When setting up a new aquarium or picking out fish for the first time, many people fail to do the proper research when it comes to fish food. The type of food that you feed your fish can be one of the most important factors in keeping your fish alive and healthy.
Fish are similar to every other kind of pet. They require a nutritious and well balanced diet. You want to make sure whatever food you are feeding your fish has the proper amount of proteins, fiber, and nutrients. Many foods are cheaply made and include fillers and preservatives. Be attentive when it comes to reading ingredient labels.
When choosing a fish food, determine whether your fish are freshwater or saltwater fish. These foods can differ. Some fish require tropical food, some do not. Another thing you want to look for is fish based protein. High quality fish foods will contain several protein sources such as herring, squid, and other fish based sources.
Fish Food Reviews
TetraMin Tropical Flakes
Tetra is a leading brand in fish food and is highly trusted by customers. Tetra has its own patented ProCare blend. This blend ensures that your fish get healthy omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients that help the fish metabolism.
The tropical Tetra flakes act as a staple in your fish diet. It provides all of the necessary ingredients needed for daily feeding. Their special formula will help your fish maintain a healthy immune system.
These TetraMin flakes also contain shrimp added to the formula. This naturally attracts aquarium fish. The shrimp scent attracts the fish and makes them more likely to eat it quickly.
The TetraMin also has a clear-water formula. This means there is less waste in your aquarium from uneaten fish food. The tastier the food is for the fish, the faster they will eat it, leaving less residue in your water.
- Tetra is a trusted brand
- Minimizes clouding of water
- Patented ProCare blend
- Intended more for bigger fish
- Sinks quickly to the bottom
New Life Spectrum Thera+A
Made by New Life Spectrum, which is another trusted name in quality fish foods. This is a newer addition to their line of fish foods and includes no artificial colors or preservatives.
This Thera+ formula contains garlic as well as other anti-parasitic properties. Thus boosting your fish’s overall health. This food is designed to keep your fish in good health.
Squid is one of the main protein sources of this food. Squid is a more sustainable protein source than other foods may use. Krill is another source of protein in addition to squid.
The Thera+ uses bentonite clay as a binder in this specific food. Not only does the bentonite provide a great mineral source for the fish, but it also contains less starch than other foods, which are known to leave water cloudy.
- Good for many types of fish
- Anti-Parasitic properties
- Sustainably sourced protein
- Low starch levels
- Ideal only for medium-sized fish
- Sinks rather quickly
Omega One Super Color Flakes
These flakes by Omega One have color-enhancing properties to make your fish bright and healthy in color. They contain quality ingredients that are competitive to other brands. This flake food is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 to help support the immune systems of your fish.
This flake blend is a good option for daily feeding. It can be fed to the fish 1 to 3 times daily, and provides them with the necessary proteins and nutrients they need to thrive.
This food contains high levels of beta carotene and omega acids, which keep the fishes immune system strong. This food choice contains no meals or other unhealthy processed protein sources.
These flakes can be fed to either freshwater or saltwater fish. This makes it convenient no matter what type of fish you have in your aquarium. You can use this one food as the staple for your fish’s dietary needs.
- No processed Proteins
- Color-boosting nutrition
- Naturally insoluble (reduces water waste)
- High levels of beta carotene and Omega 3+6
- Because it is made from fresh fish sources, it can contain small fragments of salmon and herring bones.
- Contains ethoxyquin as a preservative, which is known to be cancer-causing
Tetra Blood Worms
The Tetra brand stands behind over 50 years of experience in fish food development. These Tetra Blood Worms work well as a dietary supplement in addition to normal flake food. These worms are known to boost fish energy and productivity.
These blood worms are a nice treat for both freshwater and saltwater fish. They are small enough for both small and medium-sized fish to enjoy.
It is recommended that you feed your fish bloodworms 2 to 3 times a week. This should be in addition to their daily food as a healthy dietary supplement.
These blood worms provide your fish with necessary antioxidants, protein, and prebiotics. These can aid your fish with digestion as well as provide a necessary variation in diet.
- Provides fish with additional nutrients
- Aids in digestion
- Gives fish a boost of energy
- Not ideal for larger fish
Easy to over-feed
Aqueon Tropical Flakes
These tropical flakes by Aqueon are a good option for daily feeding, and are appropriate for a wide array of tropical fish. This food contains the necessary nutrients your fish will need on a daily basis.
This tropical fish food is available in flakes or in granules. This makes it easy to feed a variety of fish all at the same time. Using both options can benefit the top feeders as well as the mid-level and bottom feeders.
Aqueon uses only natural ingredients and adds several vitamins and minerals to their formula. It is designed to provide your fish daily nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.
This food option contains high levels of chile powder, spirulina, and marigold powder. These ingredients help to bring out the healthy vibrant colors of your tropical fish.
