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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Koi Nutrition and Maintenance


Experience Level: Intermediate

Koi Fish

Nutrition & Maintenance

• Koi eat both plant and animal matter, including pellets, frozen or freeze-dried foods.
• Choose a pelleted food of the appropriate size for your fish as its staple diet.
• Feed your Koi as much food as they will consume in three minutes, twice a day.
• In cold climates, it’s normal for Koi in outdoor ponds to stop eating when the water temperature is consistently below 45o F (7o C).

Maintaining a healthy environment for your Koi is an ongoing commitment. A newly set up aquarium or pond requires more frequent monitoring with weekly water testing and changing if necessary. Once the water quality is stable, you can keep your aquarium or pond in great shape with minimal effort by following this schedule:


Maintenance Schedule

Feed fish twice daily. 

Check water temperature and general health of fish.


Remove 10% of the water and replace with dechlorinated water.

Test water quality in new aquariums.

Scrub aquarium to remove algae, if necessary. 


Vacuum gravel and replace 25% of water with dechlorinated water.

Test water quality in established aquariums.

Perform filter maintenance. (i.e., replace filter cartridge, replace carbon, rinse pre-filter, etc.).

Scrub algae and prune live plants, if necessary. 

Always add a dechlorinator or water conditioner to tap water before adding it to the aquarium or pond. Do not use soaps or detergents to clean aquarium or decor, as they are toxic to fish.

Always wash your hands before and after handling fish or cleaning the aquarium or pond.