what should i feed my fish

What Should I Feed My Fish – Diet and Nutrition

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Just like their human counterparts, your aquatic pets need proper nutrition so that they can remain active and healthy and live long lives.

A proper diet can be found by using most manufactured fish foods, but you can also increase your fish’s good health by providing a variety of fresh vegetables and other products, learn what should i feed my fish in this article

  • Knowing your fish’s nutritional needs
  • Understanding food types
  • Feeding the fish

Basic Nutrition to feed my fish

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Unfortunately, you can’t feed your fish the cheeseburger, fries, and apple pie that keeps many kids happy, so you have to supply other types of food to meet their dietary needs.

Fortunately, you can combine many good nutrition sources to form a proper diet for your fish. Aquarium food can be quite varied and includes brine shrimp, dry flake, fresh shrimp, algae, daphnia, pellets, algae wafers, tubifex worms, and beef heart — to name just a few choices.

These foods are all good sources of nutrition, but only if they are distributed in proper amounts. Tossing an entire beef heart into the tank for your guppy’s breakfast doesn’t cut it.

When purchasing any type of aquarium food, the most important rule is to select the finest quality your finances can handle. Aquarium foods are not really that expensive when you look at the total amount of food you get for the price, so why not purchase the best?

Top-quality commercial foods are enriched with vitamins and minerals and help keep your fish in optimal health.

Feeding your fish can be a really relaxing activity and also provides an excellent opportunity for you to check them for any signs of illness. What’s more entertaining than observing a bunch of animals pigging out?

Watching your aquatic pets interact socially (pushing each other out of the way, stealing food from each other, hoarding the choicest items, turning their noses up at others) can be very educational.

What your fish need

What you feed your fish should contain the following components:

  • Carbohydrates: These provide energy for your fish and also help them resist disease.
  • Proteins: These help your fish build strong muscle and tissue. Fish obtain proteins through a diet that includes meat, fish, insects, and manufactured foods. Proteins are an important factor in promoting physical growth, so it is important to remember that younger fish need a little more than full-grown adults.
  • Vitamins: These are vital to your fish’s good health. A balanced diet that combines live and processed foods easily supplies the necessary vitamins. A balanced diet includes vitamin A (egg, greens, crustaceans), vitamin B (fish, greens, algae, and beef), vitamin C (algae), vitamin D (worms, algae, shrimp), vitamin E (egg, algae), vitamin H (egg, liver), and vitamin K (liver, greens).

Experienced hobbyists realize that feeding their aquatic pets can be an art in itself (especially if you own an overgrown piranha). With so many different natural and prepared foods to choose from, not only in fish shops but on the

Internet as well, beginning hobbyists can easily get confused about nutritional issues. Just remember that no one product can satisfy every fish in your aquarium. Variety is always good.

But as this article shows you, learning to feed your fish properly is not as hard as it first seems. A little experience and practice can make all the difference in the world.



You want to make sure that your tropical fish receive all the nutrition they need. However, it is easy to make mistakes until you get the hang of a new feeding routine. Many new hobbyists tend to overfeed their fish.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems. If your fish resemble overinflated tires, cut back on the grub. Too much food in an aquarium tank can also build up and foul the water or increase the risk of disease.

This wasted food accumulates on the bottom of the tank, turns muddy brown, and begins to spoil. Spoiled food can cause health problems for your fish if they happen to eat it.

If excess food piles up, decrease the amount you feed and try putting the food in a different area of the aquarium.

Remember that your fish’s stomach is no larger than its eye. So, if you dump a half a can of fish food into the tank, you had better hope your fish has an eye the size of a dinner plate; otherwise, you’re in for a few problems.

Excess food breaking down on the substrate surface can cause an overabundance of harmful ammonia. If you do happen to overfeed, remove the excess with a standard aquarium vacuum.


Because so much emphasis is placed on overfeeding and its polluting effects, many hobbyists don’t feed their fish enough. Well, the point is, don’t overfeed or underfeed. Feed the correct amount.

Just-right feeding

The general rule is to feed only what your fish can eat in a period of three to five minutes per feeding. Now, this does not mean that you have to stand around with a starter’s whistle and stopwatch at every meal. Just check to make sure that your fish polish off all the food within five minutes.

Another option is to purchase a plastic feeding ring that keeps most dry foods confined to a small area on top of the water. A feeding ring can keep most of the food from quickly falling to the bottom of the tank.

If at all possible, feed adult fish three small meals per day instead of just dumping a bunch of food in at one time. Juvenile fish and fry need be fed more often to insure that they grow properly, so give them a couple of extra light feedings each day.

It’s best to feed your fish at different times of the day, usually morning, afternoon, and night. Because many nocturnal fish feed only at night, make sure they receive their fair share.

What Type of Fish do You Have ?

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One reason many aquarium species face starvation and poor health is because hobbyists who are unfamiliar with a particular species fail to provide the proper nutrition for individual needs.

If you take the time to do a little research into a fish’s natural habitat and feeding patterns, you gain a better understanding of their individual dietary requirements.

Here are a few examples of how some species eat (remember, this may vary slightly depending on the age and temperament of your fish):

  • Heavy eaters: tiger barb, swordtail, oscar, convict cichlid
  • Medium eaters: guppy, gouramis, angelfish, cory
  • Light eaters: balloon mollies, bubble eye goldfish, betta, pencilfish


Feed carnivores (meat eaters, such as piranha) small amounts of meat and insects to help balance their flake or pellet diet. Carnivores need a good filtration system because they excrete a high amount of waste generated by the meaty foods.


Many freshwater fish need vegetable matter in their diet to flourish and achieve proper growth. For example, most species of freshwater catfish and cichlids enjoy vegetables. You can purchase vegetable fish food at your local aquarium shop. Specific types of vegetable foods such as algae wafers are manufactured to meet the needs of these types of fish.

Fish that eat anything that falls into the tank

There are sociable (and gluttonous) fish that continually try to mooch food by imitating a starving animal. (Nothing new there, our teenagers have that routine down to a science.)

These fish also try to eat anything that falls into the tank, including pet food, sandwiches, toys, and your hand. Overfeeding these fish can quickly become a problem, because they snag most of the food before the other fish even realize that it’s chow time.

If you have a tank hog grabbing all the food, try feeding less food more frequently, and spread the food to different parts of the tank.

Feeding Fry

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Young fry (baby fish) require a different type of diet than adults because their digestion systems have not yet matured. The good news is that you can feed many fry special foods available at your local fish shop.

The bad news is that young fry need to be fed constantly, so swing by the pharmacy on the way home and grab some drops for your sleep-deprived eyes.


Microworms (Anguillula silusiae) are non-parasitic worms that float freely in water. These worms reproduce in a matter of days. You can easily culture microworms at home, and they make a good starter food for young fry because of their tiny size. All you need to do is mix a little oatmeal, yeast, and water in a bowl until it forms a paste.

Add a small amount of microworms to the paste from an existing culture (which you can purchase on the Internet) and allow it to stand at room temperature for a couple of days.

When worms appear on the sides of the bowl, transfer them to the fry tank.

Liquid, powdered, and growth foods

You can purchase manufactured liquid fry food that comes in a tube that resembles toothpaste. Use this product sparingly because it can foul the water Powdered food is used to feed newborn fish. The powder is too small to be used as feed for adult fish, and will end up fouling your tank if not used for baby fry.

Fish food manufacturers make a wide variety of foods to match the growth stages of your young fish. Hikari makes a wonderful line of baby fish foods which are made to fit the growth stages of fish.

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