Breeder Konishi feeding baby Karashi

Learning how to approach a koi fish is easy with some patience and knowledge. Not only can koi fish get to know you but they can also follow you as you come close with food and make interactions creating a special bond.

Petting and hand feeding koi fish allows you to engage with these vibrant and graceful swimmers in a whole new way, while also enjoying a calming and therapeutic experience. In this article, we will dive into the world of koi fish and explore the art of hand feeding and petting them. We’ll cover the benefits and precautions for you to get started hand feeding your koi.

Tips for Petting Koi Fish Properly

When it comes to handling and petting koi fish, you want to approach your fish slowly, especially as you get to know them, and handle them with care. The best way to get to your fish to trust you is by offering them food! They will start coming right up to you – they are just as food motivated as most dogs. And you may think koi fish may be slimy or scaly but they are just the same feeling as many other fish.

While they may not come up to you at first, they will get to know their owners. Allow the koi fish to come to you for interaction instead of forcing it. When they do, they can lightly brush upon your hand or even offer kisses as they pass. You won’t want to pick up the fish and pet them like you would most other animals, but simply allow them to make the interaction and be a witness to the bonding experience.

5 Benefits for Hand Feeding Koi Fish

Hand feeding koi fish is a delightful and rewarding practice that offers several benefits for both the fish and the enthusiasts. It is important to get to know your koi so they can trust you and let you feed them by hand. Practicing caution while getting to your koi promotes safety for both the fish in your pond and your family. Let’s explore the different advantages of hand feeding koi fish.

Some of the pond images below are from the pond of Val L. His full customer story will be coming out soon!

1. Bonding and Interaction

Hand feeding koi creates a unique bond and interaction between you and the fish.

As they become accustomed to your presence, they will start to associate you with food, approaching you eagerly. This interaction allows you to develop a personal connection with your koi, fostering a sense of trust and companionship.

2. Health Monitoring

A wonderful benefit of hand feeding your koi is getting the opportunity to observe the health and well-being of your koi fish up close. As you feed them, you can easily assess their behavior, appetite, and overall condition.

Any changes in their behavior or physical appearance can be detected early, allowing you to address potential health issues promptly before anything gets worse.

3. Enrichment and Stimulation

You can add an extra layer of enrichment to their daily routine by hand feeding and petting your koi fish.

It stimulates their natural foraging instincts, as they actively seek out food from your hand. This mental and physical stimulation promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle for the fish, enhancing their overall well-being.

4. Personal Enjoyment and Relaxation

Koi enthusiasts find hand feeding koi to be a source of great joy and relaxation.

The peaceful and tranquil experience of watching the fish gracefully approach and gently nibble food from your hand can be incredibly therapeutic. It provides a moment of connection with nature and allows you to unwind and appreciate the beauty of these majestic creatures.

5. Education and Learning for Children

Getting up close and personal while feeding koi fish offers an educational opportunity, especially for children or those new to the hobby.

Observing their behavior and learning about their feeding habits and preferences can deepen your understanding of koi fish and their unique characteristics. It provides a hands-on learning experience that fosters appreciation and curiosity for the natural world.

DO’s And DON’Ts for Hand Feeding Your Koi

  • DO exercise caution and follow proper guidelines while hand feeding koi fish
  • DO use appropriate and high quality koi food like Mr. Kodama Koi Food
  • DO maintain cleanliness within your koi pond by feeding the fish individually by hand instead of scattering food across the water


  • DON’T overfeed your koi to ensure the health and well-being of your fish
  • DON’T let your koi fish jump out of the water – generally if they are jumping out, it is a sign something is wrong

How to Feed Koi Properly – Seminar Recap Video

Join us in this recap from June 2022 koi food seminar for everything you need to know about feeding your koi by Taro Kodama and two experienced hobbyists. Our main goal is to educate our existing and new customers on feeding their koi. Topics discussed during this seminar include a regular feeding guide, how Kodama Koi Farm feeds their koi, and how other hobbyists feed their Koi.

The Art of Hand Feeding Koi with Mr. Kodama Koi Food

Hand feeding your Koi is not just about providing sustenance; it’s a way to connect with your fish on a deeper level. With Mr. Kodama Koi Food, we encourage the practice of hand feeding as a bonding experience that fosters trust and interaction.

The small, bite-sized pellets are carefully designed for easy grasping and release an irresistible aroma that will captivate your Koi’s senses. As you extend your hand into the water, watch as your Koi eagerly approaches, creating a magical moment that will bring joy to both you and your aquatic friends.

Our team of nutrition experts has carefully selected a blend of premium proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals that are specifically formulated to meet the dietary needs of Koi fish.

We understand that the overall health of your Koi depends on their nutrition, and that’s why we leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our Koi food surpasses all expectations.

Best Koi Treats for Hand Feeding Koi

If you enjoy the time spent feeding and petting your koi, you will want to have Manda Fu on hand year round. Manda Fu Koi Food (some call it koi crack) is very digestible and is designed for low water temperatures or when a koi’s system does not have to work as hard.

We add a popular Japanese health supplement, Manda Nishiki, to improve health and the lustrous color of your koi all while feeding them from the palm of your hand.

With the best digestion rate of 98.2%, Manda Fu is the most suitable koi food for autumn, winter and spring. You can feed your koi Manda Fu even when the water temperature drops as low as 45F to 50F degrees.

Buy these koi treats to feed koi right out of your hand!

Most Importantly, Bond With Your Koi and Have Fun

Hand feeding and petting your koi will be a lovely experience now that you know the safest and best ways to bond with your koi fish.

Feeding them quality food and taking note of their health when feeding will be the greatest benefit to your pond fish.