How to Make Koi Fish Grow Faster? 6 Things to Try!

Some of the best ways to make a koi fish grow faster include pond water temperature and quality maintenance, providing high-quality nutrition, and ensuring that the pond isn’t overpopulated.

Koi are beautiful and intelligent fish that have the potential to grow large if adequately taken care of.

A healthy koi can grow as big as 3 feet in length and weigh about 12 pounds by the age of ten.

However, the growth of koi fish is highly influenced by their diet, water quality, stocking, stress, and several other factors.

Keep on reading to learn the expert ways to make your koi fish grow faster.

6 Ways to Make Your Koi Fish Grow Faster

The first few years of a koi fish’s life have the greatest potential for growth.

Therefore, all efforts to maximize and expedite growth should be made during these years.

Simply put, it will be more challenging to help an eight-year-old koi fish grow compared to a one-year-old. Here are tips and tricks to help you speed up the growth of your koi fish:

Also read: Why are Koi Fish so Popular?

1. Temperature Regulation

The water temperature of the pond directly influences the koi’s activity level, metabolism, appetite, digestion, and the production of necessary chemicals and hormones.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that the temperature within the koi fish pond is maintained between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit).

The easiest way to maintain the pond’s temperature is to ensure that it stays above 18 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times.

2. Provide Quality Nutrition

According to a study, when given a daily meal supplemented with zooplankton, koi fish gained weight (49–67%) and grew more quickly than those who weren’t.

For optimum growth, feed the koi a balanced diet comprising 35% to 40%protein from aquatic sources like fishmeal, shrimp meal, bloodworms, etc.

Furthermore, you can also feed your koi fish plant-based proteins such as wheat gems, spirulina, and soybeans.

It is advised to feed the koi plant-based protein during winter as the cold temperature can lower the growth rate of the koi fish.

The plant-based proteins comprise complex carbohydrates and fat that maximize the koi fish’s growth rate even during the winter season.

The diet of koi fish should comprise only 10% carbohydrates, with fats (lipids) coming in at 5 to 10%, and the much-needed minerals and fibers.

The ideal food for koi fish includes spinach, shelled peas, balanced pellets, raspberries, broccoli greens, watermelon, and citrus fruits.

Also read: Some Interesting Facts about Koi Fish

3. Optimize Water Quality

Did you know that the quality of the pond water can greatly affect your koi fish?

Balancing the pH of the koi pond between 7 and 7.5 will not only make them the healthiest but also the happiest, ensuring that they grow robustly and quickly.

Plus, make sure to replace the water at least once a week.. During this process, drain 10 to 20%of the water and replace it with fresh water.

This will remove waste and pollutants and in reducing the amount of nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia in the water.

If you don’t want to manually clean the koi fish pond, we recommend installing a biological or mechanical filtration system.

This will keep the pond’s water free from all kinds of toxins, parasites, and chemicals and will provide your koi fish with fresh water at all times.

Also read: Do Koi Fish Need Air Pump?

4. Optimize the Koi Fish’s Feeding Schedule

Creating a feed schedule for your koi fish and ensuring that you follow it will not only help you in keeping a track of their eating habits and nutrition intake but will also help in maximizing their growth.

According to koi specialists, it is advisable to feed the koi fish at least three to six meals every day. In either case, make sure the quantity of food that you give the koi per day remains the same.

Feeding koi fish smaller meals will make it easier for them to digest and will ensure that they get all the necessary nutrients and stay active throughout the day.

Follow the koi fish’s feeding schedule to the tee -make sure that the feeding occurs at the same time every day and that you don’t feed them for more than five minutes per serving.

Remember that koi and all kinds of other fish have an instinctual drive to overeat. So, take charge of your koi’s eating routine.

Once the koi fish has eaten its food, don’t forget to clean out any excess food particles, as it can make the pond’s environment unhealthy.

Also read: How Long Can Koi Fish Live Without Food?

