Top 10 Best Koi Foods For Stunning Color & Enhanced Growth

If you love spending time admiring your Koi, you will also want to ensure you are giving them the best Koi food possible. The right diet, combined with a thriving aquascape, will help bring out their natural colors and keep them thriving for years to come.

Ensuring your Koi are getting precisely what they need from their diet is critical to their growth, their overall health, and keeping their energy levels high.

Once you have found the right food for your Koi, we recommend reading our guide on developing a healthy feeding regiment.

Understanding when, why, and how to feed your Koi during different times of the year will help maintain their color, promote healthy growth, and keep your Koi from developing sickness that can quickly overtake your pond or tank.

10 Best Koi Foods & Koi Food Reviews

To save you time, money, and the frustration of buying the wrong food only to realize it when it’s too late, we have looked through hundreds of different Koi food recipes. Each of the best that we have found is broken down below.

Keeps water clean - one of the best
  • Promote Bealutiful And A Healthy Growth
  • One Of The Best Premium Koi Foods Available
Designed to enhance Beautiful koi color
  • One Of The Best Koi Food Brands Available Today
  • Rich In Fats And Carbohydrates
Great Koi Food - Highly Digestable
contains vitamins, minerals and pre-biotics - high quality
  • Best Food For Your Pond Fish
  • Makes Your Fish Grew Bigger, Faster And Have Brilliantly Beautiful Colors
warm weather food - good quality
  • Excellent Color-Enhancing Food
  • Less Mess, Less Waste And Less Cloudiness
  • Great Value
perfect floating food - best value
  • Ideal For All Seasons
  • A Highly Digestable Food
  • Make Your Fish Happy And Healthy
suitable for all seasons - high quality
  • Great And A High Protein Food
  • Easy Digestable Food
  • Great Size Or Small Koi
  • A Healthy Food That Contains Vitamins And Minerals
a 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Great Food For Your Koi And Any Other Fish In Your Pond
  • Easy Digestable Food
  • Healthy For Your Fish
provides excellent color enhancement - Highly rated koi food
  • Great Food And Excellent Color Enhancement
  • Works Great In Colder Temperatures
The best for the growth, health and performance
  • Perfect For Small Or Growing Fish
  • Nutrionally Balanced Diet

1. Shinju White Pearl Koi Food - Keeps water clean

Highlights

  • Promote Bealutiful And A Healthy Growth
  • One Of The Best Premium Koi Foods Available

Shinju White Pearl is one of the best premium koi foods available and, in our opinion, the best Koi food for growth you can find. Shinju White Pearl is full of vitamins and minerals while maintaining a healthy balance of protein to fats and carbohydrates.

If you are looking for food that your Koi can eat year-round, the Shinju White Pearl is an excellent example of a balanced diet. Added wheat germ helps keep your Koi’s color shining while strengthening their scales and preventing more common illnesses.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Minimal Byproducts Reduce Waste And Keep The Water Clean.
  • They Are Packed With Vitamins And Minerals.
  • Pellets Promote Healthy Growth.
  • All-Season Recipe Works Year-Round.

Cons

  • This Recipe Does Not Contain Spirulina.

2. Shinju Color Pearl Premium Koi Food - Designed To Enhance Beautiful Koi Color

Highlights

  • One Of The Best Koi Food Brands Available Today
  • Rich In Fats And Carbohydrates

Shinju Color Pearl started as a homemade koi food before Shinju began manufacturing it for sale to the masses. This recipe has been finely tuned to deliver healthy growth. It is also well-known for enhancing color, making it one of the best koi food brands available today.

Shinju Color Pearl features Spirulina as one of the main ingredients. Spirulina is proven to bring out reds and oranges in your fish while hardening scales. Like other Shinju recipes, their Color Pearl formulation contains high amounts of animal-based protein.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Excellent Source Of Spirulina.
  • Color Pearl Is Formulated With Animal-Based Proteins.
  • Rich In Fats And Carbohydrates.
  • Pellets Produce Minimal Waste With No Fillers.

