How long koi can go without food will vary greatly depending on a number of important factors.
Koi have a natural digestive cycle throughout the year that see’s them eat a lot in warmer months and then as the temperatures begin to drop as the months move towards winter they will start to eat less and less.
The length of time that a koi can live without regular feeding will vary depending on the following:
- Season – During winter koi go into hibernation mode and will virtually stop feeding, in warmer months they need regular feeding to sustain their higher levels of activity
- Available Food – If the pond has a rich supply of algae, vegetation, and insects that the koi can eat then they will be able to survive a lot longer
- Age – Older koi will normally have larger fat stores and will generally have a much stronger immune system than younger ones
- Size – older and thus larger koi can store a lot more body fat, they will also be much more experienced at foraging for food in a pond than younger fish
- Health – Healthier koi will have a much higher chance of survival than those that are prone to infections
How Long Can Koi Fish Go Without Feeding?
In a healthy pond koi can last two to three weeks without feeding assuming that the pond has lots of natural foods such as algae, sub-aquatic insects, and other insects that might land on the surface of the water.
Koi may also feed on tadpoles or small frogs if they are really hungry, assuming your pond has them.
Compared to most other species of pet fish koi eat a lot of food it they are let so during summer months they can build up large reserves of fat to see them through the leaner winter months.
Larger more mature koi will eat other fish particularly if the other fish a very small. If you stock koi and goldfish together in the same pond you need to make sure that he goldfish are of a suitable size.
How Long Can Koi Fish Go Without Food in Winter?
Koi can last for up to six months during winter without food. Once temperatures drop to 50 degrees the koi’s digestive system will almost completely stop. During this time they are effectively in winter hibernation and feeding them can result i undigested food remaining in their system for long periods.
Undigested food is dangerous as it will slowly rot and in time may result in a bacterial infection in the koi’s digestive system.
Occasionally there will be warm days during the winter months and your koi may become more active and start to look for food at the surface of the water.
Do not be tempted to feed your koi on these days as it will result in the food remaining in their stomach when the temperature drops back to normal winter levels the next day.
How Long Can Koi Fish Go Without Food in Summer?
Koi will last two to three weeks without being fed in the summer. In some ponds with lots of natural food available there may be enough to sustain the koi without feeding at all.
This will generally only happen in large well vegetated ponds that have a low number of koi per 1000 gallons of water.
Can Koi Fish Starve Without Food?
Koi will starve unless there is some kind of natural foods available in your pond for them to feed on. Larger more mature koi with higher levels of fat storage will last longer than smaller slimmer koi fish.
Without any food they will last for several weeks but the age, size, and general health of your koi will have an impact on how long the will last without food.