- Natural ingredients
- Good for daily feeding
- Flakes or pellets can cater to different types of fish
- Color-enhancing properties
- Not a high amount of vegetable matter
- Some fish will not eat it
TetraVeggie Algae Wafers
Yet another trusted Tetra product, these algae wafers sink slowly to the bottom to accommodate both top and bottom feeders. These wafers also include Tetras ProCare blend, providing fish with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
These wafers are a good choice for different varieties of herbivorous fishes and algae eaters. It is high in fiber and helps fish maintain healthy digestion.
These wafers can be used in addition to daily fish food. Although these wafers cater to algae eating bottom feeders, many types of fish seem to enjoy them as well.
For bottom feeders, these wafers will provide the daily nutrients needed by algae eating fish. Though your other fish may need additional flakes with higher protein, these wafers are a great staple for your bottom feeders.
- Great for herbivores and algae eaters
- Contains vegetable nutrients
- Convenient resealable packaging
- Can cause water cloudiness
- Uneaten waste can settle at bottom of the tank
- Good for bottom feeders, but other fish may need additional foods
Hikari Tropical Semi-Floating Micro Pellets
These micro pellets by Hikari are a healthy option for a variety of small-mouthed fish. Different color variations of the pellets indicate different ingredients. Red pellets are proteins and amino acids that fish need. The yellow pellets include vitamins and minerals, and the green pellets contain necessary vegetable fibers to keep fish healthy.
With a healthy mix of different pellet types, these food pellets provide a well balanced meal for your fish. It is a healthy and nutritional choice for daily feeding of your smaller tropical fish.
When pellets are dropped into the water, they are first available to your top feeders. As they slowly sink, they become available to your mid-level feeders, and eventually make their way to the bottom for your bottom feeding fish.
The fact that these pellets contain an assortment of nutrients and cater to all types of feeders makes it a wonderful choice for daily feeding. You can keep a large number of small tropical fish happy using these pellets alone.
- Different colored pellets indicate different nutritional needs
- Provides fish a balanced diet
- Efficient for top feeders to bottom feeders
- Some pellets sink faster than others, causing top feeders to miss out
- Uneaten pellets settle at the bottom of the tank
Zoo-Med Spirulina 20 Fish Flakes
This flake food by Zoo-Med is an excellent choice for daily feeding needs. It is designed for a variety of fish types and can benefit both fresh and saltwater fish.
As the name states, this food contains high levels of spirulina. Spirulina is a great source of raw protein to help your fish grow. Spirulina can also provide beneficial minerals and color-enhancing nutrients.
Research has shown that fish who eat spirulina are healthier overall. It provides the fish with more energy, more color, and has also been shown to improve the reproductive processes in fish.
This fish food by Zoo-Med is good for daily feeding of various types of fish. It provides them with the necessary protein and nutrients they need to maintain overall health.
- Good for a variety of fish
- Can be used for daily feeding
- Healthy protein from spirulina
- For fresh or saltwater fish
- Flakes are large, difficult for some fish to eat
- Does not suit the appetite of some fish
TetraCichlid Floating Pellets
These Pellets by Tetra are a daily staple for all cichlids. As with other Tetra products, they contain the patented ProCare blend, giving your fish all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
These floating pellets work well for top feeders and mid-level feeders. These pellets are a good option for daily feeding that work to supply your fish will all the nutrients they need.
The Tetra ProCare formula is specially designed with your fish’s longevity in mind. It is filled with powerful immune boosters and nutrients for optimum health.
These pellets can be fed to your fish 2 to 3 times daily. These pellets alone will provide a healthy staple to your fish’s daily diet.
- Available in small packages so you can test to see if your fish like it
- Tetra’s ProCare system helps maintain immune systems in fish
- Good for daily staple feeding
- Pellets can swell and clog filters and pumps
- Uneaten pellets cloud up the water
API Tropical Flakes
These tropical flakes by API are specially designed so that the fish utilize the maximum amount of nutrients from the food. This equates to less waste in your tank and clean clear water.
These flakes are great for a number of different fish such as goldfish, Bettas, Cichlids and more. This food provides fish the proper nutrients when used for daily feedings.
API’s tropical flakes are packed with nutritional protein to help your fish grow. These flakes are made using menhaden and squid, which provides your fish with an ideal amount of amino acids. These are also sustainably sourced proteins.
API claims that their food produces up to 30% less ammonia in the water when compared to other food types. This is because the fish use up more of the nutrients and produce less waste within their environment.
- Nutritional protein
- Sustainably sourced
- Lower ammonia levels
- Clearer water
- Some people complain of a strange smell coming from their water when using this food
- Contains copper sulfate, which can be harmful to snails and other forms of aquarium life.
Types Of Fish Food
There are an overwhelming amount of different fish foods available to choose from. It’s important that you buy the right kind of food so that your fish can get all the protein and nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy.
There are several different forms of food which can include: flakes, pellets, worms, freeze-dried foods and many others. Below will be a breakdown of some of the more common forms of fish food so that you can more easily decide what will work best for your fish.
Fish flakes are probably the most common type of fish food, and what most people are most familiar with. Flakes can be a good staple food for a large number of fish. Flakes work well if you have many different fish that all need similar nutrients in their diet.
