Feeding Coldwater Koi - The Basics

Feeding Your Coldwater Koi – The Basics.

Water temperature can dictate how and when you feed your fish. Careful consideration should be given to the condition of the environment as well as the activity level of your pets. Also consider your own knowledge and experience with your fish! Use the chart below as a guide to help you in chilly times.

86°F or higher (30°C)

Feed no more than 2 times daily
(no more than 4 times daily for small koi)

At higher water temperatures koi can lose their appetite. Feed smaller amounts of an easily digested food if your fish are in good condition. Try to reduce the water temperature by providing shelter from direct sunlight. Baby koi are less affected by higher water temperatures and can be fed small amounts more often.

68-86°F (20-30°C)

Feed 2 to 4 times daily or more in smaller amounts

Koi are most active in this temperature range. You can feed as often as you like any of our color enhancing, growth or staple diets. Feeding smaller amounts more often can actually increase weight and girth more rapidly. Always monitor your water quality and the activity level when deciding how much to feed. Always avoid feeding within one hour of sunrise or sunset.

59-68°F (15-20°C)

Feed 1 to 2 times daily

Carefully monitor your pets activity level in this temperature range. As the water temperature drops so does your koi's digestive capacity. Care should be taken to avoid over-feeding and offering food during periods of inactivity. Always feed during the warmest part of the day if your water temperature is not stable.

50-59°F (10-15°C)

Feed no more than 2 times daily

When your water temperature is in this range you should monitor your koi's activity level carefully and avoid feeding if you pets do not readily eat. Use only easily digested diets like Hikari Wheat-Germ. Try to feed between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm if possible.

41-50°F (5-10°C)

Feed no more than 2 to 3 times times weekly

When the water temperature is in this range, technically you may stop feeding until spring. If your koi are active and you want you can feed an amount they will consume within a minute or so, but never more. Always try to feed between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Below 41°F (Below 5°C)

Stop feeding

Your koi should be in their hibernation mode now and no feeding is necessary.

Easily Digested Diets

Standard Diets

Color Enhancing Diets (Easily Digested Type)

Color Enhancing Diets

Growth Diets

The above water temperatures are examples only. You know your pets' eating habits and pond condition better than anyone else. If you encounter problems using the guide above contact your local pet professional for assistance developing a feeding program for your specific situation.

Never over feed! Remember,
feeding less is always better than feeding too much.
  • Always control the amount fed so there is no leftover food after the feeding period. If you find leftovers, remove them immediately to avoid water quality problems.
  • For new environments, please reduce the feeding amount until your filtration system has completely cycled and developed adequate bacteria levels.
  • If something unusual happens (a sudden water temperature change, unstable water quality or illness) you should stop feeding completely or reduce the amount fed until the condition is corrected.
  • Special care should be taken during the spring when you restart your feeding routine. Use only easily digested diets, like Hikari Wheat-Germ increasing the amount fed little by little until you are feeding the amount you feel fits your situation. This helps your pets effectively reactivate their digestive process.