What Do Pond Fish Eat?

Updated March 23, 2017

Ponds add a unique quality gardens and homes, and these ponds create their own ecosystem of fish and aquatic plant life. People thinking of constructing ponds with fish need to know what these pond fish eat. It is important to note that koi eat vegetation whereas goldfish do not, and you should be careful not to overfeed fish. Do not fill the pond with more food than can be eaten in 5 minutes. Pond fish eat a variety of foods found in nature so very little fish food needs to be purchased.


Pond fish, such as plecostomus catfish, eat algae growing in their ecosystem. This helps ponds reduce algae which diminish the amount of oxygen needed to support life.

Insects and Fish Eggs

Most pond fish eat insects such as mosquito larvae and fish eggs because they also need protein sources in order to survive.

Plant Materials

Pond fish such as koi eat water vegetation. However, because too many plants can choke the life out of a pond, limit the introduction of excess vegetation.

Crayfish and Small Fish

Pond fish eat things that add protein to their diet. Fish such as bluegill and bass eat crayfish and small fish, like minnows.

Fish Flakes

If the pond has enough natural nutrients, fish do not need to eat purchased fish flakes. However, people can add this to pond fish diet as an occasional treat.

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About the Author

Based in Tucson, Ariz., Cicely A. Richard has been writing since 1996. Her articles have been published in the “Arizona Daily Star” newspaper and “ForeWord Magazine.” Richard earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and journalism from Louisiana State University. .