What Is The Best Food For Baby Koi?

Baby koi fish are beautiful little creatures that grow very quickly. This means you need to ensure that their food contains nutrients to support this fast growth. There are a few different foods you can feed your baby Koi fish, but what is the best food for your baby koi? 

When baby Koi fish are 24 hours old, you can feed them liquid or suspended particle food. Once the fish are a little older, you can add some small brine shrimp, egg yolk paste, crushed adult Koi pellets, some daphnia, then some powdered krill and fish flakes when they are two weeks old.

How do you feed baby Koi fish? How many times a day should baby Koi fish eat? Can you make your own egg yolk paste? Is there anything baby Koi fish should not eat? Let’s find out!

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What Is The Best Food For Your Baby Koi?

Baby koi fish are beautiful little things that can grow quickly and have stunning, vibrant colors, often even outshining the adult Koi fish in appearance. When you are breeding your koi fish, there are a few precautions you need to take to ensure the babies are safe and healthy. 

You need to ensure they are kept safely away from predator fish and their parents as the adult Koi fish tend to eat their own young. However, when the baby Koi fish hatch and are safe from outside threats, these little ones can be pretty hardy. 

Once the baby Koi fish have hatched, they are pretty easy to care for, but when caring for them, the most important thing you need to get right to ensure your baby koi are healthy is the food you give them. You need to provide them with food that will support their fast growth, and that’s not too big for them.

Let’s have a look at what you should feed your baby Koi fish during different stages of their development to make sure they grow correctly and don’t develop any problems. 

Birth To One Month Old

When koi fish are born, they have a yolk. This yolk will sustain the baby Koi fish for 24 hours after hatching. After the first 24 hours of hatching, you will need to feed your baby Koi fish. 

You need to remember that these koi fish babies are tiny and, therefore, they have small mouths that you will need to accommodate when looking for food for them. These little fish also have specific nutritional requirements to help them grow strong and healthy. 

So, you need to ensure that the food you give them is full of the nutrients they need. The food you give your baby koi needs to be high in fat and proteins, as they grow very quickly, and these nutrients support this growth better. 

For your baby Koi fish’s first few days, you can use a suspended-partial or liquid food for your babies. This food is generally some form of larvae suspended in a fluid. This food is usually used for baby Koi as they can easily eat it, and it’s packed full of fats and proteins. 

You could also go for a powdered food option for these first feeds of your baby Koi fish. You can buy specially made powdered food for baby Koi fish, or you can buy a high-quality adult Koi fish food and grind it into a powder yourself. 

You can also feed your baby koi some live food, which can be brought as eggs and hatched at your home to ensure they are small enough for the baby koi to eat. Here is what to feed your baby koi for the first month of their lives:

  • Twenty-four hours after they have hatched, feed them liquid foods or suspended-particle food. Now would be the perfect time to hatch your live food eggs if you want to use them.
  • On days 2 and 3, you can increase the portion sizes of their meals, and you can add a dollop of newborn brine shrimp for the baby koi to eat, but only do this once per day. 
  • On days 4 and 5, you can start feeding them a quarter cup of egg yolk paste once a day, along with their usual food. A recipe to make your own egg yolk paste is further on in this article. 
  • Then on days 6 and 7, you can add some powdered food to your baby koi’s diet
  • In the second week of their lives, you can start feeding them some crushed adult Koi pellets and some daphnia.
  • By the end of the second week, stop feeding them the liquid foods and the egg paste, and switch to some good-quality powdered krill and fish flakes. Continue feeding your baby koi the baby brine shrimp along with the flakes for added protein and the daphnia. 

Two Months Old

The two-month mark for your baby Koi fish is a big milestone as you can finally turn on the tank’s filter as your baby koi are now big enough to swim against the pull of the filter’s current. When your baby Koi fish have reached this milestone, they should be about 1 or 2 inches in length now. 

You may find that some of your baby Koi fish are a bit more robust than the others, and they might hog all the food during your feedings. You need to remove these baby Koi and place them in a separate tank to allow the other baby koi to feed better. 

Then for the second month in your baby Koi fishes life, you can feed them the following:

  • Frozen daphnia 
  • Powdered baby koi fish flakes
  • Crushed adult Koi fish pellets 
  • Baby koi sinking pellets, but only once a day
  • Frozen brine shrimp blocks; get the ones with the adult shrimp.

Three Months Old

When your baby Koi fish have reached three months, you can now drop one feeding time as they won’t need to eat as often. You need to ensure they eat three times a day and allow them to eat all they can eat in a 5-minute window. 

When your baby koi reach three months old, you need to change their diet a little bit once again. When they are this old, you still need to feed them the same pellet foods as in their second month of life, but you will now only provide them the frozen daphnia once a day.