Flake food can work well for all sizes of fish, and can be broken up to make it easier for smaller fish to eat. Since flakes will eventually sink down from the surface, they are a good choice for feeding fish throughout your water column.
Pellets can also be a good choice for daily feeding. They come in a variety of sizes in order to work well for different sized fish.
Different pellets will also float at the top and sink at different rates of speed. This can help accommodate your top feeders all the way down to your bottom feeders.
Crisps are a good choice for small to medium sized fish. They tend to float on the surface of the water for a good period of time. This gives fish the chance to nibble on it at their own pace. Crisps also create a minimal amount of waste in your water.
Granular food sinks slowly and allows all of your fish access to them. They tend to come in smaller pieces, making it easier for smaller fish to eat them.
Just like humans and other animals, fish can benefit from certain supplements. These can include bloodworms, freeze dried shrimp, and other products. These supplements can provide fish with a necessary variety in their diet.
How To Select The Right Fish Food
The type of food that will be best for your fish depends on what type of fish you choose to put in your aquarium. Although you can choose from either freshwater or saltwater fish, it is recommended for beginners to start with freshwater fish.
When you purchase your fish, keep in mind their beginning size, as well as how big they will be when fully grown. Smaller fish will need smaller food, such as tiny flakes or very small pellets. Alternatively, larger fish may require separate food from their smaller cohabitants.
When looking at different kinds of fish food, be sure to look at the total amount of protein that the food contains. Different fish require different amounts of protein depending on if they are omnivorous, herbivorous, or carnivorous.
Generally, the more protein sources that the food contains, the higher quality it will be. Look for ingredients such as krill, herring, squid, spirulina, etc. All of these are great sources of natural fish-based protein.
Will your fish be top feeders? Or mid-level feeders or bottom feeders? Different varieties of fish have different eating habits. If you have a healthy community of different fish, you may need to use more than one food source. While flakes might work well for the majority of your fish, you may need to use additional wafers or another option for your bottom feeders.
There is a wide array of fish food brands. Most major brands have been around for many years, and are reliable and trustworthy. Choose a brand that you trust. Read reviews from other fish owners to see what works best for them. And, of course, what matters most is that your fish enjoy it!
Frequently Asked Questions About Fish Food
Can larger flakes be crushed up to feed my smaller fish?
Yes, in most cases larger flakes, pellets, etc. can be slightly crumbled up into smaller pieces, making them easier for small-mouthed fish to eat.
Can I feed all of my fish one type of food?
This will depend on what types of fish you have, and also the number of fish. Some fish are top feeders, which means they swim to the top of the water’s surface to eat. Other fish feed on food as it sinks, catching it while it floats down. Some bottom feeders may require different food such as wafers or tablets. Whether you need different types of food will depend on what variety of fish you have.
Why is my water getting so cloudy?
Some types of fish food create more waste than others. Experiment with different fish foods and find one that your fish seem to enjoy and will eat quickly. Uneaten fish food is a major contributor to cloudy water. Overfeeding can also cause uneaten food to create more waste than necessary. Follow feeding directions on the packaging and scale back your feeding amounts if necessary.
Can certain fish food make my fish brighter in color?
Yes, some fish foods are specially formulated to bring out the brightness in your fish. Some foods actually say on the label if they have color enhancing nutrients.
How much should I feed my fish?
This is another question that will vary depending on how many fish you have in your aquarium. Follow the instructions on the packaging. Most foods recommend anywhere from 1 to 3 feedings per day.
Tips For Happy Healthy Fish
Try to choose a fish food that will have health benefits for your particular fish. It is also important to test out different foods to see what your fish actually enjoy. Find a food that will keep the majority of your fish population happy and stick with it.
As with any other living animal, fish need a balanced diet to ensure maximum health benefits. Choose a food with naturally sourced, fish-based proteins. Fish can also benefit from Omega fatty acids, fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Offer your fish a supplement as a special treat a few times per week. Not only do the fish enjoy these, but it adds variety to their diet, helping them to maintain better overall health. Some examples might be bloodworms, freeze dried shrimp, or other forms of supplements such as tablets or wafers.
Always follow the recommended feeding instructions that are printed on your fish food packaging. Overfeeding can cause health problems for your fish. Overfeeding will also cause excess waste to build up in your water from uneaten fish food. You usually just want to feed your fish as much food as they can eat up in a few minutes. The faster they eat, the less waste you will have floating around in your tank. This will make for clearer, cleaner water, thus resulting in happier, healthier fish.
Now you should have a good starting point for choosing the proper food type for your fish. Remember to do the research of what type of fish you will have in your aquarium, as well as what the best food option for that type of fish is.
Be sure to use only trusted brands of food, and avoid knockoffs that include unnecessary fillers and nasty preservatives. The goal is to give your beautiful fish long and healthy lives.
Choose a daily food for your fish that can act as their staple. This should cover all of their basic needs for protein, vitamins, and nutrients. You should also consider using supplements every once in awhile to give your fish a balanced diet. Even fish deserve an extra treat now and then. Feed your fish well. A healthy fish is a happy fish.