Cons

  • Not An All-Season Food; Best For Colder Months.

Highlights

  • Water Is Cleaner
  • Colors Are Brighter

Hikari is another brand name that has taken Koi aquarists by storm. The Saki-Hikari Color Enhancing Floating Pellets are perfect for medium and large-sized ponds. Each bag is specially formulated to promote healthy growth while enhancing colors.

The recipe is easily digestible and assimilated, creating minimal waste.

Each pellet floats to help you monitor how much remains while keeping your filter clear of excess food.

Hikari All-Season is a warm water recipe that gives your Koi the nutrients they need when oxygen levels are low.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Aggressive Color Enhancing Formulation.
  • Contains High Levels Of Spirulina To Bring Out Natural Reds And Oranges In Koi.
  • Rich In Vitamins B12, Minerals, And Carotenoids That Promote Healthy Growth.
  • Small Pellets Do Not Break Up In The Water Or Sink.

Cons

  • Warm Weather Recipe; Not Good During Colder Months.
  • Hikari Requires A Gradual Introduction To Your Fish.

4. Dainichi Koi Premium Koi Food - Contains vitamins, minerals and pre-biotics

Highlights

  • Best Food For Your Pond Fish
  • Makes Your Fish Grew Bigger, Faster And Have Brilliantly Beautiful Colors

Dainichi Koi Food is a brand that has been around for decades. Dainichi's “Premium” line of foods is excellent for maintaining healthy growth and bright colors. Once you have your Koi’s diet established, adding Dainichi Premium will help guarantee nothing is lacking.

It can be fed to them by itself, or as a supplement. Loaded with prebiotics, vitamins, and the perfect blend of minerals. Each small 3.5mm pellet floats for natural foraging. The pellets contain a nutritional coating that helps aid digestion. Even the pickiest fish have

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Low Level Of Starches Prevents Swelling.
  • High Protein Content, Balanced With 5% Fat And Fiber.
  • Recipe Maintains Healthy Digestion And Lean Body Mass.
  • Includes Garlic To Help Ward Off Parasites.

Cons

  • Requires Smaller, More Frequent Feedings.
  • Dainichi Premium Is Generally Used To Supplement An Existing Diet.

5. TetraPond Koi Growt​​h Formula - Warm weather food

Highlights

  • Excellent Color-Enhancing Food
  • Less Mess, Less Waste And Less Cloudiness
  • great value

Since 1951, Tetra has been helping aquarists around the world maintain a healthy diet in their fish. TetraPond Koi Growth Formula shows that expertise and helps whether you’re brand new or highly-experienced.

It is packed with amino acids to promote a healthy metabolism. The TetraPond blend is perfect in water temperatures above 50 degrees.

 There are no added byproducts or fillers that end up as wasted “nutrition” going in one end and out the other. The entire pellet is full of vitamins and minerals, containing only what your Koi can use and need.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Each Stick Floats For Natural Foraging.
  • The Recipe Is Easy To Digest With Minimal Waste.

Cons

  • Not A Suitable Diet During Colder Months.
  • Water Temperature Must Be Above 50 Degrees.
  • You May Be Required To Switch To TetraPond Spring & Fall Diet As Temperature Drops.

6. Kaytee Koi Fish Food - Perfect Floating Food

Highlights

  • Ideal For All Seasons
  • A Highly Digestable Food
  • Make Your Fish Happy And Healthy

Kaytee Koi Fish Food is a good koi food that’s suitable for year-round use. As temperatures begin to drop and your Koi’s metabolism changes, the specific formulation helps aid digestion and keeps them active.

 Once the weather warms up, and you begin feeding them less, the recipe helps keep your koi from becoming sluggish and overweight. Added vitamins and minerals help promote vibrant colors, and the pellets are designed to be consumed by all of the fish in your pond, not just koi.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Suitable For All Species Of Fish, Including Koi.
  • Pellets Float Near The Surface For Natural Foraging.
  • Suitable For All Seasons And Weather Patterns.
  • Premium Blend Delivers Necessary Animal Fats And Vegetable Proteins.

