Can Shubunkin Live With Koi? (Let’s Find Out)

Koi fish are covered in brightly colored patterns, and so are Shubunkins, which is why many people want to keep them together in the same pond, as they can complement each other. But can Shubunkins live with Koi, or is this a bad idea? 

Shubunkins can live in the same pond as Koi fish as they thrive in the same water conditions. However, you need to ensure the Shubunkins and Koi fish are the same size as they are both omnivores and will eat each other if one is smaller. Apart from this, they generally get along well. 

Do Koi fish and Shubunkins eat the same foods? What does a well-balanced diet look like for both of these fish? What other fish can live comfortably and safely in the same pond as Koi fish? Let’s find out!

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Can Shubunkin And Koi Live Together?

Shubunkin and koi fish

Koi fish are stunning fish known for their bright color patterns and the calming effects they have on people, offering some much-needed stress relief. Shubunkins are also fish with brightly colored patterns, and they are known as the “poor mans Koi fish.” 

This is because the Shubunkins have easier care requirements than regular Koi fish while still offering their owners calming stress relief. However, Shubunkins are not Koi fish and are merely cousins of the Koi. So, can Shubunkins and Koi fish live together in the same Koi pond?

Koi fish and Shubunkins are cold-water carp that can thrive in the same water conditions. They both thrive in high-oxygen waters, and they require similar care. So, Koi fish and Shubunkins can live in the same Koi pond quite well together. 

Do Koi And Shubunkins Get Along?

Shubunkin and koi fish

Even though Koi fish and Shubunkins can live in the same pond as they require the same water conditions, do these two fish get along, or will there be some problems in the future if you keep them together?

Both Koi and Shubunkins are active fish that enjoy exploring and swimming around their ponds. These fish are compatible and will generally leave each other alone, making for a very calm pond ecosystem. 

However, there are odd occasions when these two fish do not get along. If your Koi pond is overcrowded, then your Koi and Shubunkins will fight over space in the pond. If the water conditions are off, for example, the ammonia levels or pH are too high; then this can cause fighting between the two fish. 

If you keep the pond in the optimum living conditions for both these fish and ensure the pond is not over capacity. Your Koi and Shubunkins should get along without any issues. 

Do Koi And Shubunkins Eat The Same Food?

Shubunkin and koi fish

When you place your Koi fish and Shubunkins in the same pond, many people might be concerned about eating each other’s food when you feed them. Most fish have different dietary requirements and can become ill if they eat outside of these requirements, so this concern is understandable. 

But is this the case for Koi fish and Shubunkins? Can these two fish eat the same foods and remain healthy? Let’s go through what a well-balanced diet is for both of these fish, so you can ensure all your fish stay healthy and happy while living together in their pond.

A Well-Balanced Diet For Shubunkins


Shubunkins need a well-balanced diet to stay healthy, but what does a well-balanced diet for Shubunkins include? Shubunkins are omnivores and require a diverse diet to ensure they receive all the nutrition they need. 

Shubunkins need a high-protein diet, with protein making up between 30 and 50% of their daily diets. This protein then needs to be supplemented with various fruits and vegetables to ensure the Shubunkins reach their required mineral and vitamin intake. 

When feeding your Shubunkins, only feed them as much as they can eat in 2 to 3 minutes. This will help avoid overfeeding your fish, leading to other health complications. 

The Best Food For Shubunkins


Ensuring your Shubunkins have a well-balanced diet is important. This will help the Shubunkins stay strong and healthy, which will help them survive better, especially in the cold conditions of winter. 

For their fruit and vegetable quota, you can feed Shubunkins lettuce, watermelon, spinach, oranges, and more. However, you need to prepare the fruits properly to avoid any complications with your fish. You need to remove the rinds with fruits as the fish will not eat them. 

You also need to cut the fruits into chunks that the fish can easily eat. You need to remove any seeds present in the fruit, even in watermelon, as these contain high amounts of carbohydrates that could negatively affect Shubunkin’s digestive system. 

To ensure your Shubunkins receive the proteins they require, you need to feed them good-quality, high-protein goldfish flacks or pellets. Then you can supplement these with fruits and vegetables at least four times per week.

A Well-Balanced Diet For Koi Fish

Koi fish

All Koi fish need to be fed a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy, but what does this well-balanced diet include? Koi fish have varied appetites, and they will try to eat anything you give them or anything floating in their pond, even if it’s not good for them. 

Koi fish may also try to eat other lifeforms in your Koi pond, including other fish. This is because Koi are omnivores, meaning they eat plants and meat to stay healthy. So, you need to include both in their diets.

However, the fact that Koi fish will eat anything you give them or anything floating in their pond is not always the best. This can cause some digestion issues for your Koi, especially if they eat the wrong thing.

So, it would help if you watched what your Koi fish eat closely and how much they eat to help you prevent any potential digestive difficulties that could affect your Koi’s health.

Koi have dietary requirements you need to ensure are met to keep your Koi healthy. With Koi, the main component of their diet needs to be proteins. Proteins need to make up 35 to 40% of a Koi fish’s regular diet. 

