Hand feeding Koi Fish treats

Koi fish are renowned omnivores, and their ability to exist on almost anything they can digest is remarkable. As domesticated pond denizens, however, most koi have a well-formulated and balanced diet that provides them with their daily requirements of nutrients. But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the occasional “treat.”

There are a number of popular pre-made “snacks” and treats available for koi. But if you are more apt to find natural treats (as many enthusiasts will recommend), here are some foods that you can consider trying to vary your koi’s diet.


According to the site koifeeding.com, freeze-dried silkworm pupae is the worm equivalent of catnip for koi. Other worms that your koi will enjoy are bloodworms, earthworms, pinks and nightcrawlers. Just drop them in and watch your koi explore this snack.

Fruit and Vegetables

It is important to remember that koi won’t digest the harder casings on some fruits and vegetables (like peas, beans, grapes and corn) so wherever possible remove that exterior hull or skin.

Also, with larger fruits, cut or tear them into smaller portions. And use them sparingly. Koi don’t need a significant amount of carbohydrates and in some instances, too much sugar and starch is harmful.


Either in chunks or in a full slice with the center punched out, koi like to pick at the pink flesh leaving the rinds behind.


Canned peas (or cooked from frozen with the outer hull removed) are popular with koi enthusiasts—and their koi, too.


Cut into quarters and left upside down on the water’s surface, these floating Vitamin C oases are generally koi favorites.

Leafy greens

Greens like swiss chard, spinach and romaine are chock full of essential minerals and vitamins. You can cut them up or just leave them intact for your koi to pull apart.


Water Hyacinth

A rootless hyacinth, pulled apart and turned upside down will be a hot seller amongst koi. However, beware the root system. If left on, even if it is mostly eaten by the koi, can still spell certain doom for your pump.


Koi will make short work of this water plant. If you grow it in your pond don’t expect it to last long. Growing it in separated portions of your pond and harvesting it little bits at a time is a good way to keep your pond beautiful and your fish fed.



Think shrimp, but bigger. High in protein, they are available at pet stores, feed stores and markets.


Not really “seafood” per se, but another water dweller that is considered treat worthy.


Some enthusiasts use chopped up sardines as a treat that also offers a little higher nutritional value and some needed fish oil.



This popular breakfast table item sparks debate amongst enthusiasts, but honey nut cheerios in moderation can be a nice snack for your nishikigoi.


Try rolling up brown bread (not white, which sometimes contains harmful ingredients like bleach) into balls and float it on the pond’s surface.

Remember, these are treats. Use them sparingly and not as a substitute for their balanced diet. Also, not all of your treats will be instant successes. What was a slam-dunk for one enthusiast might be lower on another’s list; but one of the best aspects of being a koi owner is getting to know your living jewels and their personalities. So enjoy the journey.

If you are looking to stock your pond, contact one of our representatives at Next Day Koi. Our selection of koi fish for sale is sourced from some of the best farms around the world. Coupled with a great selection of both sizes and types, we leverage our high volume of shipping through UPS to bring you some of the most competitive Next Day Air shipping rates in the industry.

4 responses

    1. Sales Staff :

      Hi Larry. The best time to introduce koi to your pond is when the water is around 60 F. However you can introduce koi at any temperature above 60, up to around 82 F, just make sure that you acclimate your koi properly before adding them to the pond.

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