Cons

  • Not Suitable For Water Temperatures Under 40 Degrees.
  • Smaller Pellets Require More Feedings.
  • Not The Most Flavorful Koi Food Available; Some Fish Might Reject It.

7. Blue Ridge Koi & Goldfish Growth Pellets - Suitable for all seasons

Highlights

  • Great And A High Protein Food
  • Easy Digestable Food
  • Great Size Or Small Koi
  • A Healthy Food That Contains Vitamins And Minerals

Blue Ridge is a relatively new company compared to Tetra, Hikari, and Shinju, but they are making a name for themselves. The Blue Ridge Premium Koi & Goldfish Growth Pellets are a great year-round food.

The Blue Ridge Premium blend has been formulated explicitly from a recipe that helps give smaller fish precisely what they need from their diet. The floating pellets are soft enough to aid in digestion without breaking up and causing issues with your filter.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • The All-Season Recipe Works Well Even In Colder Temperatures.
  • Softer, Smaller Pellets Are Excellent For Growing Fish.
  • Formulation Promotes Healthy Growth And Brings Out Natural Reds And Oranges.
  • A 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Backs It Through Blue Ridge.

Cons

  • Pellets Sink And Break Up Once They Become Saturated.
  • Fish Used To A Specific Diet Sometimes Rejects It.

Highlights

  • Great Food For Your Koi And Any Other Fish In Your Pond
  • Easy Digestable Food
  • Healthy For Your Fish

If you run a Koi food feeder in your pond, the Blue Ridge Platinum Balanced Koi & Goldfish Diet pellets are perfect. The pellets are various sizes to help all your fish eat, whether they are small, medium, or large-sized.

Each pellet contains a specific formulation of vitamins and minerals to boost your Koi’s immune system and stave off stress. Like Blue Ridge’s Premium blend, their Platinum blend offers the same 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Great For All Sizes And Species Of Pond Fish.
  • A Balanced Diet Works In Warm And Cold Weather.
  • They Are Infused With Vitamins And Minerals To Resist Waterborne Diseases.
  • Aids In Digestion And Helps Reduce Stress-Related Illness.

Cons

  • Not The Most Exceptional Choice For Fish Under 5” In Length.
  • Has A Short Shelf Life Compared To Other Koi Food.

9. Hikari Gold Koi Fish Food - Provides excellent color enhancement

Highlights

  • Great Food And Excellent Color Enhancement
  • Works Great In Colder Temperatures

Hikari Gold Koi Fish Food is a result of generations of farming, showing, and hand-raising koi. It’s formulated to meet the specific needs of growing fish, giving them a staple diet you can rely on for their first few years of life.

The recipe is designed to be a daily diet with no extra supplements needed.

Infused with specific vitamins and minerals, Hikari Gold promotes both great color and fantastic growth without creating sluggishness or overweight fish. Each pellet digests quickly with minimal waste production.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Formulated With Growing Fish In Mind.
  • Works Great For Colder Temperatures.
  • Helps Prevent Obesity And Resists Parasites.

Cons

  • Sometimes Rejected By Larger Fish.
  • Some Platinum Fish Turned A Pinkish Shade While On Hikari Gold.
  • Not A Resealable Package; Pay Attention To The Expiration Date.

10. Ultra Balance Koi Growth Formula - Best for growth, health and performance

Highlights

  • Perfect For Small Or Growing Fish
  • Nutrionally Balanced Diet

Even though Ultra Balance’s Koi Growth Formula is rated #10 on our list, you shouldn’t immediately disregard it. For smaller and growing Koi, this is a fantastic food that delivers ample amounts of vitamins, minerals, and required nutrients.

The recipe is formulated with a 40% protein, 5% fat, and 5% fiber mix, aiding in digestion, promoting natural colors, and help resist stress-related illnesses. As the weather and water temperatures warm up, Ultra Balance could become your go-to koi food for smaller fish.