You can supplement this protein with vegetables and fruits, so your Koi fish receive their required daily mineral and vitamin intake. Fats need to make up between 5 to 10% of a Koi’s diet, but their fat intake needs to be increased to 15% in winter and fall to help them survive the colder weather conditions. 

Carbohydrates should make up a small percentage of a Koi fish’s diet. About 10% of the fish’s diet should be carbohydrates, as Koi fish can have difficulty digesting carbs. The carbohydrates you feed your Koi should only be of the whole grain varieties and nothing else. 

If you feed your Koi too many carbohydrates, this could lead to liver degeneration in your Koi fish, leading to the fish’s death. 

The Best Food For Koi Fish

Koi fish

A good way to ensure your Koi consume a well-balanced diet is to feed them good quality, high-protein Koi fish pellets that should be easy to find at your local aquarium or pond store. If you are undecided on which food to buy, ask the staff to recommend the best one for your Koi. 

Supplement these pellets with fruit and vegetables, like shredded carrots, spinach, sliced oranges, watermelon, or lemons, about four to five times a week. You can add grains like oats, whole grain rice, or cheerios to their diets about once or twice a week. 

Algae can also be a part of a well-balanced diet for your Koi fish, as it does contain some nutrients that Koi fish need. So, if you see your Koi snacking on some algae, this is nothing to be concerned about. 

If you follow these guidelines closely for a well-balanced diet for your Koi fish, your Koi should be and stay healthy and not suffer any potential health complications due to a lack of nutrition. 

Will Koi Eat Shubunkins?

Shubunkin and koi fish

 Something people may worry about when keeping their Shubunkins and Koi fish in the same pond is will the Koi fish eat the Shubunkins or will they be off the menu? 

As we mentioned earlier, Koi fish are omnivores, so they consume meat and other plant matter. Most of a Koi fish’s diet needs to consist of protein, which is then supplemented with other plant matter and some grains. 

Fish are meat, and Koi fish will eat other, smaller fish when they are hungry and come across the smaller fish in their pond. So, Koi fish will eat the Shubunkins in the pond if the Shubunkins are small enough. 

To help avoid your Koi eating your Shubunkins, you should only place your Shubunkins in your Koi pond when they are similar in size to your Koi fish. You should also feed your Koi fish regularly and ensure they receive enough protein in their diets. 

This way, your Shubunkins will be too big for your Koi fish to eat, and your Koi will be satisfied and won’t be swimming around their pond hungry and in search of food. 

Can I Put Crayfish In My Koi Pond?


Crayfish are popular crustaceans that many people want to add to their ponds. These creatures are great in ponds as they can help control weed and plant growth, keeping your pond clean. Crayfish are popular because it takes a lot of responsibility from the pond owner as you don’t need to clean the pond as often if you have these crustaceans living in it. 

So, these creatures are good to have in a pond, but can they be placed in a Koi pond safely. You can add Crayfish to your Koi pond, as they can thrive well in these pond conditions. You should ensure that your Crayfish have rocks to hide under during the day, as they are nocturnal animals. 

Can Janitor fish Live With Koi?

Janitor fish

Another popular pond fish is the Janitor fish. These fish help control algae growth in ponds, so they are popular fish. These fish can help keep your pond clean, making cleaning the pond a breeze. 

So, you might wonder if you can safely add these fish to your Koi pond or if they will cause problems in your pond. Janitor fish can thrive in the same water conditions as Koi fish, so there won’t be any problems there. 

However, you need to ensure there is enough space in your pond for each fish species to stay out of each other’s way. These fish can fight with each other, and they will eat each other too. So, you need to ensure that the Janitor fish and the Koi fish in your pond are the same size.

What Other Fish Can Live With Koi In A Pond?


So, Shubunkins can be kept in the same pond as Koi fish, but what other fish make good tank mates for Koi? Goldfish are a great pond mate for Koi fish. This may seem odd as Goldfish are smaller than Koi, but Koi don’t seem to snack on Goldfish as much as other fish species, especially if you get the larger Goldfish. 

Goldfish belong to the carp family too, which makes them the cousin of the Koi fish. Goldfish can thrive in the same water conditions that Koi live in. Goldfish can be stunning and offer a great color pallet to your Koi pond. 


Suckermouth Catfish are another fish that can live comfortably with Koi. They are a prized possession in many ponds around the country for their capability to help keep ponds clean. These fish have specialized mouths that allow them to stick to the walls of the pond, where they will eat the algae. 

These fish share the same environment as Koi. Still, they generally stay closer to the water’s surface, so they won’t have many interactions with your Koi fish. Suckermouth Catfish also grow large, so you don’t need to worry about your Koi fish eating them if you introduce them to your pond as adults. 

These fish are known for their resilience, so they will easily thrive in your Koi pond with other fish species.


If you keep these fish in the same pond, Koi fish and Shubunkins can live harmoniously. You need to ensure they are the same size, though, as they will eat each other if one is smaller than the other. 

Apart from this, these fish will generally get along well with each other, and they also have similar diets, making them easy to care for while they are in the same pond. Good luck with your Koi and Shubunkins!


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