A Beginners Guide To Feeding Koi Fish: Do's & Don'ts

Feeding your koi fish is an essential aspect of keeping them healthy and happy. However, with so many food options available, it can be challenging to know what to feed your koi fish. In this beginner's guide, we'll explore the benefits and drawbacks of homemade koi food, the ingredients needed to make your own koi food, and everything else you need to know about feeding your koi fish.

Introduction to Homemade Koi Food

Homemade koi food allows you to control the quality of ingredients and cater to your fish's specific nutritional requirements. One of the main reasons people make homemade koi food is to ensure that their fish are getting the best nutrition possible. Some commercial koi food may contain fillers and preservatives that are not necessary for your fish's diet. Additionally, homemade koi food allows for greater customization to cater to your fish's specific needs.

Homemade koi food is food made from scratch using fresh ingredients instead of processed commercial food. Koi fish are omnivores, and their diet consists of protein, vegetables, and fruits. If you are interested in making your own food, it’s worth reaching out to our resident Koi expert Billy for more information and tips before you start.

Advantages of Making Your Own Koi Food

Making your own koi food has several potential advantages over buying commercial food. One of the primary benefits is that you have control over the ingredients used in the food. You can choose high-quality ingredients and avoid fillers and preservatives that may be present in some lower quality commercial food, ensuring your koi are getting the best nutrition possible.

Another advantage of making your own koi food is that it can be more cost-effective in the long run. Although it may require an initial investment in equipment and ingredients, making your own koi food allows you to save money in the long run by avoiding the higher costs of commercial food.

If you are an experienced owner who understands the intricacies of your fish, you can customise the recipe to meet their specific nutritional requirements. By making your own koi food, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your fish are getting the best possible nutrition while saving money over time.

Disadvantages of Making Your Own Koi Food

Making homemade koi food does have some potential drawbacks, including the fact that it can be time-consuming and requires experimentation to get the recipe right. Not all homemade koi food recipes are perfectly nutritionally balanced, which can lead to health problems for your fish if you don’t get it right. We recommend only considering home made food if you have an advanced understanding of both your koi’s overall health and their dietary requirements throughout the year.  

Ingredients for Homemade Koi Food

If you decide to go down the homemade path,, it's essential to include a variety of ingredients to ensure that your fish are getting all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive. 

  • Protein sources such as fish, shrimp, and krill are an essential component of koi food and help support growth and development. 
  • Vegetables and fruits such as peas, kale, spinach, and spirulina provide vital vitamins and minerals to keep your koi healthy. 
  • Carbohydrates such as rice, wheat germ, and oatmeal provide energy and help support digestion. 

Including a variety of these ingredients in your homemade koi food recipe will ensure that your fish are getting a balanced diet and all the necessary nutrients to live a long and healthy life.

How To Make Homemade Koi Food

Making homemade koi food requires some specific equipment, including a food processor or blender, a meat grinder, a mixing bowl, and airtight containers for storage. 

The first step is to gather all the necessary ingredients, including protein sources, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Then, using a food processor or meat grinder, grind the protein source into a fine paste. 

Next, blend the vegetables and fruits into a puree, adding in the carbohydrates as needed. Mix the protein paste and vegetable puree together, forming a dough-like consistency. Form the mixture into small pellets or balls and allow them to air dry before storing them in airtight containers. 

When making homemade koi food, it's important to practise good hygiene and safety precautions, including washing your hands and using separate utensils for handling raw meat and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination. Additionally, make sure to use high-quality ingredients and consult with a veterinarian or experienced koi keeper to ensure that the recipe is nutritionally balanced for your fish.

Factors To Consider Before Making Your Own Koi Food

Before making your own koi food, it's important to consider several factors to ensure that your fish are getting the best possible nutrition. 

  • First, research the nutritional requirements of koi fish and ensure that your homemade recipe meets these requirements. 
  • You’ll need to consider any health conditions or dietary restrictions that your fish may have and tailor the recipe accordingly. 
  • Making homemade koi food requires a significant investment of time and resources, so consider if you have the time and equipment necessary to prepare and store the food properly. 
  • Finally, consider the availability of ingredients in your area and the cost of sourcing high-quality ingredients. We recommend thinking long term here. Can you keep it up to the frequency and consistency required for your koi’s optimum health when taking into account your overall work-life balance?

Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Koi Food

Can Koi Fish Eat Human Food?

Koi fish can eat some human foods, but it's important to avoid feeding them anything that contains salt, sugar, or seasoning. Safe human foods for koi fish include peas, lettuce, and watermelon, but not too much.

How Often Should I Feed My Koi Fish?

Koi fish should be fed 2-4 times a day, depending on their age and size. It's important not to overfeed your koi, as this can lead to health problems and poor water quality. Reach out to our resident koi expert Billy if you want to find out more here. 

How Long Can Homemade Koi Food Be Stored?

Homemade koi food can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months. It's important to ensure that the food is properly stored in airtight containers to avoid bacterial contamination.

How Do I Transition My Koi Fish To A New Food Brand?

When transitioning your koi fish to a new food brand, it's important to do so gradually over a period of 1-2 weeks. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food, gradually increasing the amount of new food each day until they are eating only the new food. This gradual transition will help prevent digestive upset and ensure that your koi are getting the necessary nutrients from their new food.


Homemade koi food can be a great way to ensure your koi fish are getting the nutrients they need. However, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks and ensure that your homemade koi food is nutritionally balanced. If you're not ready to make your own koi food, there are many high-quality commercial options available. With the right food, your koi fish can live a long and healthy life.