Last updated: August 8, 2021

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Welcome to our big koi food test 2021. Here we present all the koi foods that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the net.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best koi food for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying koi food.




Summary

  • Which koi food is the right one depends above all on your koi stock and the respective season.
  • The koi is always hungry and will eat anything. The size of your koi and the water temperature determine the optimal feed dosage.
  • When buying good koi food, you should pay particular attention to quality, ingredients and food size. Small koi need smaller food and will go empty if the treats are too big.

The Best Koi Food: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying koi food

What is good koi food?

Good koi food is characterised by a balanced composition of ingredients.

Koi food is composed of crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre and ash. The percentage composition of the individual components of koi food is important. For example, good koi food should contain at least 30 percent crude protein.

Good koi food also includes vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E and vitamin C. Good ingredients have a significant influence on the digestion and digestibility of the fish food .

This overview shows how the ingredients in koi food affect the koi:

Ingredients Effect Deficiency symptoms
Proteins Tissue formation, formation of hormones and enzymes Poor growth, fatty degeneration, liver damage
Fats Energy supply, cell and cell membrane formation Poor growth, lack of condition, Weak immune system
Carbohydrates Regulation of blood sugar levels Weight loss
Minerals Metabolism, nerve and muscle function, Bone formation Nervous disorders, Metabolic disorders
Vitamins Metabolism, immune system, Eye function Brain damage, Impaired vision, Fatty liver, Skin changes

Vitamins are an extremely important dietary component. Koi food contains sufficient vitamin A and D. Vitamin C can be produced by the koi itself. Often, however, koi food lacks sufficient vitamin B. Good koi food should therefore also contain vitamin B substances. Otherwise, vitamin B must be added separately.

Attention! A film of fat on the water surface is often an indication of fattening food. This fish food can lead to fatty deposits and organ damage.

A koi appreciates good food. A simple indication of good koi food is therefore rapid consumption of the scattered food.

Which koi food is suitable for autumn?

The need for koi food reduces with the water temperature: when temperatures drop in autumn, the koi has a lower food requirement. In addition, low water temperatures make digestion more difficult. Easily digestible koi food for autumn often contains higher levels of wheat and lower levels of protein.

Koifische bei der Fütterung

Feeding floating food offers a special opportunity to observe the koi at close quarters. For the koi, the rule here is: those who are fast get the most from good koi food. (Image source: unsplash.com/Jason Wu)

Since the koi's energy requirements increase in summer when temperatures are warm, protein-rich koi food should be used during this time. This allows the koi to build up important fat reserves for the winter.

Good to know: the koi is an omnivore! If the koi finds something edible in its environment, it will eat it. This can easily lead to overfeeding if the koi is constantly fed fish food.

These tips can help to counteract overfeeding in autumn:

  • Use floating food
  • Watch the water surface
  • Stop feeding at 6 degrees water temperature

If the koi no longer comes to the surface of the water to get its food, its nutritional needs are satiated. Feeding can be stopped.

What is the shelf life of Koi food?

Depending on the manufacturer and ingredients, good Koi food can be kept for 1 to 2 years. High fat content in fish food additionally reduces the shelf life.

Proper storage of koi food also plays an important role. Follow these three tips for storing koi food:

  • Store in a dry place
  • Avoid sunlight
  • Seal airtight

Expired koi food should be discarded. Koi food components such as vitamins break down over time. Therefore, old koi food may no longer contain enough vitamins for your koi. Therefore, avoid buying koi food packs that are too large.

In which size should I buy koi food?

When asking about the size, you should pay attention to these two points:

  1. The size of the packaging
  2. The size of the koi food

Koi food is available in small packs from 5 kg up to 50 kg bulk packs. The recommended amount of food is determined by the total weight of all the koi in the pond.

Depending on the season or water temperature, you will need appropriate koi food for summer, autumn and spring. When choosing the size of the package, bear in mind that the use of a package refers to a specific season (and not the annual requirement!).

Koi food itself is available in different sizes from 1 to 9 mm. Young koi can only eat small-grained food. Before buying, you should therefore also consider the age stock in your fish pond and choose small- or coarse-grained koi food accordingly.

What does koi food cost?

As with many products, the price per kilo of koi food decreases with the quantity purchased. In addition, the manufacturer and brand also influence the price of koi food.

The average price per kilo for conventional koi food is around 2.70 euros. For higher quality koi food, the price per kilo can easily rise to 15 to 20 euros.

