How Many Pellets To Feed Koi Fish?

If you have recently bought some koi fish for your pond, you may be wondering how often and how many pellets you should feed them. Luckily, koi fish are easy to care for when it comes to feeding routines.

The number of pellets a koi fish needs is around 1-4% of their total body weight. Generally, this will amount to as much as they can eat within 5 minutes. The number of pellets will depend on factors such as the season, temperature of the water, and your koi’s age, size, and weight. 

The number of pellets you will need to feed your koi fish depends on various factors, but it is generally okay to provide them as much as they can finish in three to five minutes. Whether you have an ecosystem pond or an ornamental pond will also affect how much they should eat.

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How Many Pellets Do Koi Fish Need?

Koi fish eating pellets

For those that are not actively trying to grow their koi, a handful or two of pellets once a day should be enough to feed your koi. You should ensure that the koi fish can finish the food given to them in three to five minutes. 

As koi fish do not have stomachs, they cannot tell when they are full. If there are still pellets floating in the water after five to ten minutes, you are overfeeding your koi and should cut down on the number of pellets for the next feeding. 

Feeding once a day is generally enough food for your koi. By overfeeding your koi, you could be polluting your pond with excess nutrients that will allow for an overgrowth of algae, as well as numerous health problems for your fish.

If you are a little more pedantic about the exact amount of pellets you need for your koi, you can use the information below to calculate a more precise estimate of pellets needed for your fish. 

Also see: How many times a day should i feed my koi fish?

How To Determine The Number Of Pellets Needed For Koi

Multiple factors will affect how many pellets your koi fish will need, including their age, size, weight, the temperature of the water, and what season it is. 

The age of your koi fish

You will need to track how old your koi fish is to determine the correct amount of pellets required to feed them. Find out their exact age from the person who sold them to you, and keep a notebook where you can store a description of each fish.

Find out the length of your koi fish

Measure your koi in inches. You can do this by measuring from the tip of their tail to the end of their nose. Store this information in the same notebook as the one with their ages. You can remeasure your koi once or twice a year to update their descriptions as they grow and make sure your calculations are exact. 

Calculating the weight of your koi fish

As you can feed your koi 1-4% of their body weight, calculating the weight of each fish is vital to ensure you are feeding them the correct amount of pellets. In this formula, the length should be inches and the weight in ounces.


(weight) = (length x length x length) / (144) 

A koi weight chart can also help estimate the weight of your koi if you do not want to determine the weight yourself, as usually certain lengths of koi will weigh the same.

Measure the water temperature

Water temperature can significantly affect how much your koi should eat. In the winter, the metabolism of koi fish slows, and they cannot digest food properly. If your water temperature is between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit, you can feed your koi fish one – four times a day.

Also see: What do you feed Koi in the spring.

If the pond’s temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can feed them every two to three days. They will not go hungry as they will still eat the algae in the pond.

Also see: The best 15 Koi foods to feed your Koi in the winter

The percentage of body weight your koi fish should eat

To figure out the number of pellets your koi needs, you will need to determine the percentage of body weight in relation to the age of your koi to calculate the amount of food necessary. 

A chart that has the percentage needed for your koi can be helpful in this step. For example, if your koi is one year old, it will require two percent of its body weight in pellets per day. If your fish is four years old, it will only need one percent.

How much food does one koi fish need?

To calculate the amount of food one of your koi will need, use the formula: (length of fish) x (percentage of body weight as food per day) = amount of necessary food.

Determine the amount of food for all your fish

Most people have a koi pond with multiple koi, so you will need to figure out the number of pellets needed for all your fish combined. You can do this by calculating the grams of food required per fish per day and then adding all the grams together to get the total amount needed to feed all your koi. 

The grams will be the percentage of food needed (according to the age of your fish) from the total body weight of your koi.

Using Quality Pellets To Feed Your Koi

Many professional koi farmers will agree that feeding your koi fish high-quality pellets is just as crucial for the health of your koi as the number of pellets used and the frequency of the feeding.

Think of economical pellets like fast food for humans. It is alright to have it as a treat now and then, but eating it every day could lead to nutritional and health issues – including early death. 

To properly care for your koi, you will need to buy high-quality pellets and use these as their staple diet. The higher quality pellets tend to contain a lot of protein and nutrients essential for your koi to be healthy and grow properly. 

Many high-quality pellets will contain probiotics, which are very good for your koi as they will help them digest fats and carbohydrates. It may seem like an expensive feat, but you will be saving money come wintertime when they do not have to be fed often (or at all).

If you want to save money on koi fish food, you can cook your own homemade pellets and pastes to feed to your Koi fish; you can learn how to do that here.

Best Quality Koi Pellets

You should always make sure to buy the best quality koi pellets on the market to ensure your koi are as healthy as possible. High-quality pellets also help with the vibrant color of your koi and their growth. 

Quality PelletsBest Used ForBuy On Amazon
Blue Ridge Probiotic PlusAll Koi, All SeasonsBuy On Amazon
Hikari USA GoldAll KoiBuy On Amazon
Blue Ridge Koi & GoldfishKoi & GoldfishBuy On Amazon
Blue Ridge Platinum ProChampion KoiBuy On Amazon
Kaytee Koi FoodAll KoiBuy On Amazon
Tetra Pond High Protein GrowthYoung KoiBuy On Amazon


How many pellets you will need to feed your koi fish depends on various factors. The number of required pellets is generally 1-4% of the total body weight of your koi, according to their age. 

You should also ensure that your koi can finish all the pellets given to them within three to five minutes so that they are not overeating as they do not have stomachs that signal when they are full. 


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