Koi are the Japanese variation of the common carp that derived from the original species in the early 1800s in Japan. These fish exist in a wide range of colors and are often found in water gardens or outdoor ponds. Many commercially produced koi foods are available in stores that sell fish products, but there are many options outside of the pet store that you can use to feed these fish.
Feed fish live foods, especially during the hot summer months when they require higher amounts of protein, according to Buy-Fish-Food.com. There is no need to purchase fish food when you may be able to find a snack they will love right in your own yard. Collect earthworms from the soil in your yard for a high protein snack. Keep the worms in a bucket with some dirt and you will have a supply of supplements that will be sure to get the fish's attention. Koi also enjoy clams and prawns, according to Buy-Fish-Food.com. These live foods may be expensive to acquire, however.
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Snacks From The Kitchen
There are several foods that you may already have in your pantry that koi will enjoy eating. Feed the fish small torn pieces of whole grain "brown" breads. White bread is not recommended for koi. Microwave a sweet potato for five minutes and peel the skin off. Cut the potato into small pieces and use it as a snack for koi, according to Koiphen.com. Once they get a taste, they will likely gather when they see you coming.
Koi are primarily bottom feeding fish. Blended paste foods that sink to the bottom of the pond can be made at home easily. Combine 12 canned sardines, two pounds of shrimp, two cups of cooked rice, six garlic cloves and a cup of orange juice in a blender and pulse to chop into small pieces. Mix in gelatin and pulse to form a paste, according to KoiPhen.com. You can use this paste to hand feed your koi, or drop it in the water and it will make its way to the bottom.
Tips For Feeding Koi
Koi have special feeding requirements that anyone planning to start a koi pond should know. Feed your koi two or three times a day during times when the water is warm. Be cautious about the amount you feed them, as they should only be allowed to eat for a few minutes. They will continue to eat as long as you give them food, so don't over do it. If you are purchasing prepared food from a pet store, use only the type designed specifically for koi. Products designed for other species may not be healthy for your fish, according to PetGoldFish.net. Do not get in a rut with feeding. Koi should have variety in their diet. Remember to feed your fish every day when the weather is warm, but feeding frequency should be reduced by at least half when water temperatures drop below 50 degrees.