Larger packaging quantities often entice with cheaper prices per kilo. But beware: large packages cannot always be consumed. In the worst case, you will have to dispose of leftover stock and a smaller pack would have been cheaper after all.

What alternatives are there?

Koi food consists largely of fish oil and fish meal. Alternatively, koi food based on soybeans, rapeseed, wheat, blood and feather meal can be used.

It is important to ensure that the koi feed alternatives contain the appropriate amino acids, just like the fish meal. Missing amino acids can also be supplemented separately.

The digestion of vegetable proteins is more difficult for koi than that of animal proteins. Since about 30 per cent of the koi food should be protein, it is important to ensure that the food is as easy to digest as possible.

Decision: What types of koi food are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two different basic types of koi food:

  • Floating food
  • Sinking food

Both types of koi food offer different advantages as well as disadvantages, which are mainly determined by the season and the koi population in the fish pond. Depending on the water temperature and size of your koi, you should use floating food and/or sinking food.

In the following we will compare the two types and show you which koi food is best for you.

What are the characteristics of floating food and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Floating food has air-filled micro-chambers, which helps the food to stay on the surface longer. Usually the koi consume the fish food within a few minutes. Especially assertive carp benefit from this koi food.

A special highlight of floating food is the colour show. As soon as the koi come to the surface, you can observe the colourfulness of the fish to the full. You can also check whether all the koi are healthy and whether they show up for feeding.

Advantages
  • Checking the food intake
  • Simple stocktaking
  • Practical health check
  • Feeding by hand
  • Great display of colour
Disadvantages
  • Little chance for small koi
  • Lower nutrient content due to air chambers
  • Unsuitable for winter

When water temperatures drop, koi mainly linger at the bottom of the pond because it is too cold at the surface. Therefore, floating food is not the best koi food in autumn or winter when water temperatures are cold.

What distinguishes sinking food and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Sink food has become more popular recently. Since koi eat everything they find, sinking food is also an easy and popular food source for the colourful koi.

However, this can lead to overfeeding of the fish, especially in the cold season, as the koi have a lower energy requirement at cold water temperatures. Therefore, the use and dosage of sinking food must be chosen well.

A clear advantage of sinking feed is its use with breeding fish. With sinking feed, koi can also be supplied with appropriate food during the cold season, which ensures good growth in spring.

In addition, sinking food also offers smaller or shy koi an opportunity to take in sufficient koi food. If the koi swim along the bottom of the pond to pick up the sinking food, your fish pond will also benefit from a bottom cleaning.

Advantages
  • High nutrient density
  • Easily digestible
  • Easy feed intake
  • Better chances for outsiders
  • Clean pond bottom
Disadvantages
  • Low health control
  • Risk of oversupply
  • Possible clogging of bottom drains

When using sinking food, be especially careful not to distribute it near bottom drains in the pond. Sink feed can clog these drains and thus endanger the healthy pond system.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate koi food

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate koi food. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular koi food is suitable for your fish pond or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Food size
  • Pack size
  • Season
  • Type of food
  • Ingredients

In the following sections we will show you what is important in the individual criteria.

Food size

Koi food is available in the following varieties:

  • Pellets
  • Sticks
  • Flakes
  • Granules

All four variants are pressed koi food, which is represented on the market in a small format from 1 mm up to 9 mm. Small koi can only eat small-sized koi food. It is therefore important that you know your koi stock.

If you have koi of different sizes in your pond, you should make sure that the koi food is also suitable for the smaller animals. One option would be to use pellets of 6mm or larger as floating food and smaller pellets or flakes as sinking food for young, smaller koi.

Package size

An important purchase criterion is also the package size. Koi food in large packages often attracts with cheaper prices per kilo, but because of the limited use (e.g. koi food for summer) it often cannot be fully utilised.

In the case of leftover stocks, important nutrients can be degraded if stored incorrectly, which reduces the quality of the koi food.

To determine the appropriate amount of food, you can use these tables as a small guide. First determine the weight of all the koi in your fish pond:

Length (cm) Weight (g)
5 25-50
10 50
15 75
20 100
25 200
30 400
35 800
40 1500
50 2300
60 2500

Basically, the length of a koi does not take the tail fin into account. The length of a koi is also estimated in the end - but this estimate is much easier than estimating the body weight.

