In addition to the peace and tranquility of Pond Keeping, spending time with your Koi can be equally rewarding. Koi are very sociable and love a crowd of friends. They are less apt to be shy when they are in a large group.
Your Koi will eat from your hand, provided you have the patience to earn their trust and friendship. Here are a few helpful hints:
- Feed them in the same place every time.
- Drop a small handful of pellets and stay there to observe.
- The bravest or hungriest will start to eat and the rest will follow.
- They must see you when they eat.
- Don’t walk away from the pond before they start to eat.
- Withhold food for a day if they won’t eat in front of you.
Gradually, the Koi will equate you with food. This usually takes about 3 to 5 days. Tease them closer with small sprinklings of food. Put your hands in the water while they eat. The Koi will learn that food comes from your hand. Start with just a few pellets.
The bravest Koi will soon be nudging your hand. It is only a matter of time and all of your fish will swim, jump and splash toward you every time you walk by the pond.
Koi Feeding Guide
A Koi’s metabolism functions best at temperatures above 70° F. High protein foods are difficult to digest when the waterfalls below 65° F.
However, Koi still need sufficient carbohydrates for energy when water temperatures are low. This is particularly true for Koi less than 1 year old.
Squash, bread, peas, citrus fruits, and watermelon are good sources of carbohydrates. Never overfeed your fish! Koi do not have a stomach. Feed smaller quantities more frequently for better nutritional absorption.
Feed only as much as the fish will eat in about 3-5 minutes. Koi pellets should be fresh and used within three months to prevent the oxidation of the food.
|Feeding Frequency||Food Type|
|Less than 50º F||Do not feed Koi.||Temperatures at 50° F. of more than one month may require supplemental feedings of low protein and high carbohydrates.|
|50º – 55º F||2-3 times a week if Koi are hungry.||High carbohydrate, low protein, laxative type foods. Wheat germ, Cheerios®, squash, lettuce and brown bread.|
|55º – 59º F||4-5 times per week if Koi are hungry.||Add low protein (25%) pellets along with vegetables. Increase quantities gradually as temperature increases.|
|59º F||Once per day six days per week.||Low protein (25%) pellets along with high carbohydrate vegetables and fruit.|
|60º – 65º F||Once per day every day.||Gradually increase protein in pellets (35%) and quantity of pellets. Vary diet with vegetables and fruit.|
|65º – 72º F||Once or twice per day.||Bulk of diet should be 35% protein pellets. Add fruits, vegetables, and plankton for variety.|
|72º – 80º F||3 to 4 times per day.||High protein pellets (35% to 40%) with color enhancers. Add plankton, vegetables, fruits, and shrimp.|