Why Is My Koi Fish Spitting Out Food? Should I Be Worried?

Landed here because you were worried about your koi fish not eating well? Don’t worry, I can help you deal with this!

As a fish keeper, you may spend a lot of time in front of your aquarium. When you do so, you may notice all sorts of strange behavior. Fish spitting out their food is one such behavior. Even Betta fish parents worry about them frequently spitting out food.

There are many reasons for your koi fish for spitting their food out of their mouth. In most cases, they just play with their food. Nevertheless, it is likely that there is some problem.

In this article, let’s discuss the reasons behind this behavior. Plus, what you can do to help it. So, let’s dive right in!

Reasons For Koi Fish Spitting Out Food

Food is an integral part of their life for fish, like any other living being. So, even if there is a small thing wrong with the food, they tend to spit it out. In some cases, they might be suffering from the mouth or gill-related problems.

There’s more to this behavior than you can see through the aquarium. I have listed some of the most common problems and their solutions below:

Bad Water Quality

The fish tank may not be clean enough, or the temperature is not optimal. This means that the food you give can get mixed with harmful compounds such as nitrates and ammonia.

It can negatively impact the taste and the quality of food. So, your koi fish may start spitting the food out regularly.

Solution: Make sure the temperature and pH levels are always optimal. Plus, change the water and clean the tank regularly.

Gill Infection

Every time fish swallow their food, they flex their gills to prevent it from moving out. This process will ensure their food reaches their stomach correctly.

If there is a problem with their gills, fish can not swallow the food into their stomach. In case of a gill infection, they may experience pain while eating, so they may start spitting it out.

Solution: You can use a flow-through medicine of Chloramine-T. Then, you should prevent the growth of bacteria in the tank by keeping it clean.

Mouth Problems

Although this problem is quite rare with Koi fish does not mean you should rule it out. It can be an allergy, irritation, swelling, ulcer, or deformity. In worst cases, it may even be a tumor.

These problems can make it difficult for the fish to eat normal food properly. So, they may spit the food, soften it, and swallow it again.

If they do not swallow again, it may be because the problem is too bad. You can look for other signs such as red spots, elevated scales, lethargy, and increased veining to confirm this problem.

Solution: In such cases, you have to make sure your fish do not starve themselves since it can kill them. You will have to give them antibiotic therapy.

Taste is Bad

One of the most common reasons for this behavior is the fish dislikes the food. Koi fish are especially picky and moody about their food.

On the other hand, the food may not taste as good. You should be careful of this problem, especially when the koi fish is growing.

Solution: Feed them tasty food containing squid meals, shrimp meals, earthworms, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, make sure the food does not have sugar or salt content.

Stomach is Full

You may not know how much to feed your fish, especially if you are a beginner fish keeper. So, you may feed them more than you should.

When it happens, they will start eating and spitting out the food. Koi fish also, like humans, have a natural instinct to stop eating when they are full.

Solution: You should schedule regular meal timings for your fish and feed them the right amount of food. This step will not only prevent this behavior it will also help them digest the food correctly.

Simply Playing

Koi fish are extremely active and playful creatures. So, they may be just playing with the food, and you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

They will intake the food and spit it out and do it again until they get bored. To confirm this, you can check if they are eating food properly and regularly. If your koi fish are eating well, they are simply having some fun with food.

Wrap Up

As someone who loves their koi fish a lot, it can make you anxious to see your fish spit out their food. To make sure everything is alright, keep a keen eye on the fish that does this.

There are many other reasons for this behavior. It can be because of stress, or the fish is bored of the same food.

So, you have to regularly clean the bowl for the best results and keep aqua plants and hiding spots. Plus, feed them healthy, nutritious meals.