Based on the total weight of the koi, you can then derive the required amount of koi food:

Total weight of koi in pond (kg) Recommended amount of food (g)
5 150-170
10 300
15 450
20 600-625
25 775
30 925
40 1225
50 1550

Season

The recommended amount of koi food changes with the season. As you already know, the water temperature has a great influence on the energy balance or food requirements of the colourful carp. While warm temperatures in the pond increase energy requirements, your koi are less active in cold temperatures and therefore need less koi food.

Koi are constantly hungry - as they have no stomach, they also lack a sense of satiety. Your koi will eat their fish food within a few minutes. But don't let this put you off! The koi will also pounce on their meal at the next feeding. However, this greedy eating is not an indication of too little food!

The following overview can help you to find out how often you should feed your koi. Simply orientate yourself on the water temperature of your fish pond.

Water temperature Number of feedings
Below 10°C 0
10°C 1-2 times/week
12°C 1 time/day
15°C 2 times/day
15-20°C 3 times/day
23°C 4 times/day
25°C 5 times/day
30°C 5 times/day, reduced portions

Small portions of koi food spread throughout the day make it easier for koi to digest their meals. You can also recognise a balanced food intake by the fact that your koi grow healthily and the pond water is not contaminated by the animals' excrement.

Type of food

Often the essential question for koi food is: floating food or rather sinking food?

Sink food is often associated with a negative shadow, as the food intake cannot be controlled. Due to the lack of a feeling of hunger, sinking food can promote overfeeding and have a detrimental effect on the Koi's health.

The saying "the fittest wins" also applies in the koi family: larger, more assertive koi quickly snatch the tidbits of floating food away from the young and weak animals.

If you observe these rivalries in your koi pond, you can support the outsiders with an additional portion of sinking food to the floating food. In winter, sinking food can promote growth, especially in breeding fish.

In general, however, the focus should be on floating food, as this type of koi food allows better control of the colourful carp.

Ingredients

In addition to the basic ingredients such as proteins, fats, crude fibre, ash and vitamins, koi feed is often enriched with other ingredients. Often koi feed is supplemented with ingredients that

  • Promote growth
  • Increase colour intensity

Koi feed for growth has a higher protein and fat content than the basic feed. Particularly with koi growth food, attention should be paid to high quality. The ingredients of private label koi food often indicate that it is a fattening food.

Fattening food is detrimental to porportional koi growth and can affect the health of the fish.

High-quality koi feed for rapid growth should not replace the basic feed, but should be added to it. Feeding with the high-fat growth food is recommended from a water temperature of 16 degrees.

With good nutrition and little stress, the colours of koi are usually very intense. Especially red and orange tones can be enhanced with carotene. Spirulina algae in koi food can also contribute to colour intensification, but should only be used in small quantities - too much can lead to intolerances.

Facts worth knowing about koi food

How can I supplement koi food naturally?

As an omnivore, the koi is also happy to find some variety in its food. A good supplement to koi food pellets or sticks is live food.

Popular treats are silkworms, mealworms and artemia (saltwater crayfish). A particular advantage of these animals is their high protein content. Koi food for the summer can therefore be spiced up with such protein carriers.

Silkworms, mealworms and artemia are also available as frozen or dry food. This makes storage easier.

How does hand feeding work?

A special joy when you feed your koi is the happy commotion of the colourful carp on the water surface. When your koi eat from your hand, it is of course a special experience.

Kois werden mit Flasche gefüttert

Koi have no stomach and therefore no feeling of satiety. (Picture source: 123rf.com / 105104669)

It is important not to lose patience when learning hand-feeding. Find one of your koi that is curious and not very skittish. Offer it a treat such as a shrimp or silkworm just below the water surface. The koi's constant feeling of hunger will then guide it to you.

After a few days, you can also try holding the koi food just above the water surface. If other koi notice the chance of this treat, you may also see a little competition.

Hand-feeding is not an efficient way to deliver the daily amount of food, but it is a great spectacle.

What accessories should I use for koi food?

These handy tools can make feeding your koi much easier:

  • Thermometer
  • Automatic feeder
  • Skimmer

A thermometer should be a permanent fixture in your koi pond. Only then can you determine how much the water temperature is influenced by the air temperature.

An automatic fe eder can be a valuable addition if you cannot feed your koi several times a day. The feeder can reduce stress and guarantee a regular feed supply.

It is not always easy to use the optimal koi food straight away. Incorrect nutrition is reflected in the water quality of the koi pond. If the food is too greasy, a greasy film tends to form on the surface of the water. With a skimmer you can clean your pond and protect your pond surface.

Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels

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