Blackwater Koi Food Review 2020 [Nutrition Breakdown]


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Evaluation & Review of Blackwater Creek Koi Food (Nutrition Breakdown)

Koi in a pond benefit from a balanced diet
For the best growth, color and immune support koi depend on high quality nutrition from pelleted feeds.

In order to live long, healthy, happy lives, koi need a balanced diet. Most koi do well with 40 to 45% protein as fry and closer to 30% as adults; 5 to 15% lipids; 10 to 30% carbohydrates (some sources argue on this, but lower is usually better to prevent liver damage); and an adequate amount of cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. Magnesium and iron can simply be obtained from the water, but other essential vitamins and minerals must be acquired via food consumption.

Blackwater Koi Foods, also known as Blackwater Creek, is a US based company specializing in formulating balanced koi foods to increase growth and minimize fish waste while remaining as affordable as possible. Their website states that their koi foods are almost always made 90 days or less before they’re shipped out to buyers, thus helping to maintain freshness and nutritional integrity.

Their foods come in a variety of formulas to serve a variety of functions. You can find food for enhancing color, maximizing growth, soft moistened foods, pellets in various sizes, medicated food to treat various ailments, probiotic food, cold weather feeds, and koi treats. Truly, a food for just about any need or preference.


1) Blackwater Max Growth Food Review

The Blackwater Max Growth formula is designed for just that – maximizing your koi’s growth. This formula is available as small (3.2 mm) and medium (4.8 mm) pellets, making them ideal for koi as well as goldfish.

The primary agent behind growth maximization is the high 38% crude protein amount and higher fat percentage of 8%. This high protein content is primarily obtained from menhaden fish meal, secondarily from rice bran, with the tertiary protein source being shrimp meal.

Though amino acids and lipids are often viewed as the primary contributors to carp growth, whether wild or koi carp, research shows that protein levels do indeed impact growth, while increased dietary lipids don’t have a noticeable effect. Regardless, this feed has plenty of both to fuel your fish! The label states that 1 inch of growth per month during warm months is typical with this food.

Crude fiber levels in this food measure out to 4%, a healthy level for both juvenile and adult koi. The vitamin and mineral profile consists of iron, riboflavin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, calcium carbonate, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, biotin, and vitamins A, C, D3, E, B12, and K, among others. It also contains Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, a form of iodine that is highly bioavailable and readily binds, so it greatly reduces iodine deficiencies in humans and animals, including fish.

  • Type: Medium and small pellets (floating)
  • Season: Use above 60° F
  • Protein: 38% (1. menhaden fish meal, 2. rice bran)
  • Fat: 8%
  • Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, K, and minerals
  • Immune Booster: No
  • Color Enhancer: Yes, shrimp meal

2) Black Water Color Enhancer Food Review

The Black Water Color Enhancer formula is unlike many other color enhancers in that it doesn’t just contain the minimum amount of color enhancing ingredients – 30% of their formula is composed of these color enhancers. It’s designed to really vivify reds and yellows, and works best for koi, goldfish, and cichlids. The four natural color enhancers in this formula are spirulina, canthaxanthin, shrimp meal, and carophyll red.

It comes in medium (4.8 mm) and large (7.9 mm) pellets, making it suitable for most koi and large goldfish.

The crude protein is still quite high at 38%, the difference from the maximum growth formula being that the primary protein source in this food is plant-based (wheat middlings) rather than animal based. Animal based proteins, such as fish meal, lend to greater growth for koi. The secondary protein source, however, is shrimp meal.

The fat content sits at a median 6%. The low 4% fiber content is ideal, as koi don’t require much fiber and can suffer from painful digestion issues if there is too much fiber in their diet.

The vitamin and mineral profile consists of iron, riboflavin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, calcium carbonate, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, biotin, and vitamins A, C, D3, E, B12, and K, among a few others.

  • Type: Medium and large pellets (floating)
  • Season: All season
  • Protein: 38% (1. Wheat middlings, 2. Shrimp meal)
  • Fat: 6%
  • Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, K, and minerals
  • Immune Booster: No
  • Color Enhancer: Yes, shrimp meal, spirulina, canthaxanthin, carophyll red

3) Black Water Cool Season Food Review

Blackwater Cool Season Fish Food Medium 40 lb. by Blackwater Creek
  • Crude Protein - Minimum 32%
  • Crude Fat - Minimum 4%
  • Crude Fiber - Maximum 4%

Black Water’s cool season pellets contain wheat germ, a plant based protein source that’s very popular during the cooler months when a kois metabolism and digestion has slowed down significantly. It’s also able to be used in the spring to help promote spawning, as its low fat formula helps prevent fat buildup in the ovaries of female fish that could inhibit fertility.

The lower protein content of 32% makes digestion easier during colder weather, with the primary source being wheat middlings, the second fish meal, and the third ground wheat. 4% fat and 4% fiber also lend to easier digestion. All necessary vitamins and minerals are included (iron, riboflavin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, calcium carbonate, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, and vitamins A, C, D3, E, B12, and K), as well as biotin to support scale health.

  • Type: Medium pellets (floating)
  • Season: Cool weather (50 – 60° F), but can be used year round
  • Protein: 32% (1. Wheat middlings, 2. Fish meal)
  • Fat: 4%
  • Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, K, and minerals
  • Immune Booster: Yes, brewer’s yeast, garlic
  • Color Enhancer: Yes, shrimp meal

4) Black Water Gold-N Food Review

The Gold-N formula was designed by Black Water for champion and show fish. It’s the most expensive food that Black Water has to offer, and for good reason. Not only does it provide all essential dietary requirements, vitamins, and minerals, but it also contains garlic and brewer’s yeast to boost the immune system, vegetables like asparagus and spinach, and the probiotic enzyme protease to improve the digestibility of proteins.

Protease is an incredibly versatile enzyme, capable of also streamlining DNA replication in the body to minimize genetic mutations, speeding up wound repair, increasing fertility, maximizing nutrient uptake while minimizing waste, and heightening resistance to infections and diseases.

Available in medium (4.8 mm) pellets, the Gold-N formula contains a whopping 40% protein and 10%, making it a popular food with show fish professionals as it boosts growth. The primary protein sources are menhaden fish meal, wheat flour, and shrimp meal, and boosted by soy protein isolate.

Vitamins and minerals include iron, riboflavin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, calcium carbonate, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, vitamins A, C, D3, E, B12, and K, and biotin.

  • Type: Medium pellets (floating)
  • Season: All season
  • Protein: 40% (1. Menhaden fish meal, 2. Shrimp meal)
  • Fat: 10%
  • Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, K, and minerals
  • Immune Booster: Yes, brewer’s yeast, garlic
  • Color Enhancer: Yes, shrimp meal, beet powder

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