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.
1. Shinju White Pearl Koi Food - Keeps water clean
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.
- 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.
- This Recipe Does Not Contain Spirulina.
2. Shinju Color Pearl Premium Koi Food - Designed To Enhance Beautiful Koi Color
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.
- Excellent Source Of Spirulina.
- Color Pearl Is Formulated With Animal-Based Proteins.
- Rich In Fats And Carbohydrates.
- Pellets Produce Minimal Waste With No Fillers.
- Not An All-Season Food; Best For Colder Months.
3. Hikari Saki All-Season Growth Koi Food - Highly Digestable
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.
- 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.
- 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
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
- 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.
- Requires Smaller, More Frequent Feedings.
- Dainichi Premium Is Generally Used To Supplement An Existing Diet.
5. TetraPond Koi Growth Formula - Warm weather food
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.
- Each Stick Floats For Natural Foraging.
- The Recipe Is Easy To Digest With Minimal Waste.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- Pellets Sink And Break Up Once They Become Saturated.
- Fish Used To A Specific Diet Sometimes Rejects It.
8. Blue Ridge Platinum Balanced Koi & Goldfish Diet - 100% satisfaction guarantee
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- Formulated With Growing Fish In Mind.
- Works Great For Colder Temperatures.
- Helps Prevent Obesity And Resists Parasites.
- 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
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.
- Great Warm Weather / Warm Water Recipe.
- Formulated To Help Reduce Stress-Related Illnesses.
- Perfect For Smaller, Growing Fish.
- No Extra Supplements Or Probiotics Required.
- 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
Healthy Immune SystemA 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.
natural color enhancersThere 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.