Pro Tip


Pros

  • Great Warm Weather / Warm Water Recipe.
  • Formulated To Help Reduce Stress-Related Illnesses.
  • Perfect For Smaller, Growing Fish.
  • No Extra Supplements Or Probiotics Required.

Cons

  • Organic Ingredients Have A Shorter Shelf Life Than Other Brands.
  • Pellets Will Swell And Sink If You Feed Too Much Or Too Often.

How We Rated The Best Koi Foods

  1. better Growth

    We want to see your fish growing happy and healthy while thriving in their natural environment. The Koi foods we have recommended as “best” have specially formulated recipes that are dialed into what a Koi needs. They have also proven to help sustain maximum growth through both our reviews and reviews from other customers.

  2. stronger Colors

    A brightly-colored Koi is a healthy Koi. Since we love watching our Koi swim and interact with their environment, color-enhancing recipes are given top priority. We pay attention to the amount of Spirulina and wheat germ included in the recipe to ensure there is enough to bring out the natural color in your Koi, without creating large amounts of waste.

  3. Healthy Immune System

    A well-rounded Koi diet will include added vitamins, minerals, and necessary nutrients to help keep your Koi’s immune system at peak performance. In order to receive our recommendation, the foods must be rich in these vitamins and minerals, and the sources of the nutrients must be easy to digest.

  4. High Quality Protein

    Animal protein is the best source you can give to your Koi. Many manufacturers claim to use animal protein in their recipe but are, in reality, using animal byproducts. These byproducts do not have the same nutritional value as meat-based protein sources and should be avoided. We hesitate to recommend any food that contains byproducts over actual meat-based protein sources.

  5. High Quality Fat

    Fats are an essential part of your Koi’s diet. We ensure that any food we recommend contains fats from high-quality sources, such as fish and shrimp. Naturally occurring fats are easily digested and create less waste while giving your fish energy and reducing sickness. Depending on their dietary requirements, different percentages of fats will be required at different times.

  6. Vitamins and minerals

    Unless you are giving your Koi an all-natural diet that would sustain them in the wild, you will need a food that has added vitamins and minerals. We have recommended foods that contain ample amounts of these vitamins, minerals, and extra nutrients. This helps ensure that your Koi are receiving the same well-balanced diet they would receive outside of captivity.

  7. natural color enhancers

    There are certain naturally occurring ingredients that will help bring out the color in your Koi. These ingredients are added to high-quality foods in order to supplement your Koi’s diet. With these added supplements, your Koi will begin to shine brighter, with their reds, oranges, and whites being more pronounced.

  8. Minimal Byproducts

    Byproducts, such as fishmeal and even sawdust (in some cases), make up a significant portion of many food recipes. This is an unfortunate circumstance but is done to save the manufacturer money and generate more profits. We only recommend foods that contain minimal (to no) byproducts.

  9. Minimal Ash

    Ash in Koi food creates an excessive amount of waste. This waste will pollute the water and feed bacteria, in turn making your fish sick. Excess waste also taxes your filter and pump, requiring them to work harder to keep oxygen levels in the water high. We only recommend foods with little to no ash content.

Building An Effective Koi Feeding Routine

In general, you should plan on feeding your Koi fish at least three to four times each day. If you are not available to feed them this often, using an automatic feeder is a viable solution.

Koi will forage on their own in between meals. Feasting on small bugs and insects, plants, and algae, but you need to ensure they have enough solid food to promote healthy growth.

Ensuring you are giving your Koi the balanced diet they need relies on many different factors.

To help you understand what the fish require during any given period, we have broken down each of the factors below.

We listed each factor, along with the type of diet required during the specific temperature, water, and weather conditions.

  1. Seasonal Factors

  2. As the weather and seasons change, your Koi’s diet will change, too.

    Colder months slow their metabolism to a crawl, which means they do not need to eat nearly as often. However, when you do feed them in the colder months, you will want to ensure the diet they are getting is high in fats and carbohydrates.