5. Don’t Overpopulate the Koi Fish Ponds

According to a study, overstocked tanks and ponds can reduce the growth rate of fish by 20%and increase mortality significantly.

Keeping koi fish as pets, watching them grow, feeding them, and playing with them can become an addiction before you know it. You might end up buying more than you can take care of.

When investing in koi fish, use the general rule of thumb, which suggests that for every one square foot of pond, you should have a one-inch-long fish.

In simple words, this means that you need to remember that koi fish grow quite large.

So, if you are buying a one-inch koi fry, it will most probably grow around 10 inches or more in length by the time it reaches adulthood.

In order to maintain the population of the koi fish pond, make calculations considering the predicted size of an adult koi fish and not the size of a baby koi fry.

Also read: How to Acclimate Koi Fish to New Tank/Pond?

6. Lighting with LED Auto-Dimmers

Koi fish grow the most during the day. Therefore, using high-quality LED lighting with auto-dimming features is the best way to increase the growth rate of koi fish.

Summer-style lighting within the pond throughout the day will give the koi fish the largest span of time for feeding and growing.

You can simply do this by feeding koi small-size frequent meals between 6 am in the morning till 8 pm at night. This provides the koi with sufficient nutrition and more swimming time.

LED auto-dimmers combined with warmer water, frequent feedings of protein-rich food, and a consistent oxygen supply will ensure healthy koi fish.

However, this doesn’t mean that you keep the LED lights lit throughout the day. Rest is equally important for the health of your koi fish.

Set the timer of the LED auto-dimmers to stimulate a night light after 8 pm. This will help in improving the sleeping patterns of the koi fish

Why Isn’t My Koi Fish Growing?

Wondering why your koi fish isn’t growing? Ask yourself the following questions to find an optimum solution:

Did you recently buy the koi fish?

If you have just bought a baby koi fry, know that they don’t usually grow in the first few months after they have been placed in the pond.

Instead of worrying, give the koi fish time to rest and get used to the pond’s environment.

Does your koi fish have a healthy diet?

Ensure that your koi fish has been fed high-quality koi food for the previous three months at a rate of 1% koi weight.

Keep a regular feeding schedule and ensure you don’t feed them food that has too much protein (more than 28%).

Also read: Do Koi Fish Eat Algae? Do’s and Don’ts!

Are you keeping the koi fish at optimal temperature?

Exposure to suboptimal water temperature for extended periods can result in slowing down the growth rate of the koi.

Use a floating thermometer to track and maintain the pond’s water temperature.

Is the pond water clean?

Koi fish ponds should be regularly cleaned to ensure the health of your koi. Make a habit of cleaning debris and sludge once every week.

Does your Koi have adequate cover and shelter?

If koi are exposed to predators or don’t have enough shade, they could get stressed.

Before presuming that koi growth is limited, you should make sure that the fish is comfortable with its surroundings. 

Is the koi fish eight years old?

The growth rate of koi fish slows down as soon as it is eight years old.

So, the only way to ensure the growth of koi fish is to provide them with optimal living conditions, as mentioned in this article.

Is the pond deep enough?

The growth rate of koi fish slows as it grows older. This means that if your koi weighs over 20 lbs, then it will need a pond that is more than 4 feet deep to grow adequately.

Not enough space can stunt the growth of koi fish or any other aquatic creature.

Also read: How to Make a Pond for Fish? Everything to Know!

Wrapping It Up!

The process of growing a young koi into a big and beautiful one can be accelerated if done the right way.

The koi fish grows best in the temperature range of 59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, with high oxygen levels and low ammonia.

In addition to the perfect environmental conditions, koi fish need a protein-rich diet and enough sleep to grow at an optimum rate and size.

Last but not least, koi fish needs to live in ponds that are deeper than four feet and be fed at least 1%of their body weight each day in order to grow to their full size.

We hope that you found this article helpful. Implement the aforementioned tips to make your koi grow fast and healthy.

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