The rest of the food you give them will be the same as their two-month mark. When the third month is up, your baby Koi fish should now measure about 3 to 4 inches in length. Once this month I up, you can start feeding your baby koi as you would your adult Koi fish. 

How To Feed Baby Koi Fish

If you are a beginner Koi fish breeder, then you may be wondering how to feed your baby Koi fish. Well, in the first month of their lives, the baby Koi fish will be extremely small, so you will have to feed them by throwing their food into their water. 

There is no other way to feed them during this time as you will be using liquid or suspended-particle food as they are too small to eat anything else. When your baby Koi fish start to grow and begin to eat the frozen pellets and food, you can employ one of two feeding methods. 

These are hand feeding your baby Koi fish or just throwing the food into their tanks and watching to ensure they all get a chance to eat. 

It is mostly recommended to do a mixture of both these feeding types, though, as some of your baby Koi fish may be more skittish than others and will not feed from your hand. 

So, you can hand feed the more adventurous baby Koi fish and then throw food in for the shy baby Koi fish to ensure they don’t starve. 

How Many Times A Day Should Baby Koi Fish Be Fed?

Baby koi fish are just like many other animals on the planet in the way that the younger they are, there more often they need to eat as they are still trying to grow into strong and healthy adults. 

Koi fish grow fairly quickly, and they need to be fed often enough to sustain their fast growth, or they may develop some disabilities later affecting how they swim.

So, after 24 hours of your baby Koi hatching, you need to feed them at least four times per day, which can be challenging for some people to do, but this supports their growth well. 

Then when your baby Koi fish reach three months old, you can cut this down to four times a day, as your baby Koi fish are not going to be growing as fast as they did in their first two months. 

It’s recommended to feed your baby Koi fish three times a day until they are four months old, and then feed them as frequently as you do your adult Koi fish. 

How Much Should You Feed Baby Koi Fish?

When your baby Koi fish are under one month old, you will need to experiment with the amount of food your particular baby Koi fish need to eat as they are all different. You need to focus on fine-tuning the amount to ensure you don’t overfeed them at a young age. 

Unfortunately, there is no exact amount that you should be feeding your baby Koi fish. You will need to feed them little by little to gauge the amount they need to grow strong and healthy. 

If you are struggling with this, you should speak to a professional and have them look at your baby Koi fish. They will be able to help you decide on the perfect amount of food for your baby Koi fish.

How To Make Egg Yolk Paste At Home For Baby Koi

As I mentioned earlier, you can make your own egg yolk paste to feed your baby Koi fish while still developing. The egg yolk paste ensures that your baby Koi fish receive all the protein that their growing bodies require. 

Feeding your baby Koi fish egg yolk paste needs to be done on a supplementary basis, and you should not only feed your baby Koi fish egg yolk paste and nothing else, as your baby koi do require other nutrients as well. Let’s go through how you can make your own egg yolk paste. 


 To make your home-made egg yolk paste for your baby Koi fish, you will require a few ingredients and some equipment, which include:

  • Purified water
  • Three hard-boiled eggs
  • A fork
  • A sharp knife
  • A bowl
  • A cup
  • A plastic squeezy bottle


When you have collected all the needed tools and ingredients and boiled your eggs, you can now make your egg yolk paste for your baby Koi fish. Follow the steps below to start.

Step 1 – carefully peel the shell off all three hard-boiled eggs.

Step 2 – cut the hard-boiled eggs into halves and carefully scoop out the egg yolks, ensuring you get as much egg white off the yolk as possible.

Step 3 – Place the egg yolks into the bowl and crush them with the fork. 

Step 4 – pour one and a half cups of purified water into the crushed egg yolks.

Step 5 – carefully pour the egg yolk mixture into the plastic squeezy bottle.

Step 6 – When you need to feed your baby Koi fish, squeeze a small amount of the egg yolk mixture onto the surface of the water. 

When you are feeding your baby Koi fish the egg yolk paste, ensure you feed them little bits at a time, and not more than they can eat within five minutes. The excess egg yolk mixture will then mix with the water in the tank and spoil the water.

What Should Baby Koi Fish Not Eat?

When your koi fish are babies, there are a few foods you should never feed them; even though some people suggest the foods below, don’t ever feed them to your baby Koi fish. Some food below should not be provided to adult Koi fish either as they can be toxic. These foods are:

  • Dry or wet cat and dog foods
  • Cereals 
  • Any foods for small animals like gerbils, rabbits, and rats, should be avoided
  • Please do not feed them insects you catch in the wild
  • Grains of any kind
  • White bread
  • Corn
  • Peas 


Baby koi fish are relatively easy to feed, and it’s generally a simple process. You can buy commercially made baby koi fish food, or you can make your own, but whatever you choose to do, ensure you feed them the correct portions and as frequently as you can to help them grow strong and healthy. Good luck with your baby Koi fish!


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