    Fat stores will help them maintain the energy that carbohydrates give them to burn as energy.

    As the weather begins to warm, they will require additional protein with a lower percentage of fat and carbohydrates.

    Then, once the seasons reach their peak at the hottest and coldest points of the year, your Koi’s metabolism will begin to flip again. It’s around these temperatures that your Koi will save a majority of their energy, slow down, and not forage as often.

  3. ​temperature factors

  4. Warm, sunny weather will heat the water in your tank or pond, causing oxygen levels to drop. Warm water reduces the metabolism in your Koi, calling for a change in their diet.

    During the winter months, colder air will help oxygenate the water, causing your fish to burn more energy to stay active.

    The temperature of your water affects the type of food that you are giving to them. Warmer, less oxygenated water calls for more protein, while colder water calls for more fats and carbohydrates.

    During the rainy season, you will also need to pay attention to the oxygen levels in your water. If it has rained a lot, you will want to reduce the fats and carbohydrates, in favor of higher levels of protein.

  5. weather conditions

  6. Weather plays a significant role in Koi feeding habits. Depending on the weather, your Koi may digest faster or slower than average.

    It is highly advised to avoid feeding them heavy meals before an incoming storm. Before the storm, their metabolism will speed up. After the storm, however, their metabolism slows down.

    This back-and-forth can throw off their regular feeding schedule. It also causes Koi to be less active shortly after the storm, so the more substantial meal gets converted to fat instead of energy.

    Overweight fish tend to get sick more often, refuse more meals, and can cause issues with the rest of the fish in your pond.

    During the summer months, when oxygen levels in your water are lower, you will want to feed them a protein-rich diet. During winter months, and higher oxygen levels, a diet rich in carbohydrates and fats will keep their energy levels high.

  7. water quality

  8. Maintaining your water quality is critical to your Koi’s growth.

    To give you an idea, think about algae growth in your pond or tank. As algae grow near the surface, they will produce oxygen. However, when the algae die and sink to the bottom, they begin to starve the water of oxygen.

    Low-oxygen environments can stunt the growth of your koi.

    As microbes begin to feed on the dead algae, the bacteria will start to pull even more oxygen from the water. This requires you to keep a constant circulation in the water to avoid both, and the algae bloom and the microbes feeding on them.

    If your Koi are living in a low-oxygen environment, they will not eat as often. The combination of low oxygen levels and refusing food mean they do not grow nearly as quickly as they would in a thriving habitat.

  9. Required Supplements

  10. In hotter months, you want to feed your Koi a diet that is high in wheat germ, Spirulina, and krill.

    This diet will keep them from polluting the water while also ensuring they have ample amounts of energy to forage and maintain their body weight.

    During the colder months, you want to reduce the amount of protein they are receiving, in favor of a diet that is higher in carbohydrates.

    Koi become more active during the colder months due to the higher oxygen levels in the water and need the additional carbohydrates to burn as energy.

What Is The Best Koi Food In 2019?

This is a hard decision to make. With so many exceptional foods available, choosing the best is hard to do, even for us.

After extensive research, we have found that the two best Koi foods in 2019 are Shinju White Pearl and Shinju Color Pearl koi foods.

However, if you are on a tight budget, TetraPond Koi Growth Sticks and Blue Ridge Koi Pellets are both great alternatives.

Top Editor's Choice on Koi Food

SaleBestseller No. 1
Tetra 16485 Koi Vibrance Sticks Fish Food, 2.42 Pound
TetraPond - Misc.
$21.99 - $10.70 $11.29
SaleBestseller No. 2
TetraPond Koi Growth Food, 4.85 lb.
TetraPond - Misc.
$34.95 - $4.96 $29.99
SaleBestseller No. 3
SaleBestseller No. 4
TetraPond Spring & Fall Diet Floating Pond Sticks, 3.08-Pound
TetraPond - Misc.
$18.25 - $0.02 $18.23
Bestseller No. 5
Bestseller No. 6
Bestseller No. 7
Bestseller No. 8
Bestseller No. 9

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