Do Koi Fish Eat Their Babies?

Koi fish can be a beautiful addition to your pond. Their incredible colors and social behavior make them a staple for many landscapers.

Yet keeping the population steady isn’t always easy. This is because adult Koi tend to eat their young.

In a small pond, Koi have to compete with each other for food sources. Without regular feeding, they have to fend for themselves.

So will they eat their babies? Koi don’t recognize small fish as their own until the babies resemble their adult counterparts. As a result, they’ll eat them.

Will They Eat Their Own Eggs?

While Koi can become quite large, they actually have small mouths. That means that many of them may need to eat their own eggs to survive.

If the kind of food the Koi are being fed is too large for them, they can’t eat it. As a result, they’ll look for food they can consume like their eggs.

What Other Baby Pond Animals Or Eggs Will Koi Eat?

Many pond owners love to mix Koi and Goldfish together. However, the Koi may eat the eggs of the Goldfish as well.

Research even suggests that they may eat the baby Goldfish, themselves.

Koi are also known to eat smaller frogs, tadpoles, and frog eggs.

Because of their small mouths, they tend to feed on small things like eggs and small fish.

What Do Baby Koi Look Like?

One aspect of Koi that may surprise you is their babies. After a baby Koi is born, it doesn’t have the beautiful colors that their adult forms are known for.

Instead, their color may be quite dull. In fact, it’s typically brown.

They also have incredibly small mouths that don’t immediately look the same as their mom and dad.

Because of this, the adult Koi aren’t able to recognize the baby Koi as their own. So, they eat them.

As they grow, however, the baby Koi will start to increase its color, size, and its mouth shape will change, too.

How Long Are Koi Fish Pregnant?

Pregnancy in Koi is very different from human pregnancy. They don’t technically become pregnant as humans do.

Instead, Koi females produce and carry their eggs inside of them for a time. They may appear slightly larger or bloated, but it isn’t because they’re pregnant.

They simply have several eggs inside of them.

When in the presence of male Koi, the males will start to chase the females around. This is to encourage them to lay their eggs.

Eventually, after a few days of chasing, the Koi female will lay her eggs in some wees or in a protected area. The male will swim by and fertilize the eggs.

From there, the baby Koi fish will start to grow within the eggs.

When Do Koi Spawn?

In order for Koi to spawn, fish experts state that the water temperature of the pond needs to be between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For many ponds, that temperature typically occurs either in late spring or early summer.

It will only take around four days for the baby fish to hatch from their eggs.

How Many Koi Can A Pond Hold By Gallons Of Water

While a crowd of Koi may look gorgeous in your pond, you don’t want to overcrowd them. Not only can this make the social network of the fish unpleasant, but it means they’ll also be competing with limited food sources.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to understand a healthy balance of water conditions. This means that every one inch of fish requires 10 gallons of water.

For a pond, this can equate to 100 inches per 1,000 gallons of water.

You’ll also want to make sure that the pond is deep enough to keep the water from becoming too hot.

How To Get Koi To Lay Eggs And Breed

If you’re eager to get some new baby Koi into your pond, then there are a few steps you can take to encourage their spawning. The first is to give the fish plenty of cover to lay their eggs.

That means including tall grasses, allowing leaves to cover parts of the pond, introducing lily pads, and ensuring there are plenty of root systems throughout the pond. This gives Koi a safe location to lay their eggs.

You can also check the temperature of the water to determine if it’s the right temperature for spawning.

Finally, you’ll want to keep your pond clean. Too many toxins in the water can kill the eggs or keep the females from releasing their eggs.

How To Protect Baby Koi After They Are Born

Few Koi babies survive to adulthood. Yet there are a few things you can do to keep them protected.

One of the most common methods that pond owners utilize is by removing the baby Koi after they hatch. They are extremely delicate at this stage.

You’ll want to be extra careful when handling them.

You can also choose to place the female adult Koi in a brooding tank that’s separate from the pond. Simply remove the adults after the eggs have been fertilized to allow the babies to grow without being eaten.

Finally, it’s vital that the water stays healthy. Changing the filter in the pond and checking for bad bacteria can help ensure the babies stay healthy and grow.

What To Feed Baby Koi

When they’re first born, they won’t have any mouths. You don’t need to feed them at this point.

After two or three days, they’ll develop their mouths and fins. They’ll detach from their egg sac, or eat it, and then they’ll be ready to be fed.

One of the best things you can feed your baby Koi is liquid fry food. These are tiny little food pellets that your baby Koi can easily eat.

Like all babies, they need to be fed frequently, too. Experts say that they should be fed four or five times a day.

You can also feed them shrimp larvae.