins like Beta Glucan, Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid, along with chelated minerals and natural color intensifiers, make your fish’s color pop in the pond. These foods also include extra protein. This extra protein will help allow koi to grow at a faster rate. For Color-enhancing and Growth fish foods use Pond Logic Growth & Color or for the best of the best use Pond Logic Professional Growth, Health, & Color.

Besides feeding your fish a healthful, balanced diet, you may wish to supplement it with some treats, like fresh watermelon or lettuce. Not only will your fish gobble them down, but you’ll also be developing a closer relationship with them, and ensure they’ll follow you around the pond at mealtime!

POND TALK: What do you feed your fish?

6 Responses

  1. when the wife and i snip greenbeens we throw the ends in the pond. the koi and gold fish gobble them up. and we are careful not to throw any in with stems on them.

  2. I just switched my long-tailed comets from the long wheat-germ pellets to a round-pellet type and they are being wary and just sampling. Does it normally take a few days to get fish to accept something new?

    • Zeladoniac,

      There can be a transition phase going what one sized food to another. If they are familiar with a stick pellet instead of a round pellet it may seem different to them so they may, at first, just try it out to make sure its food. Within a few days or a week you shouldn’t have a problem.

  3. How small do pieces of treats such as lettuce and watermelon need to be chopped in order for pond fish to digest them?

    • Jamie,

      Since lettuce and watermelon are mostly made up of water, you really shouldn’t encounter a problem. However, if you are concerned, the chunks depend on the size of the fish. If you are feeding your current fish fish food the size of a #2 pencil eraser, then small chunks approximately that size are perfect.

      Hopefully this helps!
      Thanks for the question.

  4. Believe it or not, I feed my Koi cat food! I learned this trick a few years ago from Anderson Gardens in Rockford, IL. I have some Koi that are 18″ in length. They thrive very well on cat food and it is inexpensive to buy. Try it!

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