For starters Koi are voracious eaters, consuming almost anything that comes their way, so it’s up to you as their caretaker to provide your fish with a balanced and nutritious diet.
You have the option of feeding a commercially available food, live insects, or a combination of both these items. In addition you can (and sometimes should) feed occasional treats, fresh foods and nutritional supplements.
Koi fish are omnivores, meaning that they will consume both plant and animal matter, and their prefence runs towards larvae and aquatic insects. Many Koi pond owners either minimize or do not include plant life in their ponds because of their desire to have the Koi themselves be the main focal point. Another reason they leave plants out of the equation is the enthusiasm with which Koi fish devour any edible in sight, often tipping over and destroying aquatic vegetation in the process!
So…if you are one of those who leave the plant life out of your pond you MUST provide your Koi with adequate nutrition. The most common and convenient type of Koi fish food is manufactured dry foods made especially for Koi. They come in many different forms including pellets, granules, tablets, chunks and flakes.
These products are easily stored, relatively inexpensive, easy to feed and contain sufficient nutrients. When deciding which type and size to feed you need to take into consideration the age and size of your fish and even the time of year. The best Koi fish food for the summer months will contain more protein than the foods you feed in the cooler months when your Koi are less active. It should go without saying that you will want to choose smaller size pellets for smaller and younger fish and larger pellets or chunks for larger fish.
Many Koi owners like to use additional supplements to enhance the colors of their fish. In theory this works but take into consideration that the red color pattens in Koi are determined genetically. If the red fades then supplementation will not restore it even though the supplement may contain the raw ingredients necessary for color enhancement. Supplements do improve the overall health of your Koi and do boost their immune systems.
Commercial Koi fish food preparations incorporate some supplementation into their recipes. However new and more effective products have been developed in powder form and can be mixed with your current Koi fish food. Just make sure you do your research and aren’t overfeeding any particular supplement as too much of even a good thing can be toxic to your fish! Particularly if you are leaving the vegetation out of your pond you will want to feed your Koi some fresh foods.
Many fresh foods supply vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind that these Koi fish foods are meant to be offered as occasional treats and not included as dietary staples. The following are some fresh foods you can offer your Koi:
* Lettuce: Lettuce is an excellent treat for Koi fish. You can begin serving lettuce by shredding the leaves and letting them float in the pond. After a few weeks you can put in a whole head of lettuce and watch your Koi enjoy tearing off the pieces on their own. I recommend Romaine or Leaf lettuce as these contain more in the way of nutrition than ordinary iceberg lettuce. Once all the leaves have been eaten remove all the remaining pieces from the pond water.
* Oranges: Oranges are another favorite Koi fish food. They are high in Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and also helps lower stress levels. These can be served by cutting them into segments and putting them into your pond with the rind intact. The Koi will rip away the flesh, leaving the rind behind. As soon as your fish are done eating make sure you remove any leftover remnants.
* Prawns: Koi consider prawns a delicacy and they are also a good source of protein. Since they are high in protein they should only be fed in the summer months when your fish require a higher protein Koi fish food for extra energy and can digest the protein more efficiently.
* Garlic: Koi adore garlic and will consume almost anything that is covered with it. You can use a coating of garlic to entice your Koi to eat out of your hand. Finally, you should consider adding insects and larvae to your Koi fish food repertoire. If you do decide to offer your Koi insects then mealworms, soft-shelled crickets, bloodworms, blackworms, waxworms and tubifex worms are all suitable.
Feed them sparingly, and don’t feed them at all unless you can guarantee they are from a pesticide-free environment. As with prawns it is best to feed these higher protein treats only during the summer months.
Even though there is such a wide selection I hope this article has helped answer the question: “What is the best Koi fish food”?