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Koi Food Livefoods


Koi will relish a variety of livefoods, including cockles, worms and prawns. Earthworms can be fed to the fish all year round and, like prawns and cockles, are high in protein and soon become a favourite treat - a sure way to gain the affection of your koi.

Tadpoles from frogs are another great treat in spring and, in summer, silkworm pupae, imported from Japan, are an excellent source of protein. Feed these pupae only as an occasional treat, however, as they have be shown to cause a diabetes-like disease in koi. Chironomid larva and mosquito larva are a popular diet for small fish, though not easily available. Daphnia ('water fleas'), plentiful in earth ponds, are one of the first foods for koi fry but tend to be too small for adult koi. Maggots are not recommended as they can carry harmful bacteria from the decaying flesh.

Do not rely on livefoods to form the staple diet for koi, however, but offer them as a supplement to the regular diet. If koi are fed on these titbits alone, there is a risk that nutritional diseases will set in as the result of a lack of vitamins or amino acids.

Other foods

Koi will accept many foods thrown to them in their pond, but many of these are of little or no nutritional value and may even harm the fish. Brown bread is acceptable, but white bread contains a mild form of bleach, which does the koi no good at all.

Do not offer beans, peas or corn, since koi are unable to digest the hard outer casing of these foods. Koi will take lettuce leaves and may also eat duckweed and other plants around their pond (with the exception of blanketweed, which is too coarse for them to pull off the sides).