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Choosing Pond Fish Food

Choosing Pond Fish Food

Last Updated: February 26, 2024

Fish add color and excitement to water gardens and ponds. Feeding your fish the proper food enhances their color and vitality and provides a rewarding bonding experience. Keep reading our tips to help you decide what to feed your pond fish and when you should switch foods.

What to Feed Koi Fish

The best food for koi is formulated to promote rapid growth and vibrant coloring while maintaining high activity levels. Growth & Vibrance and other koi fish foods are high in nutrients that make reds more vibrant, blacks deeper, and oranges richer. This protein-packed food helps your koi grow, mature, and spawn.

Are you looking for the best food for pond and lake sport fish, like catfish, bluegill, and bass? If so, read our guide to feeding game fish.

What to Feed Pond Fish by Season

When choosing pond fish food, check the temperature recommendations on the package and compare it to your pond’s water temperature using a submersible thermometer. Never feed your fish when the water is less than 40°F, as they will be in hibernation and unable to digest it.

  • Summer Staple: Staple food is perfect for giving mature fish a diet full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The Pond Guy Staple Fish Food helps pond fish maintain size and energy without adding bulk, thus promoting healthy activity during the warmer seasons.
  • Seasonal Shifts: Wheat germ fish foods, like The Pond Guy Spring & Fall Fish Food, are the best choice during cool weather due to easily digestible plant matter and lower protein levels. Start feeding pond fish when water temperatures are between 40–50°F to transition them into and out of winter torpor. Switch back to summer food when water temperatures remain above 50°F.
  • Vacation: Make sure you are feeding pond fish while you are away! TetraPond Vacation Food continually releases food for pond fish from a gel-based block over seven days. Do you want a natural, hassle-free approach to fish feeding while vacationing and at home? The KoiGrower Automatic Solar Fish Feeder is an all-in-one solution for feeding pond fish anytime.

Feeding Pond Fish New Food

When introducing a new food, slowly add only one or two pellets to the pond until your fish show interest. Only feed fish what they can eat within five minutes, and skim out any leftovers that could decay into muck.

Fish Food Pellet Size

Pond fish food comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but pellets are the most popular choice. Koi fish food pellets typically range from 3–5mm, and you should feed fish pellets that are about half as big as their mouths. Generally, 3mm pellets are ideal for fish 4" or larger, so crush up pellets for smaller fish if they have any trouble eating. If your fish are over 8", opt for 5mm pellets like CrystalClear Platinum Large Pellet Fish Food.

What Pond Fish Eat Besides Fish Food

Koi and other pond fish are omnivores that eat plants, insects, and almost any scraps you toss them. Feel free to sneak in treats like turnips and carrots to round out their diet and promote bonding. If you bring them snacks and meals to the same place each day, you can even train your pond fish to come when it’s chow time!

Keep in mind that densely-populated ponds will have ravenous eaters due to increased competition, while fish in sparsely-populated ponds eat less aggressively since they munch on algae and bugs all day.

Pond Fish Food Questions

Do you want to learn more about feeding pond fish the best food for vibrance and vitality? Reach out to our koi-loving pond experts, or explore one of the following guides:

Feeding Pond Fish
Can Koi Eat Goldfish Food?
Switching to Fall Food